The Instigator
Justinisthecrazy
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
SuperPerfundo
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Deontology is a better ethics system than Utilitarianism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Justinisthecrazy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/8/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 19,531 times Debate No: 7746
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

Justinisthecrazy

Pro

Rally it should be a Philopshical debate. Anyways I will take to the pro side saying that Deontology is better.

The con side will say that util is better

We will post cases in round 2

Refute/extend cases rest of rounds

Um, that's basically it. I hope for a challenging and interesting, intellectual debate.
SuperPerfundo

Con

Per your request, I'll wait to post my argument until the second round. If you could clarify both ethical systems as you wish to debate/ defend them, it would really help.

Thanks, looking forward to a good debate. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Justinisthecrazy

Pro

Defintions

Better: Having good qualities in a greater degree than another

moral: an ethical motive: motivation based on ideas of right and wrong

I will start with placing a case now

1)Utilitarianism is a bad system of ethics
Accoridng to the utilitarian principle, the correct action will produce the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. Sad to say though this priniciple has no eyes to see and no brains to know who are those who have less in life, and those who are disadvantaged and less gifted. Utilitarianism focuses on the majority regardless of socio-economic status. One could claim that government is ethically correct in demolishing some shanties to pave the way for a a beautification project specifically for a single visiting leader. Similarilly driving away native tribes to construct dams. While util sees these as benefits deontology sees these as unfair and unjust because they violate the basic rights of others.

Deontology is a non-consequentialist moral theory. While consequentialism ( utilitarianism) believe the ends always justify the means, deontologists assert that the rightness of an anction is not simply dependent on maximizing the good even if that action goes against what is ethically acceptable. For example, imagine a situation four critical conditions patients in a hospital who each need a different organ to survive. A healthy man comes into the hospital for a check-up. According to Util, not deontology the doctor should take that mans organs to save the others. Thus maximizing the good. However, we all know that is ethically wrong, and deontology contests this way of thinking by contending that it is immorral to kill an innoncent depsite the fact of maximizing the good. So, utilitarianism does not respect rights and is too permissive. The end in utilitairsm is destructive because it disregards all morals. It regires great sacrifice, even death as shown above to maximize the good.

Since utilitarianism is a consequetalist theory, which means that it stipulates morality from the outcome of an action. This consequentalism is then combinded with hedonism which posits happiness or pleasure as the ultimate worhtwhile pursuit. Therefore since only the consequences of an action matter and only happiness matters. that action is the one that results in the greatest sum of happiness is the moral one. slavery is a utilitarianism outcome. Slavery was good for the majority of the people since they were whites and owned slaves, it however was not so good for the slaves or the blacks at this time period. It violated their human rights but because it resulted in the most happiness it was a moral cause and justified. Under deontology this would not be the case.

DEONTOLOGY INTRO INTO CASE
Immanuel Kant attempted to discover the rational principle that would stand as a categorical imperative grounding all other ethical judgements. he said Always act in such a way that you can also will that the maxim of your action should become a universal law.
He also said Act as you treat humanity, both in your own person and in that of another always as an end and never merely as a means.

1) Duty
deontology judges morality by examing the nature of actions and the will of agents rather than the goals achieved. We cannot control the future and that is why we must shift away from consequences to duties. We are praised or blamed for actions within our control and that includes our willing, not our achieving. Kan did care for the outcomes of our actions because we all wish for good things. But kant insisted as far as moral evaluation our actions is concerned, consequences did not matter. Example of you have a moral duty not to kill, so killing is always wrong, so in the above example, it is wrong to kill the healthy man to save the four because killing him is wrong So, deontological ethics is strongest in many of the areas where utilitarianism is weakers. In an ethic system of duties the ends never justify the means and individual human rights are acknowledged and inviolable.

2) Universal Law
Always act in such a way that you can also will that the maxim of your action should become a universal law.
Basically if the rule governing our action is not capable of being universalized then it is unacceptable. Unviversability is not the same as universality. So, we must be able to do what we would allow or want others to do. Many would call this the "golden rule" they however are wrong for the golden rule claims if i want my feet tickled i must tickle your feet. This claims that if you cannot will everyone to follow the same rule you are following then the rule is not moral. Such as murder or killing of the innoncent in the story on utilitarianism doctor to save the four critical conditiion patients. WE are saying that it is ok to murder the innoncent. Obivisouly this is wrong and unethical becuase the innoncent should never be murdered.

3) Alternative Formula

Kan offered the forumale of the end in itself as Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another always at the time as as and end and never simply as a means.

This places mor emphasis on the value of human life as desrving our ultimate respect and thus proposes a more personal view of morality.

So, in light of this an example would be

Killing myself, would be to treat another person (me) merely as a means for getting money or avoiding pain and violating an imperfect duty by refusing to offer benevolence or just by neglecting my talents would be a failure to treat another person (me) as end in itself. Thus, we should derive our own self-interest as a generalized conern for all humans based off universal law.

4)Formula of Autonomy

So, when Kant drew everything together he arrived at the formula of autonomy under whihc the decision to act according toa maxim is actually regarded as having made it a universal law. here the conern with human dignity is combined with the principle of universalizability to produce a conception of the moral law as a self-legislated by each fro all

As kant says " a rational being belongs to the kingdom of ends as a member when he legislates in it universal laws while also being himself subject to these laws. he belongs to it as a sovereign, when as a legislator he is himself subject to the will of no other. A rational being must always regard himself as a legislator in a kingdom of ends rendered possible by freedom of the will, whether as a member or as a sovereign.

One can conclude that deontological moral theory provides a strong base for making correct decisions and is a better ethics system than utilitarianism
SuperPerfundo

Con

SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Justinisthecrazy

Pro

he forfieted extend my arguments please
SuperPerfundo

Con

SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Justinisthecrazy

Pro

Seeing as my opponent has forfieted both rounds. Extend my arguments across the flow. I win by default thank you.
SuperPerfundo

Con

SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 8 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
god damn why does everyone take ethics/philopshical debates then forfeit?
Posted by asyetundefined 8 years ago
asyetundefined
I'm not sure that it is even fair to compare Deontology and Utilitarianism. Yes they are both Moral-Systems, but they exist in much different realms and for much different reasons.
I guess what I'm saying is that Comparative Philosophy is not the best methodology for measuring validity - Systems should be weighed on the basis of their own merits and soundness, not whether or not they are 'better or worse' than something else.
However I still expect an interesting debate!
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 8 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
well perhaps it was meant that way? so when he questions it, I'll bring it up
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
I agree with Brewmaster. Justin, your arguments all follow the formula "X says/causes Y, and we all know Y is bad, therefore X is bad".

You have yet to show why "Y" is bad! Using the word bad, of course, in a very loose and unsatisfactory way. But you know what I mean.
Posted by Brewmaster 8 years ago
Brewmaster
Oh my imaginary god, the entirely unprovable and totally subjective nature of this poorly defined argument makes my head EXPLODED!

Don't make an argument that says X is "better" and Y. Instead, say X more completely addresses the issues of Z, and is thus better than Y.
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 8 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
util simply is consequentialism and the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people
Posted by Nail_Bat 8 years ago
Nail_Bat
From what I gather, Utilitarianism bases the morality of an action on the consequences, whereas Deontology bases them on the intention of the agent. I'm not sold on either.

How exactly are you comparing these ethical systems? If you're going to say one is better, then both sides need to agree on criteria that make one ethical system better than another.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Maybe you could define those ethics systems?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Aziar44 8 years ago
Aziar44
JustinisthecrazySuperPerfundoTied
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Vote Placed by Lazy 8 years ago
Lazy
JustinisthecrazySuperPerfundoTied
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Vote Placed by Justinisthecrazy 8 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
JustinisthecrazySuperPerfundoTied
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