Deontology Will but Utilitarianism Will Not
My brother once introduced a song to me that described a scene so gruesome and so cruel that I could not help but shed a tear or two. This particular song was based on an experience by rapper, Immortal Technique. He encountered this in his youth when he was swept away by a lifestyle that promised riches and lavish things at a very expensive cost, the life of a gangster. The song starts off with a solemn tune and then moves on by telling the tale of Billy, a feeble young man desperate to prove he was evil; but what ever the case may be his greed over took him and he then decides to roll with the big thugs. Unfortunately, for Billy at least the crew he wants to be a part of doubts him and decides to test him; his test is that he must help rape a young woman and then kill her. Billy now has a choice either return to his old lifestyle or become a real gangster and be part of the crew, and once again his greed overtakes him and he decides to go through with it. They find a woman going home coming from work, they decide that she is their target. They take her to the top of the roof under the dark-lonely night and proceed to brutally rape her, one after the other, and in the end Billy finds out that this forsaken woman is his own mother and doesn't hesitate to kill himself there after (Immortal). Under the principle of utilitarianism this rape will be justified as the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Since there were more people deriving pleasure than pain the gruesome rape of Billy's mother is justified only because the ratio of happiness versus pain is three to one. Is this fair, or should there be a better way to think about things?
Given the same scenario how would deontology manage this act? Deontology is based behind the idea “act in such a way where you always treat humanity whether in your own person or in the person of any another, never simply as means, but at the same time as an end” (O'Neill). In fewer words deontology would never justify an act so cruel and would absolutely never treat a human being as an object or mere means, but they will be treated with respect. Since the Billy's mother was treated as an object and not as the person she really is; this act is thus, forbidden. Although both theories have their pros and cons the theory of Deontology stands as the better theory because it will, for the most part, cause good not harm to the human race.
Nobody is ever perfect and this applies for theories as well. To verify this statement a pros and cons list is preferable. Beginning with utilitarianism an exceptional thing that can come from this ideology is the fact that most people can agree with the common truth: a good life is often associated with happiness, which is true right? To be happy or to establish pleasure should be the number one goal in life and if people could be happy their entire lifetime, and experience no pain why wouldn't they? Theoretically speaking, if...