Teleological And Deontological Ethical Thought

Teleological And Deontological Ethical Thought

•    A distinction is frequently made between deontological and teleological perspectives when examining various normative theories. 
1.    Deontology is an ethical theory or perspective based on duty or obligation (from the Greek deon, meaning "duty"). A deontological, or duty-based, theory holds that certain moral duties or obligations are self-evident, possessing intrinsic value in and of themselves and requiring no further justification.
•    Moral actions are judged based on their inherent rightness or wrongness, rather than on their goodness or the primary consideration of consequences. 
•    Strong deontological theories, in which goodness is irrelevant to the rightness of an act, are distinguished from weak deontological theories, in which goodness is relevant but not the primary determinant of moral rightness, according to Holmes (1993).
•    Deontological theories include Kant's philosophy, divine command theory, and some rights-based theories.
Teleological And Deontological Ethical Thought
2.    Teleology, on the other hand (from the Greek telos, which means "goal" or "end"), is an ethical perspective that asserts that the rightness or wrongness of actions is solely determined by the goodness or badness of their consequences.
•    When actions are considered in isolation from their consequences, they are morally neutral, according to a strict teleological interpretation. Teleological theories include ethical egoism and utilitarianism.
•    While these descriptions appear to distinguish between theoretical perspectives, the two are not mutually exclusive. 
•    Consequentialist and non-consequentialist are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably. Some rights-based theories and theories of justice are consequentialist in that they are concerned with outcomes while also claiming the inherent rightness of human rights and justice obligations. 
•    Similarly, both virtue ethics and natural law formulations seek to achieve human happiness and fulfilment, but in relation to deontological assumptions about human character and/or rationally derived obligations.


•    The term "deontology" comes from the Greek words "deon" which means "obligation" or "duty," and "logos" which means "speaking" or "study," and was first used in this context in C. D. Broad's book "Five Types of Ethical Theory" in 1930. (1887 - 1971).
•    Deontology (or Deontological Ethics) is an approach to ethics that emphasises the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, rather than the rightness or wrongness of the actions' consequences (Consequentialism) or the actor's character and habits (Virtue Ethics)
•    Because Deontologists believe that ethical rules bind people to their duty, it is sometimes referred to as "duty-based" or "obligation-based" ethics.
•    As a result, a Deontologist considers a choice to be "right" if it complies with a moral standard: Right takes precedence over Good.
•    For example, if someone proposed killing everyone currently living on land that could not support agriculture in order to achieve a world without starvation, a Deontologist would argue that this world without starvation was a bad state of affairs because of how it was achieved.
•    A Consequentialist would (or could) argue that the end result justifies the drastic action. A Virtue Ethicist would be concerned with neither, but rather with whether or not the perpetrator acted in accordance with noble virtues.
•    Moral Absolutism (the belief that some actions are wrong regardless of the consequences) is sometimes compatible with deontology, but not always. Immanuel Kant, for example, famously argued that lying is always wrong. Others, such as W.D. Ross (1877 - 1971), believe that the consequences of an action, such as lying, can make it the right thing to do at times (Moral Relativism).
•    The most common forms of deontology hold that some choices cannot be justified by their consequences—that some choices are morally forbidden regardless of how morally good their consequences are. Agents cannot make certain wrongful choices, even if doing so reduces the number of those exact kinds of wrongful choices, according to common deontological accounts of morality (because other agents will be prevented from engaging in similar wrongful choices).
•    The conformity of a choice with a moral norm is what makes it right for deontologists. Each moral agent must simply follow these rules. For such deontologists, the Right is said to take precedence over the Good in this sense.
•    If an action is not in accordance with the law, it may not be carried out, no matter how beneficial it may be. Deontologists, on the other hand, frequently combine non-consequentialist obligations with non-consequentialist permissions. That is, certain actions can be right even if they do not maximise good outcomes, because their rightness is based on their enactment of certain norms (here, of permission and not of obligation). 
•    Such actions are permissible, not just in the weak sense that they are not obligatory, but also in the strong sense that they are permissible even if they produce less desirable outcomes than their alternatives. Actions that are strongly permitted include those that are required, but also (and perhaps more importantly) actions that are not required. For deontologists, it is this last feature of such actions that justifies a separate mention.
•    Separating Agent-centred Deontological Theories from Patient-centred Deontological Theories is a common way to distinguish between various deontological theories of ethics. 
•    Agent-centred Theories are concerned with the responsibilities and obligations of agents. Patient-centred Theories, on the other hand, are concerned with individual rights.


•    According to agent-centred theories, each of us has permissions and obligations that provide us with agent-relative reasons to act. An agent-relative reason, like an agent-neutral reason, is an objective reason; neither should be confused with the subjective reasons that underpin psychological explanations of human behaviour.
•    Agent-centred theories prescribe agent-related responsibilities. To put it another way, different people may have different responsibilities. 
•    A parent's responsibilities to their children may differ from those of other parents. Patient-centred Theories strive to be agent-neutral, recognising that everyone has certain rights.
•    Agent-relative obligations (obligations that apply to specific people) are at the heart of Agent centred Theories, as opposed to agent neutral obligations (obligations that apply to everyone). 
•    It is an agent relative obligation for me to keep promises that I make. I am not obligated to keep promises made by others; however, I am obligated to keep promises made by myself.
•    In these theories, the obligations are focused on specific obligations that agents have. They include special responsibilities to one's own friends, children, parents, country, promises, and possessions, among other things, that others may not have.
•    As a result, an agent-relative obligation is an obligation for a specific agent to take or refrain from taking some action; however, because the obligation is agent-relative, it does not obligate anyone else to support that action. 
Teleological And Deontological Ethical Thought
•    Agent-centred theories and the agent-relative reasons that underpin them not only instruct each of us to do or not do certain things; they also instruct me to treat my friends, family, and promises in specific ways because they are mine, even if neglecting them would allow me to do more for others' friends, families, and promises.
•    The concept of agency is at the heart of agent-centred theories (and their agent-relative reasons). The idea is that morality is deeply personal in the sense that each of us is responsible for keeping our own moral house in order. It is our responsibility to keep our own agency free of moral blemishes.
•    Intent focused Theories and Action focused Theories are the two types of Agent centred Deontological Theories. Obligations based on one's intent, thought, and mental states are included in Intent Focused Theories. One acts with specific intentions in mind. 
•    On the other hand, action-focused theories include obligations based on one's actions, or what one does. Certain actions must or must not be taken. Another set of theories contends that our obligations are contingent on both our actions and our intentions when taking those actions. All of these, however, are focused on our responsibilities as agents.
•    The idea behind intent-focused theories is that you should not act with bad intentions. It's worth noting that the moral agent's intent is the most important factor to consider when committing an act. 
•    Attempting to kill someone and failing is generally wrong, but killing someone accidentally when you didn't mean to isn't always wrong. However, we must prohibit situations in which you intend for something bad to happen while allowing for situations in which bad effects are anticipated but not intended or used to create good effects. Many of these theories employ the Doctrine of Double Effect as a solution.
•    The Doctrine of Double Effect is widely credited to St. Thomas Aquinas, and it states that you can intend an action with both good and bad effects if several conditions are met: the act is not inherently bad, the agent's intent is to produce the good effect rather than the bad, the bad effect cannot cause the good (they must both be caused by the action), and the good effect must be the primary effect.
•    The act, the will, and a causal link between the act and the will are all required in action-based theories. So, if torturing someone is wrong, someone must be tortured (the act), someone must choose to take a specific action (the will), and that action must be the one that causes someone to be tortured (the causal link).


•    Patient-centred deontology is often expressed as focusing on agent-neutral reasons, or rights, which everyone has, just as agent-centred theories of deontology focused on agent relative reasons, which are specific to each agent. These theories are based on rights rather than obligations. All deontological theories centred on patients are properly described as theories based on people's rights.
•    Patient-centred theories might assert that everyone has the right not to be murdered, rather than saying that it is permissible for a specific agent to murder someone. 
•    Patient-centred theories focus on the rights of those affected, or victims, while agent-centred theories focus on the obligations of the actors in situations.
•    We can distinguish between core and discrete rights in these theories. Discrete rights are those specific rights that are either explicitly stated or derived from more general core rights (such as the right not to be used as a means to an end). Core rights are general rights from which other rights are derived (such as the right not to be used as a means to an end) (such as having a right to not be tortured)
•    There are numerous theories that could be classified as patient-centred ethical theories. They differ significantly in how they frame these rights. 
•    The Paradox of Deontology, which deals with competing rights, is a particular point of contention.

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