There are many similarities between utilitarianism and Kantianism that confuse some people. However, there are important differences between the two philosophies that will be outlined in this article. Utilitarianism This is a philosophy that believes that consequences of an action are responsible for people judging that action as morally right or wrong.
You have really illustrated their differences. I also agree that the utilitarian calculus is far more time consuming than determining if an action is moral by looking at the intentions behind it.
That being said, I do not think we can conclude that utilizing Kantian ethics is the solution to all ethical dilemmas.
It just seems like there is too much gray area in Kantian ethics that could potentially still allow individuals to take advantage of others.
Josh Bainnson October 21, at 2: A combination of the two, or possibly other theories we are yet to learn, will make for a better ethical stance in my opinion. Yes, acting in ways that do not take advantage of people sounds nice on the surface, and acting in ways that promote general happiness also sounds nice, but in every situation, neither works as a perfect ethical bible from which to act in all situations.
Rachel Sirotkin October 22, at 6: This is evidenced by the wide variety of moral theories that have been created. I believe that every theory has loopholes.
Bonovich October 22, at Kantian ethics bases the morality of a decision based off of whether or not the maxim could be a conceivable universal law of nature—which makes it seem heavily rule-based and strict.
Kantian ethics do not allow for exceptions, which I see as a major issue. Maxwell Solasz October 21, at 6: Reason is great, but I think we need more in order to motivate moral duties.
In some scenarios, people have the correct reasoning, and are able to act on that reasoning, but create distress instead. For example, lets say I was very against smoking cigarettes and decided that because cigarettes are very unhealthy, it i my duty to stop whoever I see smoking one.
If I went up to every person on campus and ripped the cigarette out of his or her mouth, I would probably get into many fights and arguments, and will likely cause suffering for the people I violated. Hugh Phillis October 25, at 7: Based off your example, Kantian ethics would deem your actions taking cigarettes from people who are smoking not morally worthy.
However, it is not because of their inherent consequence of upsetting people, but because you did so because you are very against smoking.
Lastly, you seem to invoke a utilitarian argument for your smoking example. You say that because taking cigarettes from people that are smoking would cause suffering for people, it is morally wrong. However, keeping with a utilitarian argument, do the long term health consequences of continuing to smoke and inherent suffering of the individual, family, etc.
Olubusola Osunsanya October 29, at 2: Obviously since I cant the best of both worlds, to answer your conclusion of questions I make the decision to be neither. As you stated in earlier comments, ethics will never be perfect especially since every one has there own opinions.
Furthermore, I feel as though every situation calls for a different solution. Emily Wang October 31, at 9: Because utilitarianism only cares that the end result is an increase in happiness and does not consider the intentions behind an action, I believe that Kantian ethics is a better moral law to follow when compared to utilitarianism.
The underlying idea behind Kantian ethics is that each human being has inherent worth and that human reason facilitates human autonomy. Therefore, we should also have the ability to reason to the right behavior. Going back to the cigarette example from the earlier comments, his intentions are pure in that he only wants to help, but he is also creating a lot of misery and distress.
Therefore, I believe that both Kantian ethics and utilitarianism are flawed in that they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
Saahil Papar November 2, at Also I agree completely with notion that the concept of the utilitarian calculus is flawed, I think that a world where pleasure has to be calculated is quite unrealistic and is hard to apply so in that respect I would think that Kantian ethics is a more suitable theory.
In addition, it discounts moral emotions like compassion, sympathy and remorse as appropriate and ethical motives for action. Jialin Yu November 5, at The following example substantiates this notion. Imagine a hospital had just received six dying patients who need organ transplants.
A healthy individual, with no family, walks into the hospital for a routine check. Is the doctor justified in killing the healthy patient to save the six dying patients? According to utilitarianism, the doctor can justify his killing the healthy patient as long as it maximizes utility.Act Utilitarianism is sensitive to the situation, but Rule Utilitarianism can be as well, as long as one can provide a rule that maximizes happiness in general, which also .
Because utilitarianism only cares that the end result is an increase in happiness and does not consider the intentions behind an action, I believe that Kantian ethics is a better moral law to follow when compared to utilitarianism. Kantianism vs Utilitarianism Those who are not students of philosophy, words like utilitarianism and Kantianism may sound alien, but for those who try to tackle questions of ethics and wisdom, these two represent important viewpoints.
Kantian Moral And Utilitarianism Ideas Philosophy Essay Ethics is the conscious reflection on our moral beliefs targeting to boost, lengthen or refine those values in some way. Kantian moral and Utilitarianism ideas attempt to react to the ethical mother nature of human beings.
Comparison of Aristotle, Kant, and Mill T.H. Aristotle represents virtue ethics, Kant represents duty ethics, and Mill represents utilitarianism. All three authors conceive of morality as . Because utilitarianism only cares that the end result is an increase in happiness and does not consider the intentions behind an action, I believe that Kantian ethics is a better moral law to follow when compared to utilitarianism.