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Difference Between Utilitarianism and Deontology

Utilitarianism vs Deontology

Morality has it tha people will justify or not the end and the means. Not only that it directs individuals to do what is right or wrong; moreover, it makes them do what is in the best of their conscience.

There are several schools of thought regarding morality. Among these are the ethical systems of utilitarianism and deontology.

Utilitarianism revolves around the concept of “the end justifies the means.” It is the brainchild of philosophers John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. It believes that outcomes as a result of an action have a greater value compared to the latter. It also states that the most ethical thing to do is to take advantage of happiness for the good of the society. As a result, utilitarianism depends on consequentiality. The utilitarian approach can be present in health care. Examples of these may include: Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders and Euthanasia. Although confronted heavily by critics, the philosophical outlook on these cases is purely reliant on its recipients. The utilitarian approach can also be selfish in nature as it gears on judgments more ideal to the philosopher.

Meanwhile, deontology is another moral theory that is dependent on the Scriptures—which may refer to rules, moral laws, and intuition. It is based on the Greek words “deon” and “logos,” meaning the “study of duty.” It centers on the principles of 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant. Deontology advocates that both the actions and outcomes must be ethical. It points out that the action’s morality is of greater weight, and the result of a wrong action does not make its outcome the same. One particular example is the birthing process wherein the mother and the baby are at equal risk. The doctors know that saving at least one of the two is better, yet trying to save them both would be best. Deontology sports a fair trial of right or wrong as it depends on a universally accepted morality approach. It also makes the philosopher study both sides of a situation without compromising the outcomes.


1.Utilitarianism and deontology are two known ethical systems.

2.Utilitarianism revolves around the concept of “the end justifies the means,” while deontology works on the concept “the end does not justify the means.”

3.Utilitarianism is considered a consequence-oriented philosophy.

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