Utilitarianism and Deontology

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Virtue ethics Pages: 4 (1330 words) Published: April 24, 2008
Running head: Normative Ethics: Utilitarianism and Deontology

Normative Ethics: Utilitarianism Deontology
Ethics are a personal set of values used by an individual to guide their actions, and to recognize any obligation. They are a continuously evolving code of conduct dependent upon circumstances and the life experiences of the individual. With actions that can be measured by “right” and “wrong”. Ethics are not primarily concerned with the description of moral systems in societies but are more or less the backbone of the American industry, whether an organization has good or bad ethical standards ethics is an issue for all people. “Ethical problems arise not only from the difficulties experienced in making a valid moral judgment, but also from practical obstacles to the execution of even a correct decision” (Pastin 1). Often, it is harder to go through with a morally correct decision even though you know it is the right thing to do. There are many definitions of ethics, but, according to author Herbert Johnston, ethics is concerned with two things: human conduct and what ought to be done (Johnston 1-2). It also involves people’s perceptions about what “should” be done. People have duties to do what is right and not to hurt other people essentially, ethics involve obligations. Johnston also defines ethics as “a practical, philosophical science by which we may reach conclusions concerning the rightness or wrongness of voluntary acts as related to our last end” (Johnston 25). Johnston is saying that ethics are judgments based on society’s set of moral standards that result in either good outcomes or bad outcomes, depending on the goodness or badness of the judgment. There are two types of normative ethics deontological and utilitarian ethics. Deontological ethics are the ethics of duty and obligations while utilitarianism is an ethical framework that focuses on the outcome or results of actions. Deontologists maintain that actions...
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