Deontological Ethics Essay

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Deontological Theory of Ethics


     When ethics is explored, and an inquiry into its origin and sources are explored to find definition and clarity around ethics, one initial discovery will be that two main views on ethical behavior emerge. One of those theories is the deontological theory of ethics. Ethics and ethical decisions surround themselves around what is the goodness or badness of any particular choice or decision. When exploring ethics, it is necessary to explore what are the different thoughts surrounding what framework is used to weigh this goodness and badness. Deontological Theory explores this very point.

Defining Deontological Theory

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Kant's theories state that actions are only morally right when they are done out of duty. Kant describes these moral duties as unchanging and views them as laws for human behavior and conduct. Kant also holds that being a free being is essential to the ability to think rationally, which allows for morality. Without freedom, there cannot be moral thought and the person cannot be held responsible for acting ethically. (Action 1970)
     Kant's Categorical Imperative is a command formulated to express a general requirement for a moral law. It is this moral law that is used to judge the inherent morality of an action. The Categorical Imperative has three main components that are required in order to judge an act as morally right. The three requirements are: (1) all persons can be willed to do it, (2) it enables us to treat others as the ends and not as means to our own selfish ends, and (3) it allows us to see others as mutual law makers. (Action 1970)
     Kant is one of the primary father's of deontological theorists. His theories are considered to be rule based. In other words, by using the Categorical Imperative, it was possible to create rules by which to guide human behavior. This would provide the ability for an individual to apply thought to a moral choice, and come up with the correct decision not by

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