An analysis of consequentialism and deontology in personal views

The greater the wrong, the greater the punishment deserved; and relative stringency of duty violated or importance of rights seems the best way of making sense of greater versus lesser wrongs.

deontology examples

Here, the moral value of actions and choices is not to be evaluated solely on grounds of their consequences. There are also agent-centered theories that emphasize both intentions and actions equally in constituting the morally relevant agency of persons. Adam is on a footbridge over the tracks, in between the approaching trolley and the five workers.

We will discuss their work and its implications in the discussion.

deontology vs utilitarianism

Being incapable of overriding such emotional responses may favor partner selection along a path similar to the aforementioned one: people displaying strong emotional aversion to harm others will be less likely to harm me, which makes them attractive social partners. By requiring both intention and causings to constitute human agency, this third view avoids the seeming overbreadth of our obligations if either intention or action alone marked such agency.

Virtue ethics

Yet as with the satisficing move, it is unclear how a consistent consequentialist can motivate this restriction on all-out optimization of the Good. On this view, our agent-relative obligations do not focus on causings or intentions separately; rather, the content of such obligations is focused on intended causings. Nagel, T. For such a pure or simple consequentialist, if one's act is not morally demanded, it is morally wrong and forbidden. Thomas Scanlon's contractualism, for example, which posits at its core those norms of action that we can justify to each other, is best construed as an ontological and epistemological account of moral notions. Saunders, B. McMurrin, ed. The Weaknesses of Deontological Theories On the other hand, deontological theories have their own weak spots. So one who realizes that by switching the trolley he can save five trapped workers and place only one in mortal danger—and that the danger to the latter is not the means by which the former will be saved—acts permissibly on the patient-centered view if he switches the trolley even if he does so with the intention of killing the one worker. There are two varieties of threshold deontology that are worth distinguishing. In rule utilitarianism, no prediction or calculation of benefits or harms is performed. By requiring both intention and causings to constitute human agency, this third view avoids the seeming overbreadth of our obligations if either intention or action alone marked such agency.

First, duties of differential stringency can be weighed against one another if there is conflict between them, so that a conflict-resolving, overall duty becomes possible if duties can be more or less stringent. Richardson, H.

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What Is Deontology and Deontological Ethics?