The Ethical Decision Of Humanitarian Action Is Guided More By The Deontological

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This essay seeks to explore how the ethical decision making in humanitarian action is guided more by the deontological (moral duty/non-consequentialist) view over the teleological (consequentialist). It also suggests that the history of moral dilemmas in humanitarian work ought to be revisited in order to develop a framework that can address them better. “Modern humanitarianism came to find moral justification in Kantian based imperatives in which actions are intrinsically good regardless of consequence, and required as a by-product of humanity” (Fraser, 2013; p26). The need to act, out of a sense of responsibility, has created an environment where the very first response to a crisis is how one can provide help in any way possible. Before validating the argument that most humanitarian action takes place out of moral obligation, it is imperative to first compare the two schools of ethics.

The deontological view is about the motivation of any action and cautiously conscious of how these actions are carried out. In contrast, the teleological approach focuses more on end results and can potentially ignore the setbacks and negative aspects of the process that leads to said results. It is the deontological view that places a considerable emphasis on duty in terms of moral decision making. The ends do not justify means—an approach that is disregarded by the teleological view that accepts all means necessary for a desired consequence (Newton, 2008). In this scenario of
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