Ethical Theory : Ethical Theories Essay

813 Words Apr 28th, 2015 4 Pages
Ethical theories aim to make moral reflection clear, organized, and accessible. Ethical theories create a framework that articulates the moral principles that could provide a justification and guidance for one’s actions. Ethical theories can be applied to form a complex formula that relate engineering ethics to the moral principles. All ethical theories represent an altruistic behavior toward not only humans but also all living things. This paper seeks to provide a thorough knowledge of three ethical theories and explain their role in ethical decision making in engineering.
Deontology or duty (deon) ethics says that the right actions are those required by duties to respect the autonomy of individuals. It focuses on the universal principles behind actions rather than actions’ results. That is, there are things that are mala in se, or evil in themselves apart from their consequences. Essentially, all deontological systems argue that the ethical values cannot be reduced to measurable consequences.
In contrast, utilitarianism is the consequential moral theory that defines the right action as the one that maximizes the overall good. If numerical values can be given for actions, actions that produce good consequences are given a positive value, and the greater good the higher is the value. To calculate the goodness of a particular act, the sum of the good and bad consequences can be taken over all the people affected and the consequences produced by that act. The value of the…

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