Deontological and Teleological Ethical Systems

There are several philosophical systems that have been studied and explained by great philosophers for many centuries, among them epistemology philosophy, logic philosophy and ethics philosophy. The main aim of this paper is to cover the ethics part of philosophy. It will compare and contrast the two main ethical systems and highlight the seven sub ethical systems that fall under the two main ethical systems categories with relevant examples.

Ethical philosophy or moral philosophy is the study of the different principal essentials of the human life. These essentials involve understanding what is right and wrong, good and evil in reference to human life.

Analysis of the issues
There are quite a few sub ethical systems that have been studied, however all these have been placed under two main braches deontological and teleological ethical systems.

Karen (2008), states that deontological ethical system is based on the moral acts on the basis of ones duty or inherent nature (natural nature of human being). The sole purpose of deontological ethical systems is to find an answer behind the occurrence of an action or statement to substantiate why the act or statement occurred. Another principle of deontological ethical system is that as long as the actions are morally right they are free from the positive or negative outcome the actions  statements might cause.

On the contrary, the teleological ethical system, also known as the consequential ethics uses the action taken or statement said to determine how true or false, wrong or right, the action or statement might be (Karen, 2008). The action that one takes is the one that determines whether the action was right or wrong.

It is therefore safe to state that the major difference between these two ethical systems is the way the goodness and wrongness of an action or statement is determined.

As indicated in the paper, there are several sub ethical systems that fall either under deontological or teleological ethical systems and they are ethical formalism, ethics of virtue, utilitarianism, ethics of care, religion, egoism and natural law.

Ethical formalism  The final result is what determines how moral an action or statement was. The purpose and intention of a persons action or statement is what forms the basis of ethical formalism. For example in case of an emergency, a doctor may unknowingly give a wrong prescription to a patient in an effort to save his  her life. However the patient dies because he  she was allergic to the life saving prescription administered to him  her. Even though the intention of the doctor was to save a patients life, the outcome was the unexpected (Karen 2008). This falls under deontological ethical system.

Ethics of virtue Ethics of virtue address the question of what is a good person and not what is a good action (Pollock 2010). This is because for an action to be positive, the person who does the action must be righteous too. Case in point the actions of a righteous religious leader are always good and vice versa. Virtues of ethics can be classified under the teleological ethical system.

Utilitarianism According to Pollock (2010), the consequence of an action determines whether the action is good or bad. She further states that human beings always strive to have total happiness and minimize pain and suffering. However, this system has had many critics because of its approach to life. For instance, one may steal food to feed oneself because they are hungry broke and have no other means to obtain food. Is it bad or good This falls under the teleological ethical system.

Ethics of care Ethics of care, which is teleological, advocates for good to all people in order to satisfy their desires no matter their status in the society. It doesnt choose between a bad person and a good person. It is mostly applied by the soft and kind hearted members of the society such as women. Illustration A patient suffers from terminal illness, the nurse knows the patient will die soon but still cares for the patient whole heartedly until the last minute.

Religion Religion and ethics are closely intertwined, however Jenkins (2003) has observed that doing that which is immoral is not as a result of Gods will but rather not using common knowledge and lack of conscience. For instance, being sent to jail for shop lifting is not Gods will but it is as a result of one failing to know that shoplifting is a criminal offence and against the law. Religion is ones believe and faith and incase one does something immoral, he  she should not blame religion and God for it. Religion can be categorized under the deontological ethical system.

Egoism As a teleological theory, this ethic mainly focuses on the self-centeredness of the human nature (Pollock 2008). In addition, there are three different types of egoism ethical, minimalist and psychological all of which play different roles in the ethical systems. For example, an individual may use crude means to get promotion or make someone lose hisher job in an organization for the sake of self gain.

Natural law A natural law as part of the ethical system only applies to natural crime. Natural crimes on the other hand are crimes which are not illegal as per the constitution of a nation but they are considered morally wrong by the society (Karen 2008). A good example is gambling.

The deontological ethical system is the system that matches my beliefs and way of life. This is because most decisions that I make in life are based on my instincts and not whether they are good or bad. The final outcome is what will make me know if the decision I made was the correct one or not.


Post a Comment