Ethics: Deontology and Utilitarianism

Ethics: Deontology and Utilitarianism

Question 1

Deontology and utilitarianism are two notable ethical theories in this week’s readings. Deontology refers to an ethical principle that emphasizes on doing the right actions. On the other hand, utilitarianism refers to an ethical framework that emphasizes on actions that enhance the wellbeing of the society rather than an individual (Boylan, 2009). Both ethical theories are different. Utilitarianism emphasizes on group behavior while deontology emphasizes on individual actions. The ethical theory of utilitarianism aligns to my personal behavior. This is because I discourage the pursuit of selfish gains at the expense of the social values. An individual’s actions should not cause undesirable outcomes.

Question 2

If a person is virtuous, it does not imply that the person is ethical. Depending on the context, some virtues do not necessarily comprise moral values (MacKinnon, 2010). For instance, an action might be morally acceptable to an individual but unethical to another person. Similarly, virtues do not always result into desirable or beneficial outcomes.  These perspectives indicate that a virtuous person is not necessarily ethical. However, there exists a relationship between both concepts. According to the ethical principle of Kantianism, an ethical action comprises of behaviors that apply to a virtuous person. Additionally, some virtues are used to determine whether an action is moral or immoral.

Question 3

The organization and global arena provides different platforms with regard to ethical considerations. Within an organizational perspective, ethical and social values apply to a limited number of people. These moral and social values govern the behavior of such individuals at the organizational level. For instance, it might be unethical for employees to smoke within an organization (MacKinnon, 2010). On the other hand, ethical perspectives at the global arena affect a larger group of people. Consequently, there are minimal limitations at this level compared to the domestic-only perspectives.


Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
MacKinnon, B. (2010). Ethics: Theory and contemporary issues, Boston, MA:Wadsworth

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