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Teleological Ethical Theories Vs. Deontological Ethical Theories By: Jesse Coleman

1550 words - 6 pages

Teleological ethical theories vs. Deontological ethical theories By: Jesse Coleman There are two theories that have generally been used to analyze ethical questions. They are teleological ethics and deontological ethics.There are similarities and differences between the two that I will explain in more detail, but first I will define a few terms that need explaining. The telo in teleological is translated as ends or goals. So in essence teleological ethics are decided by the ends not the actions that bring you to them. On the other hand deon in deontological is best translated as rule or duty. The end is not of importance, but it?s the actions that bring you there. This ethics theory uses a set of moral rules to guide actions.Next I will define and give examples for the specific theories. I will look at two teleological ethical theories, the first being Thomas Hobbes?s egoism theory. Hobbes believed that individuals were looking out for his or her own good. He said that in any situation the individual would choose the side that is in their best interest. Hobbes also said that no act is solely done for others there is always a personal motive involved. For example most people do not say anything when a cashier undercharges them, but if they are overcharged they always point it out to the cashier. A major problem to Hobbes?s ethical theory is that he took a part of human conduct and applied to all of human conduct. Another problem with his theory is that there is no way to prove if someone is acting in their best interest of if that person is honestly trying to help someone else, so there is no test for the egoism theories.Another teleological theory is utilitarianism derived by Jeremy Bentham. Bentham stated that, ?Mankind is governed by pleasure and pain?. He says are actions are based around what causes the greatest pleasure and the least pain. He basically says that we should look to do the most good for the most people in a society or as a whole. His theory is explained by his Calculus of Felicity. He says we should use this to judge which action is the best. Bentham said that things like intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propriquity or remoteness, fecundity, and purity of pleasure should be judged to decide if we should undertake an action. Bentham also says that all of these feelings can be measured by a certain quantity. A major argument against utilitarianism is that there is a possibility of something terrible being justified because it benefits the whole in the long run. It leaves the possibility for individual rights to be trampled. Another argument would be, how long down the road most you look to decide if a decision is for the greater good.John Stuart Mill says that if we base are judgements on the idea of pleasure and pain that we will choose base pleasure at the expense of higher intellect. For example, if you have the chose between going to the OLE Miss football game on Saturday or studying for a Human Anatomy test...

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