ETHICS Deontological theory Student: Professor: Course: Ethics and Society Date: February 09, 2002 Historically ethics was studied from a philosophical aspect and viewed as the science of morals. Ethics had been defined as the principles of moral conduct that govern our behavior. Our ethical behavior is developed from various factors, to include our environment, family and beliefs. The origins of ethics can be traced back to the fifth century, BC (Banner, 1968, pg. 67).
Plato, Socrates and Aristotle are among the early teachers of ethics.
These teachers along with many other philosophers developed and taught numerous ethical theories based on their beliefs. Ethical theories that have evolved through the years include, but are not limited to: SS The Greek ethics of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle focused on moral virtues. SS The Christian ethics of St. Augustine focused on divine revelation. SS The consequential ethical theory of Bentham theorized that the consequences of one’s behavior are crucial when making moral decisions. SS The non-consequential ethics of Kant which viewed an individual’s duty and moral obligation as paramount when faced with an ethical challenge.
Contemporary philosophers define ethics as a philosophical examination of the principles of right versus wrong, and view morality as the practice of these principles (Souryal, 1998, pg. 17).
... a sharp divide between moral theory and applied ethics (e.g., medical or business ethics). For instance, in order ... it amounts to the denial of universal moral principles.Ý Also, it implies that a culture cannot ... actually acting immorally.Ý Many think that the ethical egoist has misunderstood the concept of morality ... the gods).Ý This view of morality is known as Divine Command Theory.Ý The upshot is ...
The study of modern ethics and human behavior is a continuum of the examination of many of the same theories studied by earlier philosophers. One such theory is the de ontological theory.
This ethical theory is based an individual’s actions and not the consequences of the actions. Deontological is derived from the word, the Greek word meaning duty or obligation. There are two sub-categories of the de ontological theory. The “monistic” sub-category bases morality solely on one virtue.
Examples of the monistic category of ethical theories are hedonism and Kant’s duty theory. In the theory of hedonism, pleasure is the only good, and in Kant’s theory on ethics, one’s duty or moral obligation is the sole virtue or value of goodness. The “multiple” sub-category of ethical theories has a minimum of two values of goodness, such as a woman marrying an intelligent and handsome man. The multiple values of goodness are wealth and good looks. (Souryal, 1998, pg. 67-68).
Deontologicalists believe that the consequences of our behavior are insignificant and is not a factor to considered when confronted with an ethical dilemma. Proponents of de ontological ethics do not consider consequences as important when determining whether an individual is moral or immoral. Morality is based solely on the person’s action. Several ethical theories are de ontological theories. 1.
Immanuel Kant’s Duty/ Good Will Theory: This theory is a non-consequential theory because morality is based on duty and moral obligation. If one acts on the bases of duty than he / she is a moral individual, regardless of the consequences of his or her behavior. 2. Divine Command Theory: This theory is categorized as a de ontological theory because the premises is that there is a God and one set of divine rules. If an individual adheres to the divine rules than he / she is morally and ethically correct, regardless of the consequences of his / her actions. 3.
Sir William David Ross’ Prima Facie Duties Theory: Ross believed that it was important to consider consequences when faced with a moral dilemma However, like Kant, he did not believe that consequences were the sole determination as to whether an action was right or wrong. Ross’ theory is considered a de ontological theory because he believed that there is a set of rules that all people must obey in order to meet their moral obligations, regardless of the consequences. 4. The Theory of Hedonism: This theory views happiness as an empirical fact. It views pleasure as “the ultimate virtue” (Souryal, 1998, pg.
De ontological moral theory is a Non-Consequentialism moral theory. While believe the ends always justify the means, assert that the rightness of an action is not simply dependent on maximizing the good, if that action goes against what is considered moral. It is the inherent nature of the act alone that determines its ethical standing. For example, imagine a situation where there are four ...
This theory suggests that the act of pleasing oneself outweigh the consequences of one’s action. Hedonism meets the criteria of a de ontological theory because the individual’s action is based on his / her happiness; the results of his actions are inconsequential. It emphasizes the action and not the consequences. All de ontological theories focus on the acts and not the consequences.
This characteristic is a major weakness in de ontological theories. Having no regard for consequences is problematic to any civilize society. The theory encourages individuals to commit certain acts that will inevitably produce negative, harmful or inappropriate results. Recently, I viewed an example of this on the television program, “The Practice.” The legal ethical code prevented the law firm from violating the client-lawyer confidentiality. However, not to violate the code / law meant that an eight-year-old boy would die. De ontologist would argue that the lawyer’s action should be based on the legal code of ethics and not the consequences of his / her action.
Subsequently, if this philosophy was adhered to an innocent life would be lost. Another flaw in this theory is the lack of flexibility. When faced with ethical dilemmas, an individual should be given the opportunity to consider all options, including the consequences, in order to reach a sound and moral decision. As law enforcement agents, we must consider the consequences of our actions. Ex. The Division’s policy is inmates will not be released wearing state clothing.
On many occasions, I had to be flexible, disregard this rule, and permit the inmates to leave the facility wearing state clothing. Many inmates do not have any clothing and cannot receive assistance from their families. The strengths of the de ontological theory include the presence of moral guidelines, a strong set of rules, and the ability to make moral decisions without the burden of weighing the consequences of that decision. An example where this would prove beneficial is when considering hiring additional staff to operate my facility. Currently, I do not have sufficient supervisory staff to ensure that the facility operates in the most efficient and effective manner.
Q. 1. Challenge DeVito, O’Rourke and O’Neill’s (2000) definition of culture using Richards (1999) or Anae (1997). How do DeVito et al look at membership within a culture and how does Richards see it differently? DeVito, O’Rourke and O’Neill’s (2000, p. 99) definition of culture is very limited when describing modern cultures of globalised human society. Perhaps where people are isolated to ...
The staffing plan submitted by me and approved by the commissioner indicates that I need to increase my supervisory staff by 43% in order to have minimum supervisory coverage. Kant would say it is the commissioner’s and my moral duty to assign additional supervisory staff to my facility. We would not consider the fact that we are currently in a hiring freeze and the negative impact this decision would have on the entire Division of Correction. If my supervisory staff had the authority to hire staff they would consider the hedonism approach-seek personal pleasure by hiring the additional staff, regardless of the consequences of their actions. Deontological theory has its positive components and its negative components. As law enforcement agents, we must adhere to our duties and moral obligations.
We must take a holistic approach when performing our duties and responsibilities. In addition to laws, rules regulations, and moral obligations, we must consistently make a concerted effort to consider the consequences of our actions. Additionally, we must consider all dimensions of a dilemma. In many instances, we must not only consider the rules but also factor in any mitigating circumstances.
We must consider the human relations aspect of our jobs. Finally, as rational and intelligent individuals we must focus on the beneficial aspects of all-ethical theories and attempt to minimize the non-beneficial components of each theory. We must analyze the ethical dilemma and demonstrate the courage and moral virtue to apply the correct ethical theory that would result in the morally correct resolution to any given ethical dilemma. It is imperative that as rational and thinking human beings we consider the ramification of our actions and conclusively make the morally correct decision when faced with an ethical dilemma in law enforcement. References Albert, Ethel, M. , Denis, Theodore C.
Honesty, promise keeping, free expression, and nonviolence, words written by Derek Bok, explaining his opinion on why it is important to teach basic moral values on the college level. It is quite evident that the teaching of ethics has been a controversial subject, but by no means does that allow it to go unheard. "Colleges and universities should be well aware of the moral messages contained in ...
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