Compare Utilitarian and Deontological Theory

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COMPARE UTILITARIAN AND DEONTOLOGICAL THEORIES

Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined by its usefulness. In maximizing utility and minimizing negative utility, in short it can be defined as pleasure minus pain. Deontology means duty or obligation. This theory was founded by a German philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). According to Kant, it is the only way of making moral decisions. Another definition for deontology is that it is an approach to the justification in which priority is given to the fundamental principles (Thompson et.al 2000;364)

Utilitarianism is an act which is right when it promotes happiness and is wrong when it promotes unhappiness. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was the
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John Stuary Mill's theory contrast related to how people find pleasure and human happiness.

Utilitarianism understands all practical reasoning- reasoning about what to do as means to an end reasoning. It is rational to do whatever brings about a good end. The utilitarianism thinks it is obvious that is something is good more of it is better and we ought to do what is. The deontologist disagrees and offers an alternative theory of practical reasoning. (Michael Lacewing www.alevelphilosophy.co.uk)

Here is an illustration of how a Deontologist and Utilitarianism may differ on making decisions , A bus on a school bus with 30 children is hijacked by hijackers . The hijackers demanded that one child should be killed so that the rest would be saved. The hijackers have made it clear that if no action is made within an hour they will kill all the children within 3hours.A utilitarian will make a decision based on its merit that is utilitarianism is a theory that produces that always produces happiness for the greater number of people .Therefore if one child dies it saves 29children. A deontologist will follow the deontological ethical theory
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