The christian philosophy influenced what kant said, the logical way of think of no-contradictory. Also, although Nietzshe was atheist, the fact that god is dead doesn't mean that you can't belive in god, only you you to destroy to re-create the ancient view of life based on Apollineus.
They both serve a role. Decency rules for exemple are somewhat required for smooth functionning of society, but are almost purely deontological. Consequentialist is oft useful when faced with new situations, or with changing situations.
It also almost seems to me as if most people go through life cobbling an aggregate of deontological and consequentialist ethics together into a healthy ethical behavior. So maybe we need both to function as individuals and as a society.
Maybe these ethical theories are lenses to look at when thinking about ethical question...but the specific lens one chooses to use is not the entire story...a bit reminiscent of the "Blind men and the Elephant" [link] .
Deontology is fucking stupid. The point of ethics is about harmonious human relations, not sticking to principles for god knows why. We form principles and rules because of their consequences. We don't follow them because they're principles; they're principles because they have good outcomes from following them.
I'm more inclined towards consequentialism, but ultimately any code of ethics or moral laws require assumptions that cannot be externally justified. We might be able to scientifically determine what sorts of behaviours maximise the health and happiness of the great numbers of people while minimising suffering, but ultimately you'd have to justify why maximum health and happiness is desirable. Which might lead to to have to justify why pain is bad, why emotional distress needs to be avoided, it just keeps going on. I'm personally at peace with accepting the obvious, unsubstantiated answers to those questions myself.
I'm face with them whenever I'm asked, as a non-believer, where my morals come from. The sorts of believers who ask me that don't seem to consider the same questions with regard to their own morality. They come down from god, fine. But why should god's views on morality be considered the best? Because he created the universe? How do we know that creating the universe qualifies anyone to dictate perfect moral laws, and even if it does, how do we know that they are perfect at all? How do we know that this entity can create perfect moral law for us and then did, as opposed to that being within his capabilities and simply not exercised. Because he loves us and has our best interests in mind? How do we know this? Apparently he told us, but why do we believe him? Is he trustworthy? How can we know he is trustworthy? When he says he can be trusted, can we trust him when he says that?
It just goes on and on just as before. Eventually you do have to make some assumptions, and the quality of assumptions determine the quality of what follows. But I don't think this sort of philosophy is very useful. It reminds me of the one about the philosopher wondering whether anything can truly be known, and whether he therefore, as he sits before his evening meal, can know that he needs to eat. And one of two things will happen: either he will come to accept that while he can't know it for certain, he will accept the premise for sake of argument and eat his (now cold) steak, or else starve to death and no longer bother us with his bullshit.*
Which is the point: we can worry about where our morality comes from and how we justify it all we like. Meanwhile in the real world billions of people are suffering in billions of different ways. If you care about that I don't really give a damn why you do, and the people who are suffering would certainly fail to give two shits. the only question that matters is: what are you going to do about it?
I've seen William Lane Craig use deontological ethics to justify genocide, quite shamelessly. Then go so far as to pity the ones who committed the genocide for having to go through the trauma of doing it.
He was justifying the genocides in the bible by saying that god told them to do it, so it was right. And regarding the victims, those who were bad went to hell as they should, while the innocent, such as the children, went to heaven, and thus were done a favour.
I was astonished. I really don't get why he is so renowned as a sophisticated theologian (a term I believe to be an oxymoron anyway). That kind of thinking just opens the door to... everything.
The thing is, it does seem theologically sound to me. Once you accept the existence of punishing and rewarding afterlives that you are assigned to depending on your actions in life, and that those who die very young get a free ticket to heaven, then killing kids before they have a chance to become hell-bound would be the moral thing to do. It would cost your own soul, but that would be nothing but a heroic sacrifice. I once knew a catholic girl who was suicidal at age five because she had been told by her priest that only kids get a free pass to heaven.
How does Utilitarianism justify genocide? And how does deontological arguments not? After all, the bible has three genocides justified as the right thing to do (the flood, the last plague, Armageddon.)
If that is how you learned ethics, you learned poorly. I rather think you didn't and are just hiding behind a strawman that you find comfortable in your ignorance...read up on consequentialist ethics, even the most basic source, [link] . And while you are there, read up on strawman [link], you will realize quickly enough why you are wrong.
The pseudo-exemple you give is a good exemple of a strawman fallacy, which is why I quite correctly classify you as ignorant. Whether you are willfully or plainly ignorant remains to be seen, but Poe's law does apply, as usual.
And you follow this by another ad hominem, how cute.
Condeming an action and condoning the same action when it suits you is pretty text book hypocracy.
In any case, name me a specific situation where, by utilitarianism, you would conclude that many need to die for many more. Emphasis *need* not desire. Because utilitarianism works by both maximizing happiness and minimizing suffering. Not just the former.
Now, tell me how that's any different than necessary collateral. Like all those innocent children involved in those three bible genocides which I'm sure you think are acceptable collateral.
"If there was a illness that could kill, you would have to isolate those people so the illness would not spread."
Also known as 'quarantine for infection control' and would be a part of any standard medical practice. How is this 'bad'?
"If this ment sending a couple of thousand to die, so be it says utilitarianism."
Isolating isn't sending them to die. If they were successfully isolated and not posing a threat to another group, that's all utilitarians, and medical professionals, would care about.
"Thats an incredably american thing, bringing up the children."
It's an incredibly human thing to bring up the children. Because children aren't responsible for their parent's actions, nor are they capable of discerning any sort of right and wrong for which to be judged by. Hence, innocent. And yet they were also killed.
Way to straw-man Utilitarism. The limitations of Kantian ethics are outlined in the exchange between Benjamin Constant and Emmanuel Kant, in which the latter tries to refute the former's claim that one can lie out of humanity. Kant claimed that lying negates one's rights; which means, if a jew came running to your door pleading for safety, and a nazi asked you whether you have given shelter to a jew, according to kantian ethics, you ought to say the truth, regardless of consequences for the jew. Or what about Kant's theory of right in which he says you can kill a child conceived outside wedlock because he doesn't exist juridically.
By refusing to say the truth, even though it is absolutely required of you under kantian ethics, you have conceded that the morality of an action partially lies in its consequences, thus validating consequentialist ethics. How can admitting that you are sheltering a jew, equates to using him as a means to an end for yourself? Also, you are eschewing the issue that I raised about Kant's theory of right.
Solum-IpsumFeatured By OwnerJan 2, 2013Hobbyist General Artist
Deontological ethics are consequential ethics from the perspective of an ontological holisticism, either as an egocentrical or theocentrical ladder of values. There is no such thing as "Simon says Good" (though ignorance does help one approximate that state). When looking at things from a supraindividual perspective, some of the consequences for deontological values may be related to supernatural principles beyond human comprehension, laws that are too subtle and too close to metaphysics that their consequences are harder to follow.
Mercury-CroweFeatured By OwnerJan 2, 2013Professional Artisan Crafter
Um...there an awful lot of religious doctrines that give you consequences for not adhering. Hell being an example. People do what they are told to avoid the consequence of going to hell, or getting a bad time around next life, or whatever.
With regard to the original post, those religions could still fall into either category. From a deontological perspective, the religion asks you not to kill because killing is bad. From a consequentialist perspective, the religion asks you not to kill because it's bad for people to die.
On the surface, there's not a lot to choose between them, but it becomes an issue in certain situations: whether or not it's right to kill one criminal to save three potential victims, for example. Do you refuse to kill the criminal because killing is wrong, or do you kill them because you'd be responsible for three other deaths if you didn't? Essentially, all the religion does is claim that there are consequences for making the wrong choice. The deontological/consequentialist question helps you determine what the right choice would be.