Ethics is one part of philosophy that will always be studied, and like most subjects in philosophy, will never be viewed the same by everyone. There are so many cultures that have so many different beliefs about the way a person's life should be lived out. Things like religion, poverty, and mental health all contribute to our beliefs in ethics. Some people believe that the mental state of a person or the motive for that person committing a crime should be factors when sentencing time comes. Others think that no matter the situation, a crime is a crime, and no compassion should be felt for the guilty. In the studies of philosophy these beliefs are put into two categories:
It is clear from the case study that Alistair knows the contract is unorthodox. The problem he faces is whether he should overlook the bribe or report it to the board. The board of directors expects Alistair to tell the truth and report the bribe because of: his position as Chief Legal Officer, the board has a very strong ethics policy and they are wary of unethical activities.
Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative is a theory that basically relays the same message that most mothers teach their kids, and that is to do the right thing. The categorical imperative could be easily explained by the Golden Rule about treating others as you would like to be treated. Kant dives a little deep with his theory, however, and breaks the categorical imperative into three formulations. The first formulation is about essentially removing yourself from a situation and doing what is best for everyone. Kant is basically saying that it is unethical to make decisions that affect everyone, but only benefits you. The second formulation is about making sure that
Utilitarians on the other hand would disagree with Kant on several points. Utilitarians would argue that actions should be decided by the consequences they would produce. Remember that utilitarians believe in the good for the greatest number. In an argument against Kant’s theory, they would say that the
Morality is a complex subject and ethical dilemmas yield differing opinions and theories that have manifested through time by intelligent philosophers. There were two influential philosophers’ names Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant, who formed differing theories, in an attempt to set a uniform approach to ethical dilemmas and morality. Bentham was a firm supporter of Utilitarian theory; which focuses on overall happiness and consequences of an action (EMP 122). While Kant believed in his own theory that moral rules are absolute (EMP 129). Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics have few strengths and notable weaknesses, thus proving both theories implausible when compared to
Aristotle and Kant's views were extremely different. Aristotle believed that it was a moral action and Kant believed it wasn't. These two views are so different because the bases of each theory are very
The issues of morality are most clearly expressed through examples of different methods of analyzing a situation. The case of Holmes, an officer in charge of a sinking ship, shows the striking differences between philosopher Immanuel Kant’s beliefs and those of the Utilitarians. After Holmes’ ship sinks, there are twenty passengers in a lifeboat that is only meant to hold fourteen people. There was no time to send out a signal for help before the ship sank, so no rescue is guaranteed and the nearest land is fifteen hundred miles away. Holmes decides to force the wounded passengers and those wearing life jackets off of the lifeboat and make his way to shore without them. This action
Someone opposing this view may object on the grounds of what to do when two
Unlike Utilitarianism however, Kantianism states that ethics is a purely a priori discipline, thus, independent of experience, and that ethical rules can only be found through pure reason. Also contrary to Utilitarianism, Kantianism asserts that the moral worth of an action should be judged on its motive and the action itself, and not on its consequences. Based on these ideas, Kantianism propose that an action is good only if it performed out a 'good will '; which is the only thing that is good, in and of itself. To act out of a 'good will ', one must act in accordance with a categorical imperative. According to Kant there is only one categorical imperative, which is to "act only on that maxim in which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law" (Kant, 528); and can also be formulated as "act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as means, but always at the same time as an end" (Kant, 532). Essentially, the categorical imperative states that your actions must not result in a practical contradiction, which can be determined by conceptualizing all other people performing the same act. To illustrate, if I were
Utilitarianism is a moral theory that has long been the subject of philosophical debate. This theory, when practiced, appears to set a very basic guideline to follow when one is faced with a moral dilemma. Fundamental Utilitarianism states that when a moral dilemma arises, one should take action that causes favorable results or reduces less favorable results. If these less favorable results, or pain, occur from this action, it can be justified if it is produced to prevent more pain or produce happiness. Stating the Utilitarian view can summarize these basic principles: "the greatest good for the greatest number". Utilitarians are to believe that if they follow this philosophy, that no matter what action they take, it
Has anyone of us witnessed a team discussing an ethical decision involving a specific case study with many conflicting versions of the story? It is interesting to follow. Some of the debate participants feel so confident about being "right" that they will persist until they win the hearts of their opponents. Some participants will just waffle and attempt to analyze the situation from variant dimensions (Lukas 72). Analyzing a specific Case Study relating to terms of confidentiality, this document looks into definitions of morality under two independent systems- Kantianism and Utilitarianism theoretical approaches. This paper seeks to
In this essay, I will be discussing an article about a woman who starved her two horses. I will address the issue about whether or not the woman’s action was ethical. I will use the two ethical theories of utilitarianism and Kantian ethics to support my argument. I will also suggest a different course of action the woman could have taken to be justified, through both ethical theories.
German philosopher Kant was first to introduce the Kantian ethics; hence, the named after him. According to Professor Elizabeth Anscombe, Immanuel Kant was Unitarianism’s rival; he believed actions that are taboo should be completely prohibited at all times. For instance, murder should be prohibited. Even though nowadays a person cannot be punished if death is involved as a self defense, from Kant’s perspective this is still prohibited, although sometimes these actions bring more happiness to the big majority of people than sorrow. Kant stated that before acting, one should ask his/her self: am I acting rationally and in a way that everyone will act as I purpose to act? Is my action going to respect the moral law or just my own purpose? If the answer to those questions is a no, the action must be abandoned. Kant’s theory is an example of the deontological theory that was developed in the age of enlightenment. According to Elizabeth, these theories say that “the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty.”( Anscombe, 2001) Kant said that morality is built based on what he called “Hypothetical Imperatives”, but rather principles called “Categorical Imperatives” he referred to it as the supreme principle of morality. (Texas A&M University, n.d.) Cavico and Mujtaba reported on their book that Kant stated that morality