Thursday, September 12, 2019

Kantianism and Utilitarianism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Kantianism and Utilitarianism - Essay Example On the other hand, Kant postulated his theory, Kantianism that offers ethical guidelines that help people in making ethical decisions. This paper will focus on evaluating a euthanasia case of Brophy, using utilitarianism and Kantianism. Brophy is a patient in persistent vegetative state, whose wife expressed the intent of carrying out passive euthanasia. Using the views from the two philosophers, this paper will examine whether euthanasia is an ethically right choice. Kantianism Immanuel Kant described a deontological ethical philosophy titled as ‘Kantianism’. He made it evident that in his view, duty, good will, and moral worth were critical aspects in determining of the action taken. He opined that duty was the only reason that should motivate an ethical action (Abel 24). According to him, human beings are moral agents that should use reasoning while making ethical decisions. In his view, one could only settle on morally worth decisions when guided by goodwill and duty . Kant embarked on defining the universal laws that determine the duty of making morally worthy decisions. He formulated two different versions of the categorical imperative. The first version was the universal law that defined that humans must act in a manner that qualifies categorization as universal. The second version of the categorical imperative highlighted that it was critical for humans to consider humanity as the end and refrain from regarding it as merely a means (58). Kant describes certain maxims that were critical as guidelines for making ethical decisions. These principles were the product and reason and were namely duty, goodwill, and categorical imperative. Therefore, the will determining why an individual carries out a certain action cannot receive underestimation in deontology. He advanced his views to highlight that the only way in which an individual could exhibit good will was through taking action out of duty. In Kant’s definition, good will denotes the ability of human beings in taking decisions based on principles. Acting in fulfillment of duty refers to actions motivated by good will and not feelings, emotions or self-interest. Duty and good will are moral principles that complement each other. Kant also highlighted that actions motivated by duty exhibited moral worth. He placed emphasis on the need for actions to depict a sense of moral worth (49). Moreover, Kant explained the value of dignity towards human beings. He emphasized that it is critical for people to act in ways that exhibit the dignity for others. Utilitarianism This moral theory is the work of philosopher Mill. The central principle of the ethical view is that actions taken should produce happiness and pleasure to a large number of people (59). The moral theory emphasizes the value of making considerations of the potential consequences of actions. Mill opined that an ethical decision is one that translated to a measure of happiness and pleasure to people. If more people found pleasure and happiness in the decision, then he considered the specific action more ethical. According to this moral theory, decisions should have a basis on the benefits they can offer to the society (68). His philosophy encourages the compromise of individual interest while focusing on promoting a higher sense of ‘common good’ in the society. The central principle of this moral theory is the ‘greatest happiness principle’. This principle implies that judgment of actions occurs according to the measure and proportion that they cause happiness or its reverse state (84). Mill opined that highly ethical actions cause a high level of happiness

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