Ethical Dilemmas Of Utilitarianism And Deontology

1368 Words6 Pages
Andrew Sponsler 11/4/15 Ethics Considering Ethical Dilemmas through Utilitarianism and Deontology Kant’s theory of deontology and Mill’s theory of utilitarianism provide starkly different approaches to assigning moral value to ethical dilemmas, two modern dilemmas being commercial surrogacy and physician-assisted suicide. This essay will expound upon the process of deciding moral value within each ethical theory and then apply this decision process to the two ethical dilemmas. Arguments will be posited in support or in opposition to the proposed ethical dilemmas according to the ethical theories. The discussion will revolve around the theories as proposed by the specific authors mentioned above in their relevant works. Mill writes of utilitarianism in the eponymous work Utilitarianism. According to his work utilitarianism is a means of deciding the moral value of actions. Mill’s theory takes a consequentialist view of actions, saying that the moral worth of an action is decided by the outcome, or consequence. This decision of moral worth is determined by whether the outcome maximizes happiness and minimizes the reverse of happiness. Mill writes that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” Happiness is defined as pleasure and the absence of pain according to Mill, and the action must be considered for the outcome it brings to the most people. This happiness, or pleasure and lack of pain,
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