Philosophy: Deontology vs. Utilinarianism

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The word deontology comes from the Greek word “deontos” which means duty (Adams, 2011). Deontology can be defined as doing what is morally correct regardless of the final results as long as they abide by the moral principles. Certain actions, like lying, are never allowed regardless if its outcomes benefit the purpose and no harm is caused. The theory states that whether an action is ethical and follows the moral rules, depends on the intentions behind the decisions (Pieper, 2008). So for an action to be “good” and morally right, it must have been performed at goodwill and abide to moral values.
Immanuel Kant was a renowned philosopher known for his theories and his deontological way of thinking. Deontology was also known as kantianism because of him. According to Kant, even though there are times when people don’t want to suffice what is right, they are morally compelled to do this because it’s their responsibility to mankind (Stringer, 2013). He deeply believed that actions should be founded on understanding and not emotions, because emotions are not sufficient to arrive to a morally correct conclusion. His theory states that there are two types of duties: the hypothetical imperative and the categorical imperative. The hypothetical imperative or “if-then” duties are optional, but lead to a specific goal (Rich, 2008a). For instance, if a nurse performs a head-to-toe assessment at the beginning of her shift and at the end, then she can determine if there has been any changes in her patient's condition during her shift. The categorical imperative duties are unconditional and absolute. These are exercised when moral situations are involved. Kant believes that there are universal laws that everyone must follow in this type of si...

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