Reflection And Philosophy Paper On Ethics

1284 WordsOct 2, 20176 Pages
Reflection and Philosophy Paper Michael Odom Institution Affiliation Reflection and Philosophy Paper In my personal and professional life, I have found that I subscribe to Deontology for an ethical theory. However, I did not come to hold this belief through detailed introspection in a moral philosophy classroom. Rather, it was part of the values that were inculcated in me by my father throughout my childhood. In particular, he always insisted on the importance of thinking about my actions in an impartial way and to always respect others. When I grew up and read moral philosophy, I was delighted to realize that Immanuel Kant’s Deontological account had at its core both of these values. I hope to one day implement guidelines which will…show more content…
At the time I do not think I fully understood or appreciated this, but now that I am older I think I understand it a little better. When I went to university, I had the opportunity to read moral philosophy and encountered many different theories. One of them was utilitarianism, according to which the moral action is that which maximizes the well-being of the most number of people (Rachels, 2015, p. 98). Another was virtue ethics according to which everyone has to follow the golden mean in their actions. For example, we should not be foolhardy or cowardly, but exercise courage prudently (Rachels, 2015, p. 157). These theories certainly have their appeal, and I feel their force. However the one that captivated me from the beginning was Kant’s Deontological ethics. This account was a modified version of my father’s lessons. The lesson about not treating myself as special turned up as the requirement for maxims to be chosen as though they should hold as universal laws of nature (Rachels, 2015, p. 125). In other words, it was not enough to want something, but it would also have to be checked if the act can be universalized. Kant gives an example to show how his account works by analyzing lying. He points that if you wanted to lie, you should think about what would happen if everyone chose to lie. If everyone lied, then trust would not exist and so the very act of lying would not be possible since it would not be possible to violate trust
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