The Issues of Ethics

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Issues of Ethics The two major ethical theories that have the most relevance and prudence to my contemporary views are utilitarianism and those aligned with the concept of a categorical imperative. The philosophy of the former of these was widely pioneered by both Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The notion of a categorical imperative was largely popularized by Immanuel Kant. In all actuality, the efficaciousness of these philosophies is widely determined by the particular moral dilemma which one is facing. Still, the true value in both of these theories lies in the fact that they can be applied to a wide variety of situations and help to dictate moral guidance. In many respects, utilitarianism, which is a branch of philosophy known as consequentialism, presents a diametrically opposed philosophical stance of that propounded by Kant and his categorical imperative (Boylan, 2009, p. 176). There is an extreme sense of mutability that accompanies the former of these approaches to ethics, which is attributed to the fact that the behavior that is determined most ethical depends on the circumstances that result from that behavior. Specifically, the action that produces the most good, to the most amount of people, is adjudged by utilitarianism to be the proper ethical decision to make. It is interesting to note that in this philosophy there are varying degrees of good produced. Quite often, ephemeral good or that which affects a finite amount of people is considered lesser

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