medical ethics

Consequentialism is based on the premise that the morality of an action is contingent with the outcome of that action, (Vaughn, 2015). This implies that the rightness and wrongness of actions resides in the consequences of those actions. Therefore, actions are not good or bad by themselves, but depending on their consequences. Non-consequentialism focuses on the rightness and wrongness of the actions themselves and not the consequences of those actions, (Dubiel-Zielińska, 2015). It holds that the rightness or wrongness of an action based on properties intrinsic to the action, not on its consequences.

One of the major theories of consequentialism is utilitarianism which places the focus of right and wrong solely on the consequences of choosing one action over other actions, (Vaughn, 2015). The theory states that the best action is the one that maximizes utility. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the theory described utility as the sum of all pleasure that results from an action, minus the suffering of anyone involved, (Vaughn, 2015). Some people have argued that this is flawed as it does not allow for one to be able to follow certain moral rules and it concentrates too much on the ends rather than the means. Other people have disagreed on a number of points, such as whether actions should be chosen based on their likely results or whether agents should conform to rules that maximize utility.

One of the major theories of non-consequentialism is the Divine Command Theory which stated that an action is right if it has been sanctioned or decreed by God that it is right, (Dubiel-Zielińska, 2015). Many people consider this theory as false. According to the proponents of this theory, if there is no standard of being morally right apart from God’s commands, then God could literally command us to do anything even if that means killing others and it would be right for us to do it. Whatever God commands becomes the standard of moral rightness, and there are no moral values external to God to constrain what he would or would not command.

References

Dubiel-Zielińska, P. (2015). Consequentialist and non-consequentialist overtones of the Code of ethics of an academic staff member in light of ethics of social consequences. Ethics & Bioethics, 5(1-2), 105-113.

Vaughn, L. (2015). Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company.

I just need you to read and answer the question …. How do we know to whom the Divine Command theory is attributed? For example, if it is attributed to YWHW, or Christ, is there a way to know whether or not he is Moral?

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