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Deontologism vs. Utilitarianism - Essay Example

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Deontologism vs. utilitarianism Introduction Coexistence of people in societies involves interactions among individuals. Whether in work places or in communities, every society has established norms that define good and evil. Ethics refers to principles of morality that have been adopted by a society to regulate relationships…
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Deontologism vs. Utilitarianism
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Deontologism vs. Utilitarianism

It advocates for fair consideration of other people’s interests while undertaking an action. Simply put, utilitarianism states that “we ought to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people” or in another form, “inflict less harm on the least number of people” (Kanniyakonil, 2007, p. 65). A utilitarian would therefore contemplate the possible impacts of his or her action to other members of the society. Based on the doctrine, an act that threatens other people’s stakes is therefore avoided while a beneficial act is promoted. Singer, based on his four principles, argues that “pain is bad,” consideration into harmful acts should not be discriminatory and should be based on consequences of contemplated actions (Rachels and Rachels, 2007, p. 281). Utilitarianism can be understood from two perspectives, “act utilitarianism, and rule utilitarianism” (Kanniyakonil, 2007, p. 65). Act utilitarianism is based on each action by a person, which ought to always be consistent with the ethical principle of maximum good. It is defined by the view that good actions leads to good rather than harmful results. Act utilitarianism therefore judges actions from the specific consequences of a particular act, or intentions into such consequences rather an existing moral value (Kanniyakonil, 2007). ...
The two approaches therefore differ with respect to time of determination of what is good and what is evil. While action utilitarianism determines morality upon an action or upon contemplation of an act, rule utilitarianism pre determines morality upon conception of an ethical value in a society (Kanniyakonil, 2007). Utilitarianism is further understood from four philosophical perspectives, “‘welfarism’, ‘consequentialism’, aggregative, and maximizing” (Kanniyakonil, 2007, p. 66). According to welfarism, utilitarianism is fundamentally determined by the resultant good from an initiative. Cosequensialism on the other hand focuses on the impacts of an act as opposed to its nature. Consequential theory therefore evaluates and determines an action with respect to available alternatives to the action and approves the most beneficial alternative. Aggregative and maximizing concepts of utilitarianism are on the other hand based on the view that even the most beneficial alternative is associated with possible reservations into unhappiness (Kanniyakonil, 2007). Associated problems Utilitarianism, regardless of its assumed appeal to maximum good from actions, has a number of associated problems. One of the problems faced under utilitarianism, and with respect to determination of the best alternative for maximum good is its reliance on probability. This means that there is no accurate measure of possible good to justify utilitarian approach to determining ethics (Kanniyakonil, 2007). Rachels and Rachels also identify a number of problems that seems to undermine the basic principles and assumptions of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is for instance associated with injustice. This based on the difference in scope between morality and law. In ... Read More
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