Deontology vs Utilitarianism

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Deontology vs Utilitarianism

By | Feb. 2011
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DEONTOLOGY vs UTILITARIANISM

The theory of deontology is derived from the writings of German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Kant stated that a universal law should provide the basis for each act, and that the intention was of more importance than the result. Deontology is a duty-based ethical position, where one's actions are based on what is ethically correct, regardless of the consequences (Porche, 2004). Deontological theories hold that actions are morally right are those in accordance with certain rules and duties, rights or maxims. Actions can be morally obligatory, allowed, or prohibited and consequences do not matter. In deontology intention is relevant. A person is right in acting certain way only if this person acts for the right reason. Examples of deontological rules are Divine Command Theory, Golden Rule, Natural Law and Rights Theories, Kantian Ethics, The Non-Aggression Principle. Deontological theories hold that an action's rightness or wrongness depends on its conformity to a certain moral norm, regardless of the consequences for example right vs good. According Motta's opinion listed on web site www.E-how.com, the differences between deontological and utilitarianism is: "Duty-based ethics are often called deontological and consequentialist ethics are often labeled as utilitarian". The site further explains that deontological pertains to theory of binding responsibility or duty. Such theories are also called "a priori" in that they are based upon knowledge gained prior to experience. No concrete lived-through experience is necessary in order to attain these duties deductively from reason. If in deontology intention is more important than the results, Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that places the locus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes or consequences of choosing one action/policy over other actions/policies. As such, it moves beyond the extent of one's own interests...

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