Ethical System

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Virtue Pages: 3 (1206 words) Published: July 18, 2010
A deontological ethical system is one that is concerned solely with the inherent nature of the act being judged. If an act is inherently good, then even if it results in bad consequences, it is still considered a good act. Teleological systems judge the consequences of an act. An act might look bad, but if it results in good consequences, then it can be defined as good under a teleological system. Ethical formalism is a deontological system because the important determinant for judging whether an act is moral is not its consequence, but only the motive or intent of the actor. According to Kant, the only thing that is intrinsically good is a good will. For example, a friend stops by another friend's apartment to visit and finds him struggling to breathe, and was grasping at his chest. He dials 911 and then having remembered a commercial for Bayer aspirin that mentioned taking an aspirin during a heart attack can help, she goes into her purse and gets an aspirin to give to her friend while they are awaiting the arrival of rescue crews. After giving him the aspirin, his symptoms worsen and by the time paramedics arrive, the man was dead. After autopsy, information was revealed that the man died from an allergic reaction to acedimenaphin, not because of the heart attack. Even though the man died due to the actions of the woman, ethical formalism believes that because her intention was to give him the medication to help him, her intentions were good, even though the result was bad. Ethical formalism also believes that what is considered 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. Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical system: what is good is determined by the consequences of the action. For example, a family and their two dogs go out on a boat ride and ended up being stranded on an island with no food....
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