Essay on Ethical Theory : Ethical Theories

1919 Words Oct 12th, 2016 8 Pages
Consequentialist ethical theories maintain that consequences are the basis of moral evaluation. In other words, our decisions are considered either right or wrong due to their consequences (Shaw, 5). Followers of consequentialism support this premise by adhering to four essential principles. First, consequentialists abstain from disclosing on what is considered to be ‘morally valuable’. Agents of consequentialism never reference a moral framework which prescribes proper deeds, instead, they simply identify the morally correct action. Second, consequentialism claims that understanding what is ‘morally valuable’ is a foremost priority. The ethical theory dictates that before one is able to comprehend what is ‘morally valuable’, or morally good, before determining what decisions are right or wrong. Third, as alluded to before, consequences are the only factors which can determine whether an action is just. Lastly, consequentialists define the right act as being the one which the consequences promote moral value and demote disvalue. Agents of consequentialism aim to act in favor of the morally good they support and devalue the ‘morally evil’ they perceive. The first impression one take away from consequentialism is that the ethical theories place great emphasis on working toward what is right. A question regarding how consequentialists define what is right then arises. According to Philip Pettit, there are two components which may assist in one’s understanding of how…

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