The Opposing Philosophical Frameworks Consequentialism And Deontology

1347 Words Sep 29th, 2015 6 Pages
For many years there has been a debate between the opposing philosophical frameworks consequentialism and deontology. Some could argue that consequentialisms maxim of "the ends justify the means” as the determinant for a moral action may be inconsistent with other important aspects of value such as rights and allegiance. Others may argue that deontology is simply too restrictive and independent of the context in which it could be applied to. Although these two philosophical frameworks have various pros and cons associated with them, I will argue that consequentialism is the most flexible of the two frameworks.

Consequentialism portrays right action in terms of intrinsic value, stating that the “action is right if…its consequences would be at least as good as the consequences of any alternative action that the agent might instead perform”(Timmons 7). Essentially what this theory introduces is one in which the culmination an action can be seen as being morally justified in respect to the action itself. The most prominent form of consequentialism is utilitarianism. This theory, derived from Bentham and Mill states “Human...happiness...is intrinsically valuable and the rightness or wrongness of actions depends on how they affect happiness...taking into account both the short term and long term effects of the action on the welfare of who will be affected”(8). Although utilitarianism at times advocates self-sacrifice and honesty, which are virtues that we highly value in moral…

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