Bishop's Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy


Deontological ethics, also known as duty-based ethics, is concerned with what people do, not with what the consequences of an action might be. The Greek word deon means duty, hence why it is defined as a duty-basic ethic theory.

 Deontology holds that some actions are either right or wrong because of what they are. Deontologists hold to moral rules that are binding, for instance, it is wrong to murder people, to take advantage of the weaker, and to lie. Essentially, one ought to prevent themselves from doing bad things and strive to do what is right. However, deontological ethics is opposed to consequentialism which argues that the right thing to do would be that which manifests the best consequences overall. According to deontologists it is morally wrong to murder a child because such an act would end the life of the innocent child, yet that this act would impact…

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