We always, or, rather, mostly focus on actions but we can have a change and focus on consequences. When we focus on consequences we wind up with consequentialism and utilitarianism is one type of consequentialism and the founding father was Jeremy Bentham. (Lafollette, 28)
Utilitarianism is divided into two, rule utilitarianism and act utilitarianism. In act utilitarianism, a person performs the acts whose end results are beneficial to a majority of people, without taking into consideration personal feelings or the societal constraints such as laws. Rule utilitarianism on the contrary takes into consideration the law and upholds fairness. A rule utilitarian uses fair and just means to benefit most people. Utilitarianism just like any other ethical theory has flaws. This can be seen in the sense that it is very hard or almost impossible to determine the amount of pleasure that will result from the action. This is because we cannot quantify pleasure and that the pleasure of one person is not the same as the pleasure of another person.
The deontological theory spells out that people should adhere to their duties and obligations when analyzing ethical dilemmas. This ethical theory elaborates that the most important aspects of our lives are governed by certain unbreakable moral rules. Deontologists argue that these rules are not to be broken even if their absolution will improve a situation. Whoever follows this theory is bound to produce very consistent decisions since they are mostly based on the individuals set duties. This theory provides ground for obligations and special duties to specific people, such as family. A good and simple example is where an older brother has an obligation to offer protection to his little when they cross a busy road together. Praise is also offered to those who exceed their obligations and duties, which is referred to as supererogation. A