Deontology and the Categorical Imperative

Published: 2021-09-03 08:30:08
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Category: Metaphysics, Morality, Utilitarianism, Deontology

Type of paper: Essay

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First, let us examine what it means to act in a deontological manner. Demonology is "the normative ethical position that Judges the morality of an action based on the action's adherence to a rule or rules" ("Ethics-virtue", Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy). For someone to act in a deontological manner, he must follow a course of action not because it causes the greatest amount of good to either themselves or others, but because it is the "right" thing to do. A deontological believes that it is their "duty" to follow these moral imperatives, and it is these values which are the basis which Emmanuel Kant bases his Categorical Imperative on.
In Kantian, a theory of demonology developed by Emmanuel Kant based on his Categorical Imperative, we should make decisions based on our duty to others and that it is not the action's consequences which make it right or wrong, but the motives of the individual who is carrying them out (Kant, Emmanuel. 1780. "Preface"). For example, if I say, I do not murder other human beings because I would not wish others to murder, I am behaving deontological because as a society we would not wish murder to become a universal rule.
Similarly, I would not wish someone to secretly defraud Investors and embezzle company money, but more on that soon. If a person is to act in this decidedly UN;deontological manner, they might have justified it in one of two likely other manners. The first non-deontological theory we someone could operate with is utilitarianism. In this moral theory, "the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, specifically defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering" (Utilitarianism. N. D. ) In Wisped. Retrieved January 20, 2013, from http:// ordering others, we still do not wish this to occur but this time it is because the act of murder does not maximize happiness as a society. The loss of an individual in this manner would detract from the whole be it either from a production stand-point, or because of the emotion detriment it brings others. Misuse of a corporation's funds could be Justified in a certain scenario, so we will add this to our toolbox of motives for now.

A second non-deontological moral theory we must examine is the idea of egotism. With egotism, a person's primary drive is to enhance their own interests - be they intellectual, physical, societal, or otherwise - over the interests of others (Egotism. (n. D. ) In Wisped). Within the context of our example about murder, an egotist does not wish for murder to exist simply because he or she would not wish to be murdered. Within the scope of business operations, this ideology would seem to form the basis of most practices.
While the advancement of a corporation would be paramount in the eyes of those with the most vested interest, this moral guideline can be disastrous in a society that does not share this belief as the rule of the land. Let us now look at two of the ethical problems raised by the Delphic Communications case. The first problem we will examine is the fact that Delphic was using two different sets of accounting books, one with doctored numbers that was given to investors, and one which showed the true finances and what was being manipulated for the fraudulent figures.
This, according to testimony produced by James R. Brown, Dahlia's former vice president of finance (Grant, 2004, p. CLC). Members of the Riggs family were ultimately indicted for looting the company of more the $100 million and aiding $2 billion in debt. Regardless of an argument of either this being a cover-up in order to hide the Riggs family's personal use of company funds, or merely a tactic to delay investor outrage in order to settle outstanding debts incurred by Delphic operations, this cannot be considered a deontological based maneuver.
Adherence to ones duty to the company and its core operations is contrary to these kinds of behavior. Also, under no circumstance would lying biblically about a company's well- being in a capitalistic society be considered as being desirable as a normative rule. At best, if this were done as to buy the company time to right its finances, this action could be eschewed as utilitarian if the underlying goal was to prevent panic on Wall SST. And to maximize society's net worth.
Likelier, this was an egotistic based motive in order for the Riggs family to continue their practices of using the company as their personal "piggy-bank" as it were. There is evidence of this being the case based upon the next ethical issue we will address. During the course of investigations carried out in the course of this case, it was covered that members of the Riggs family had also used corporate money to finance a golf-course on private family property of theirs (The SEC, 2002).
Much like the previously mentioned ethical problem, it is difficult to determine in what, if any, way this action could be eschewed as either a deontological or categorically imperative decision. If it were the norm for members of any company with access to corporate funding to use them on private projects without prior approval, there would be few corporations which would be able to operate in much of any capacity. Dominant having misappropriated funds that were allocated for actual business operations.
Even when viewed in light of a utilitarian stand-point, the Jobs which would have been created through the construction and operation of said golf-course would not have warranted an unauthorized expenditure of this magnitude outside of the company's normal business operations. The member of the Riggs family who authorized the use of these funds should have instead chosen to use his own capital in order to finance this endeavor if it was truly that necessary. Utilizing Dahlia's none in order to build this project falls categorically within the scope of an egotist method of reasoning.
These couple examples were but a few highlights that were uncovered during the course of the Delphic indictment. Members of the Riggs family might not have seen an end to their empire had they taken a step back and evaluated not only the consequences of their actions, but the rationale behind what they were doing. Demonology and categorical imperatives, like most morale methodologies, are difficult to apply in every scenario. Doing what is right for the sake of its rightness, or because t is your duty to perform in a specific way can fail in an instance of grave social importance.
As instanced in the threaded discussion this week, if a programmer of nuclear missile technologies learns of an attack by his employer against another nation does his or her duty lie with the attacker or those who would be attacked? Of the moral decision making tools discussed in this paper, Egotism, Utilitarianism, Demonology, and Categorical Imperatives all provide a different answer to the question in hand. The members of the Riggs family might still feel they are in the eight if their ill gains were greater than the pain of imprisonment from a strictly Egotistic model.

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