Assignment: Deontological vs. Teleological Ethical
Deontological ethical systems are associated with judgments that are based on an action. If the action is considered to be in a good intent, even with the possibilities of having negative consequences, then it is still defined as being good. Branches of deontological ethical systems can extend out to ethical formalism, religion, and natural law. Ethical formalism is defined as the motive and intent of a person has based on what action the person commits. An example I can recall from the recent news was a high school girl’s coach had a student confide in her that she was pregnant and did not want to tell her parents for fear of what the consequences would be. The high school coach then end up buying emergency contraception and administered to the teenager to terminate the early pregnancy so that the young teen would not “ruin” her chances of being accepted into college. It ended backfiring when the teenager told her friends and thus word of mouth got to the parents. The parents ended up pressing charges and the coach lost her job and was incarcerated. The high school coach intended for no harm but it could have been a real possibility that the teenager had an allergic reaction to the medication or that the family had strong religious beliefs and felt it was immoral to terminate a pregnancy. The gist to the example is that ethical formalism believes that because the coach’s intention was to give the teenager the medication to help her, her intentions were good, even though the result was bad. On the contrary, ethical formalism also believes that what is considered to be wrong is wrong no matter what. There is no justification for murder, in the eyes of ethical formalism, and believes that no good can come from a person taking another person’s life intentionally. For example, a serial killer was sentenced to death for the killings of many people. He was to be punished by death for his crimes against...
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