Deontological vs. Teleological Ethical Systems Essay

1163 WordsSep 30, 20085 Pages
Deontological moral systems are characterized by a focus upon adherence to independent moral rules or duties. To make the correct moral choices, we have to understand what our moral duties are and what correct rules exist to regulate those duties. When we follow our duty, we are behaving morally. When we fail to follow our duty, we are behaving immorally. Typically in any deontological system, our duties, rules, and obligations are determined by God. Being moral is thus a matter of obeying God. Deontological moral systems typically stress the reasons why certain actions are performed. Simply following the correct moral rules is often not sufficient; instead, we have to have the correct motivations. This might allow a person to not be…show more content…
Ethical formalism is the doctrine that certain actions are good (ie, the right thing to do) or evil (ie, the wrong thing to do) in and of themselves, apart from any beneficial or harmful effect that they might have on individuals. Although many reasons are provided for why these actions are right or wrong, none of the reasons involves the effects that such actions have on individuals. Contemporary commentators on alternative methods of conception frequently adopt this ethical attitude. The second major ethical system is Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a philosophical theory of morality and "how one should act". It states that one should act so as to maximize the amount of happiness in the world (focuses on the CONSEQUENCES of actions). That is, you should ONLY do "X" if "X" positively contributes to the happiness in the world. So you might think of it this way: Should I steal Mary's candy when she's not looking? My happiness: +200 points Mary's happiness: -300 points. You must consider EVERYONE'S happiness EQUALLY, so clearly you should not steal the candy, because it decreases the happiness in the world (-100). The next major Ethical system is Religion. Religion is very difficult to define - it seems that everyone has a different idea of what it is. Most people will simply look in the dictionary or use something else equally simplistic. Although that might be fine for everyday conversations, it isn't sufficient for the sort of discussions that appear on this

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