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Deontological Ethics
DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS  Derived from the Greek word “deon” meaning “duty” Deontology is a category of normative ethical theories that encompasses any theory which is primarily concerned with adherence to certain rules or duties.  Consequences do NOT matter! Intention is relevant. I am acting a certain way only if I act for the right reason.
In other words… Deontological theories hold that actions that are morally right are those in accordance with certain rules, duties, rights, or maxims. Actions can be morally good required, permitted or forbidden.
Examples of Deontological Theories  Divine Command Theory “The Golden Rule” Natural law  & natural right theories  The non-aggression principle  Kantian Ethics (categorical imperative)
How does deontology  differ from virtue ethics  Act Guidance vs. character guidance  Deontology and consequentialism provide act guidance, that is, they tell us what sorts of actions we should take rather then what sort of people we ought to become  (Character Guidance)
The Competition: Consequentialism CONSEQUENTIALISM THEORIES   ,[object Object],DEONTOLOGICAL THEORIES Hold that an action’s rightness or wrongness depends on its conformity to a certain moral norm,regardless of the consequence, I.e. “Right vs. Good”
A familiar example: “the golden rule” Also known as the ethic of reciprocity, this famous cross-cultural maxim states: “do to others as you want them to do to you.” May seem like a useful maxim at first, but it has serous limitations. Depends on the mental state of the moral agent rather than the person being acted upon.
Agent-centered deontology  Theories focused on the duties of the moral agent (the person acting. Rather than the rights of the person being acted upon (patient-centered theories). Agent centered theories can be further divided into those that focus on the mental state of the agent and those that focus on the nature of the agent's actions.
Agent-centered theories: mental states An action is wrong or right because of the intentions that motivated it  Catholic doctrine of double effect: We are categorically forbidden for intending to cause evils )such as killing the innocent), even in order to prevent other evils, However, it is acceptable to cause evils unintentionally, even if we foresee them as effects of our actions.
Doctrine of double effect: Example ,[object Object],[object Object]
Agent-centered religious ethics  Old Testaments law. It is wrong to work on the Sabbath because God say so. If I am an atheist who doesn’t work on the Sabbath because my employer gives me the day off, then my behavior is not really morally right because I’m not acting for the right reason.
Patient centered theories
The trolley thought experiment:
Deontological Answers:
Leanings from deontology
More on Deontological Ethics Application: Personal  Duties Vs. Professional Duties
Immanuel Kant: Poster Child of Deontology
The Categorical Imperative
Categorical Imperative in Practice
Ethical Scenario
In summary
Deontological ethics 3.2

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Deontological ethics 3.2

  • 2. DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS Derived from the Greek word “deon” meaning “duty” Deontology is a category of normative ethical theories that encompasses any theory which is primarily concerned with adherence to certain rules or duties. Consequences do NOT matter! Intention is relevant. I am acting a certain way only if I act for the right reason.
  • 3. In other words… Deontological theories hold that actions that are morally right are those in accordance with certain rules, duties, rights, or maxims. Actions can be morally good required, permitted or forbidden.
  • 4. Examples of Deontological Theories Divine Command Theory “The Golden Rule” Natural law & natural right theories The non-aggression principle Kantian Ethics (categorical imperative)
  • 5. How does deontology differ from virtue ethics Act Guidance vs. character guidance Deontology and consequentialism provide act guidance, that is, they tell us what sorts of actions we should take rather then what sort of people we ought to become (Character Guidance)
  • 6.
  • 7. A familiar example: “the golden rule” Also known as the ethic of reciprocity, this famous cross-cultural maxim states: “do to others as you want them to do to you.” May seem like a useful maxim at first, but it has serous limitations. Depends on the mental state of the moral agent rather than the person being acted upon.
  • 8. Agent-centered deontology Theories focused on the duties of the moral agent (the person acting. Rather than the rights of the person being acted upon (patient-centered theories). Agent centered theories can be further divided into those that focus on the mental state of the agent and those that focus on the nature of the agent's actions.
  • 9. Agent-centered theories: mental states An action is wrong or right because of the intentions that motivated it Catholic doctrine of double effect: We are categorically forbidden for intending to cause evils )such as killing the innocent), even in order to prevent other evils, However, it is acceptable to cause evils unintentionally, even if we foresee them as effects of our actions.
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  • 11. Agent-centered religious ethics Old Testaments law. It is wrong to work on the Sabbath because God say so. If I am an atheist who doesn’t work on the Sabbath because my employer gives me the day off, then my behavior is not really morally right because I’m not acting for the right reason.
  • 13. The trolley thought experiment:
  • 16. More on Deontological Ethics Application: Personal Duties Vs. Professional Duties
  • 17. Immanuel Kant: Poster Child of Deontology