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Chapter 3

Nonconsequentialist
(Deontological)
Theories of Morality
Sheryl Ngo
Janelle Alexandra Caranto
Ma. Francela Franco
Mary Justine Samorin
II-26 BITED

NONCONSEQUENTIALIST
consequences do not, (should not) enter into our
judging of whether actions or people are moral or
immoral.
What is moral and immoral is decided upon the
basis of some standard or standards of morality
other than consequences.

ACT NONCONSEQUENTIALIST
THEORIES
- there are no general moral rules or theories, but
only particular actions, situations, and people about
which we cannot generalize.
- Decisions are based upon intuitionism; what is
right and wrong in any particular situation is based
upon what people feel is right or wrong.

Intuitionism
Pros:
Any well-meaning person seems to have
immediate sense of right and wrong
Human beings had moral ideas and convictions
long before philosophers created ethcs as a formal
study.
Our reasoning upon moral matters is usually used
to confirm our move

Against:

Wild guesses
irrational inspiration
clairvoyance
intuition as hunches

RULE NONCONSEQUENTIALIST
THEORIES
- there are or can be rules that are the only basis for
morality and that consequences do not matter. (right
moral commands)

1. Divine Command
Theory
- It is based upon the existence of an all
supernatural beings and who have communicated to
human beings what they should and should not do in
a moral sense.
Criticism:
* lack of foundation for the existence of the
supernatural beings

2. Kant's Duty
Ethics
- it is possible by reasoning alone to set up valid
absolute moral rules that have the same force as
indisputable mathematical truths (logically
consistent)
- The good will-a man's unique ability to act in
accordance with moral rules, laws or principles.

A. Categorical Imperative
- an act is immoral if the rule that would authorize it

cannot be made into a rule for all human beings to


follow.

B. Practical Imperative
- no human being should be thought of or used
merely as a means for someone elses end, but
rather that each human being is a unique end in
himself or herself.

C. DUTY RATHER THAN


INCLINATION
- obeying rules out of a sense of duty rather than
follow their inclinations (irrational and emotional
reasons)
- We must rely on reason and on our will and act out
of sense of duty

Criticisms of Kant's Duty Ethics

Consistency and conflicts of duty


Reversability Criterion
Qualifying a rule versus making exceptions to it
Duties versus Inclinations

3. Ross's Prima Facie


Duties

- Ross agreed with Kant as to the establishing of


morality on a basis other than consequences but
disagreed with Kants overly absolute rules. He falls
between Kant and rule utilitarianism in his approach
to ethics.
- he believed that we have certain prima facie duties
that we must always adhere to unless serious
circumstances or reasons tell us to do otherwise.

A. PRIMA
FACIE DUTIES

- literally means at first glance or on the surface of


things.
Some of Rosss Prima Facie Duties:
1. Fidelity
5. Beneficience
2. Reparation
6. Self-improvement
3. Gratitude
7. Non malefecience
4. Justice

PRINCIPLES TO RESOLVE CONFLICTING DUTIES:

1. Always do that act in accord with the stronger


prima facie duty; and
2. Always do that act that has the greatest degree of
prima facie rightness over prima facie wrongness.

Criticisms on Ross's Theory


Selecting Prima Duties
Deciding which Prima Facie Duty takes
precedence

GENERAL CRITICISMS OF
NONCONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES
Can we, and indeed should we, avoid consequences
when we are trying to set up a moral system?
Is it entirely possible to exclude consequences from an
ethical system?
What is the real point of any moral system if not to do
good for oneself, others, or both and if not to create a
moral society in which people can create and grow
peacefully with a minimum of unnecessary conflict?

How do we resolve conflicts among moral rules that are


equally absolute? This problem is peculiar to rule
nonconsequentialist theories.
Any system that operates on a basis of such rigid
absolutes as does rule nonconsequentialism closes the
door on further discussion of moral quandaries.

Raised Questions:
1. Why should we follow rules if the consequences of
following them could be bad even for a few, but also in
some cases, for all concerned?
2. How can we resolve conflicts among rules that are all
equally and absolutely binding?
3. Is there such thing as a moral rule absolutely no
exceptions, given the complexities of human behavior and
experience? If so, what is it?