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Deontologists vs. Consequentialists - Essay Example

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Though it may seem rational to end another person’s misery who, at the moment, is not capable of doing anything about the situation, still the consequence of such action is unjustifiable…
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Deontologists vs. Consequentialists
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Download file to see previous pages If someone were to do his moral duty and perform an action consistent with ethical principles, then it would not matter if it had negative consequences. Such is the view that deontologists hold -- decisions are made and actions done on the merit of the rightness or wrongness of an action and not on the rightness or wrongness of its outcomes. Simply put: certain actions or rules are regarded as appropriate, regardless of the consequence they have. Euthanasia, or mercy-killing, may be cited as an example of such principle put into action. Putting an end to one’s agony by cutting off a patient’s life support is a fundamental reasoning to such an action. Consequentialists, on the other hand, believe the ends always justify the means. Its assumption of morality is derived from what is good or desirable as an end to be achieved. Though it may seem rational to end another person’s misery who, at the moment, is not capable of doing anything about the situation, still the consequence of such action is unjustifiable. What if that person who is in agony or lies in a comatose state is still fighting for his life, though this is impossible to perceive because of his current state? What if the patient’s will is stronger than his fate? What if for a matter of day his life will be sustained had the respirator not been removed from him? To the consequentialists, these outcomes should be examined first to determine moral responsibility.
As the previous example points out, both the deontologist's and consequentialist's points of view are based on ethical norms. The only difference is the issue on what norm is considered. While deontologists focus on the action, the consequentialists consider the effect of the action. But what makes an action or its consequence morally right Is there an absolutist' view of what is morally right If there is why is there conflicting views on it If not, how should the issue on morality be addressed
These questions are what we will try to answer using the arguments of advocates of these two views. Peter Singer's "All Animals Are Equal" and Mark Vuletic's "Deontological Objections To Consequentialism" will be explained in detail. Later in the analysis, I will propose a different view on the construct of morality and its implication on humans as well as animals.
First, let us establish some fundamentals that may guide us in evaluating the ethics of a particular decision (in this case, determining whether an action or a consequence is morally right). Perhaps it is important to note the term used "right" may still be unclear. Consider the following questions. Is the acceptance of a specific thought purely based on the perception of its readers or receivers Or is it based on a more logical, more concrete perception governed by specific laws adjudging such as "right" Is it based on a general acceptance or on a universal General may not mean universal in the sense that the former has a may still be perceived a bit exclusive that the latter.
I believe it is a recognized fact that an individual has the right to self-govern in certain areas. Relative to this is that individuals are free to decide what, how, when and in what manner he should act. Having a free will does not mean an individual's decision to act is not restricted whatsoever. If that would be the case, no society might have been formed. Hence, the decision to act is guided by perceived and accepted norms and rules, which are aimed at creating harmony within the person and the society. Needless to say for both to exist in a harmonious relationship, the decision to act should be directed at the promotion of the well being or the benefit of everybody. In effect no decision should be regarded as anything that will inflict other individual.
This kind of reasoning puts every person on equal footing; no one is above them, of course the Law, which, as earlier pointed out becomes the universal basis for in considering what is right and what is wrong.
Now that we have established the fact that human beings on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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