Kants Ethics vs Utilitarianism

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PHIL310 – Ethics
Essay #2 – Theme: Core Ethical Theories

The two ‘core’ ethical theories covered in class that I started to assess are the categorical imperative and utilitarianism, both of which offer an approach to decision making in the context of social and interpersonal relationships. In this with in depth understanding of both that Kantian ethics is much easily appreciated than the ethics of utilitarianism as Kantian ethics apply to everyone yet both ethical approaches lead to faults.

Utilitarianism is the moral theory that brings upon the greatest happiness. This theory illustrates that right actions as said to be right as they endorse happiness to someone or a group of people whereas wrong as they uphold unhappiness. Kantian ethics on the other hand puts a persons benefit before the greater good, that is people never should be used as means only but means to an end. Both Kant’s ethics and Utilitarianism greatly analogize between each other as Kant is deontological which means that someone ought to do things because they are right, as it is duty and that in itself makes it right. On the other hand Utilitarianism is based on consequence as someone should act to bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism does not care if the greatest good/benefit is brought with someone’s manipulation, lies or coercion. Kant’s ethical would disagree with this completely as If someone lies then it becomes universal law that everyone would have the right to do the same thing.

Ethical implication arise from Kant’s ethics even if this in my opinion is a more logical means that a person should consider in ethical decision making. Suppose for example you would lose your friends for telling the truth in a given situation, Kant’s ethics says you shouldn’t lie what so ever because it is you duty not to do so would bring unhappiness and here utilitarianism would differ completely. Another situation where Kant’s ethics would coincide with itself...
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