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Deontology Vs Utilitarianism

Decent Essays
Utilitarianism and Deontology are two very different ethical theories that have very little in common. They are similar in the sense that they share the same focus which is to determine which human actions are right and acceptable versus the actions that are wrong hence unacceptable. Beyond the primary focus of which actions are right or wrong, there seem to be no similarities. This is because both theories have different approaches to determine what is good and what is bad. Despite the fact that both theories have pros and cons, Utilitarianism seems to be the better moral theory.
Utilitarianism is the most common ethical theory practiced in the business world today. Utilitarianism states that an action is right or wrong based on the end results.
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The moral worth of actions is based on the theory of duty. Kant’s theory of ethics focuses on “duties, obligations, and rights” (6-1 Deontology and the Ethics of Duty). An individual’s intentions are considered to determine whether an action was right/good or wrong/bad. If a person has good intentions, then his/her actions are morally good no matter the end result, and if the intentions were bad then no matter how good the end result is, the individual's actions are considered wrong. The main principle of morality is based on action, reason only. Deontology has two main formulations; first, one being that you act only on that maxim you can will as a universal law, the right action can be universal without universalizing one’s contemplated action. The second formulation is that you have to act as to treat humanity in self and others, always as an end and never as a means only, people are valuable regardless of whether they are useful or loved. “As Kant explained, morality is not properly the doctrine of how we are to make ourselves happy but of how we are to become worthy of happiness” (6-1 Deontology and the Ethics of Duty). For example, the case of the doctor and the patient where there is no penalty for either decision. What would the deontologist do? Save the individuals life or contact the transplant team to ready them to harvest any available organs? In this situation, a deontologist who is the doctor in this situation would save the man’s life, as it is the duty to treat a patient. The fact that several people’s lives might be improved by allowing the man to die would not justify making that
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