Topics: Deontological ethics, Categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant Pages: 3 (936 words) Published: December 12, 2012
The word “deontology” is derived from the Greek word “deon” meaning “duty”. Deontological theories, therefore, argue that there are some moral duties, which we absolutely have to obey and there are some actions that we must never perform. Deontologists believe that we have to act according to our duty and that a person's behavior can be wrong even if it brings about a good outcome. Deontologists also argue that one is not required to take every opportunity to promote the general good and that sometimes promoting the general good is bad if it violates the dignity of another person. A deontologist would argue that it would be wrong to have let a plane headed towards the Twin Towers on September the 11th 2001 purposely crash into land even though by doing so it would have saved thousands of lives of the people working in one of those towers. It is obvious from outlining the deontological theory that deontological theories involve respect for the autonomy or self-governing of human beings. Deontologists argue that one can exercise a greater degree of autonomy if one has the moral space to do so. From the importance of autonomy, deontologists have deduced, as mentioned previously, that there are some absolute prohibitions, for example, the murdering of the innocent because that action involves subjecting another human being to your will. The concept of duty can be quite confusing. Duties can be concerned with individual acts or with rules and an individual act cannot necessarily become a rule. Duties can also conflict with each other, such as the duty not to steal and the duty to care for your family. If you are poor, your family is starving and you know that the only option in order to give them some food is to steal, your two duties collide head on. To overcome this, you could argue that your duty to care for your family does not extend to actually stealing for them Immanuel Kant's deontological theory is probably the most well known and influential....
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