Difference Between Utilitarian Theory And Capital Punishment

817 Words 4 Pages
Almost every person in the world is familiar with the term capital punishment. Capital punishment is simply punishment by death. The inmate would have had to commit a capital crime or a crime that would justify the killing. In 2015 alone there have been 27 inmates who have died by lethal injection. Some agree with capital punishment while others feel no person has the right to take someone’s life. I will be explaining how the retributive theory and utilitarian theory both agree with capital punishment to a point, but have very different viewpoints on the reasons for doing it. While also presenting theories that are against capital punishment such as the virtue theory. Based on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy the retributive theory …show more content…
An eye for an eye is a phrase used with retributive theory. Another theory that also is for capital punishment is the utilitarian theory. For a utilitarian there reasoning for capital punishment is somewhat different. They feel that capital punishment is justified by a purported ability to achieve future social benefits, such as crime reduction. The killing of a person is meant to deter future criminal from committing the same act because they can also be put to death. The utilitarian theory focuses on making moral decisions based on the greatest good for the greatest number of people. While both of these theories are for capital punishment one theory that is somewhat against it is the virtue theory of ethics. The virtue theory “is an approach to Ethics that emphasizes an individual 's character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves”. The biggest difference between the virtue theory and the retributive theory is that there approach to capital punishment would be based on the persons character and not crime that a person committed. One example would be if a man killed his father for hitting his mother a retributionist would say he should be killed since he killed his …show more content…
In contrast if he was already a criminal they would consider it. Since the virtue theory bases its decision on the person morals it’s very hard to see this as a suitable way determine if capital punishment is right. Out of the three theory’s I presented to you I will explain my own opinion on capital punishment and which theory best fits it. First of all I agree that capital punishment should exist. I feel this way because there are crimes in this would that if anybody thought of doing that being sentenced to death should cross there mind. The utilitarian theory is a perfect example of how I feel capital punishment should be looked at. I feel this way, because of the reasons behind the theory. Since it is forward-looking and hopes to deter further criminals from committing the same act it shows that the main focus is not the killing itself, but the future criminals who might commit the same act. Anyone can give their own opinion on which theory is morally right, but when it comes down to which theory is best for society utilitarian theory is by far the best. With the retributive theory its only focus is the inmate and the act he/she committed. There is no intention of preventing future criminals from committing the same

Related Documents