Any suggestions or corrections? For my philo class. Thanks
What ethical theory you think people should follow?
Since the ancient times, people have held a certain principle or standard to tell what actions are considered moral and not. Also, it is inevitable that people can have different views about what they think is the right principle for them to apply as they live in this planet. Surely, each of us has a principle to live by where we base our morality, but, in my view, following a single theory would be a better way for people to have unity and a common understanding of what morality is.
Among the different philosophical theories, I choose to follow Kant’s theory, which is deontology. It is a theory where the action's adherence to laws or rules is the basis of telling whether an act is considered moral or not. It is also called an “obligation-based” or “duty-based” ethics since rules bind you to your duty. Unlike the theory “utilitarianism” where the good end justifies the means, deontology focuses on what the right thing to do is and not to what is considered good. Deontological theories differ from utilitarian theories in some ways. The most significant difference to take note of is that utilitarianism aims at a goal of greatest happiness (or the best consequence) and justifies any act that achieves that goal. Deontological theories hold that some acts are always wrong, even if the act leads to an admirable outcome. Actions in deontology are always judged independently of their outcome.
On a personal note, utilitarianism (or consequentialism) is a self-centered theory that only focuses on the achievement of pleasure and happiness. Also, it only benefits a particular group or person, not considering the morality of the means of achieving it. If this is the case, this theory can be taken as "relative" since different people view happiness differently and they have their own definition of what the Good is. However, deontology is a much more ideal philosophical theory to base our morality since it includes specific rules where all people are obliged to follow. By adhering to such rules, we achieve order and that people would also have a clear basis of how to consider a certain act. Although, it is indeed true that actions in deontology and their outcome are independent from each other, I believe that doing the right thing based on a predetermined duty is necessary for people to achieve order and harmony.