Deontoloical Action Taking

Deontological ethics or deontology is the normative ethical position that judges the morality of an action based on the action’s adherence to a rule or rules. It is sometimes described as “duty” or “obligation” or “rule”-based ethics, because rules “bind you to your duty.”

Kantianism. Immanuel Kant was the founder of this philosophy. I have spoken before about the conjecture of both Immanuel Kant (Kantian) and John Stuart Mill (Utilitarian). These philosophies were written in the late 15th century and early 16th century. There is a lack of perceptionistic acceptance on behalf of both Kant and Mill. Both give indication to the perception of each individual, yet they speak of a correlation in the perception of good and bad.

Both Kant and Mill have manifested intricate belief systems based on their individual perception of good and bad. The biggest difference is the Deontological view of lying versus the Utilitarian view. Deontology speaks of an individuals duty to take good actions, however, this action must be taken on the basis of the following:

  • Do the right thing.
  • Do it because it’s the right thing to do.
  • Don’t do wrong things.
  • Avoid them because they are wrong.
  • It is wrong to kill innocent people
  • It is wrong to steal
  • It is wrong to tell lies
  • It is right to keep promises

Looking at the above “rules of duty”, consider this example:

“…the philosopher Kant thought that it would be wrong to tell a lie in order to save a friend from a murderer.”

With the rules we have applied we can derive that telling a lie is wrong, while killing a non-innocent/guilty man is acceptable in the eyes of Kant. This creates a dilemma, consider now that this situation is a reality you must deal with. The Deontological rules of duty state, you may no lie and you may no kill an innocent man. When is the innocence broken? Is it when the murderer has killed? Or can he be considered guilty before the act has been committed?


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