phil 160 paper - consequentialism vs deontology

phil 160 paper - consequentialism vs deontology - Professor...

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Philosophy 160 713966879 Consequentalism and the Problem of Deontology Consequentialism and deontology are two popular views in modern ethics, yet they propose contrasting formulas for living one’s life in a morally correct way. The difference between the contrasting viewpoints is clear in the classic “Nazisat the door” story. The story goes as follows: during World War II one ishiding a Jewish refugee. Several Nazis knock at the door and inquire if he or she is hiding any Jews in theirhouse. What is the right action? Should one tell the Nazis the truth and expose the innocent Jew? Or should one lie to the Nazis and save the Jew’s life? In cases such as this, consequentialism requires one to lie to the Nazis and save the Jew. On the other hand, deontology requires one to tell the Nazis where the Jew is,guaranteeing death for the Jew. This story illustrates the stark contrast betweenthe two ethical doctrines. However, which of these actions is the ethically correct way to act in this instance? In cases such as this it is deontology, not consequentialism, which must be abandoned because ultimately it is the consequences, not the action itself, which guides moral rightness. Consequentialism is the view that one should always act according to which action will produce the best consequences. If the act brings about good consequences, then the act was morally right. The best consequences bring about the most pleasure and happiness and decrease suffering. The action itself and the intent behind the action is irrelevant; it is only the consequences which consequentialists concern themselves with. In comparison, deontology is the view that the rightness or wrongness of an action is independent of its consequences; what makes an action morally correct is the morality of the action itself. Deontology also states that one is bound to follow certain universal maxims, or categorical imperatives. A categorical imperative is a moral rule which can morally be converted into a universal law. A universal law is an ethical guideline which every person on earth will theoretically follow. For example,
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phil 160 paper - consequentialism vs deontology - Professor...

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