Deontological And Teleological Theories: Two Categories Of Normative Ethics

1611 Words 7 Pages
Deontological and teleological theories are two extremities of normative ethics that represent a spectrum of judging morality based on intent, action, and consequence. While the two may seem like a dichotomy at first a juxtaposition of the two will reveal the commonalities as well as differences. To better understand these viewpoints an examination of both deontological and teleological views will be necessary, and examples will be given for clarification. Deontological theory is the notion that the morality of an action is determined by adherence to a set of rules or a sense of duty, or simply put an action is morally right if the reason you acted that way was based on what is morally right. There are many branches of deontological theory. …show more content…
Kant taught that the most important thing in judging morality is a person’s will. Kantian deontology teaches that an act is moral if it is done deliberately and with the right motive. Kantian deontological theory considers humanity to be an end in itself and bases morality on the outcome if everyone were to act in that way. In other words before you act consider the repercussions if everyone were to act in that way. This is further explained by the categorical imperative which is a sense of duty that applies to all people. This version of deontology takes into account intent but does not take into account the consequences of that action. The most important criteria according to Kant is the universality of the action. If a person acts in a certain way then it is imperative that action should be capable of being universal law and all other people should be able to act in that …show more content…
Let’s consider a hypothetical situation in which if a person tells a lie one hundred people will be saved from death. When judgment of morality is made based on strict deontology, or moral absolutism, the outcome is not part of the equation. The only thing that is considered is the act itself, in this instance, telling a lie. Because telling a lie goes against natural law this would be viewed as an immoral action and the moral thing to do would be to tell the truth even if ultimately this lead to the death of one hundred people. Even if the person lies intending to save the lives of many it would be considered an immoral action. This does not take into account intent. If the person lies but believes he is telling the truth then by this standard he would still be morally

Related Documents