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Core concepts in ethics - Essay Example

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Analysis of Core Concepts in Ethics Name of Course Your Name Your University Introduction This paper examines the differences and similarities of several concepts in philosophy and ethics. To this end, the paper will evaluate three juxtapositions of pairs of concepts…
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Core concepts in ethics
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Download file to see previous pages There will be some practical examples which will be used to illustrate each point in order to come up with conclusions on the relative strength of each idea. Deontology V Teleology Deontology is derived from a Greek word, 'deon' which means 'duty' (Morrison, 2009 p18). As a concept in ethics, deontology is a lense through which the need to do good or the right thing can be defined. Deontology suggests that the obligation to do what is right is our duty (Lipert-Rasmussen, 2005 p15). This means that ever human being must do what has right as a matter of responsibility and not as some kind of effort to go beyond normal. What is right is a duty and everyone has to do it. On the other hand, teleology is based on the premise that “what determines rightness or wrongness is solely on the basis of the estimated outcome of the act itself” (Hitchcock et al, 2009 p142). In other words, teleology suggests that the results of a person's actions determine whether those actions are right or wrong. This means that under teleology, actions are not wrong in themselves, but their outcome is what makes them right or wrong. The supporters of the school of thought of teleology argue with the popular phrase 'the end justifies the means' (Peil, 2009 p77). On further analysis, it can be said that deontology involves a set of universal and absolute rules that people ought to follow at all costs. However, teleology involves judging actions on the basis of their outcomes rather than a set of ideal standards. In terms of similarities, the two concepts are meant to define what is right and what should guide us to measure actions (Dyer, 1988 p51). In other words, they are both interested in finding a justification of morality or the role that morality plays in the human society. Thus, for instance, we all know that lying is wrong. But what makes lying wrong? That is what both concepts attempt to answer. However, the departure point in the two concepts lies in the fact that each of the concepts provides a different explanation for each concept. Whereas deontology argues for universal and absolute concepts with two extremes either right or wrong and no in-between, teleology states that something might not be right but the end might justify it as a good thing and vice versa (Maness, 2007 p8). Using the example of lying, supporters of deontology would say that lying is wrong. The reason for telling the lie can never negate this effect. So irrespective of the reason for telling the lie, a person is guilty. On the other hand, teleology states that lying might not be right. However, there are some situations where a lie can be justified by what it brings to the world. Thus for instance we can examine the case of a married man with a sensitive position in society and teenage children who has one casual affair with another woman not his wife. If this man comes to his senses after the affair and comes to a consensual agreement with the woman he cheated with that they should not see each other again and he prepares to change his ways and a small piece of evidence comes up and he is questioned by his wife or social group, he might have two options. Option 1 will be to confess to his wife or social group and ask for forgiveness [absolutism, universalism and deontology: BECAUSE IT IS WRONG TO LIE]. Option 2 might be to weigh the consequences of telling the truth and then decide to lie if the lie will bring bigger gains to the stakeholders involved [relativism, utilitarianism and teleology] Each of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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