Deontology is an ethical methodology based on absolute rules of behavior, also known as norms. Deontology is not hard to apply at all. For instance, it has a fixed set of rules that one must follow to ‘do good. It does not consider the consequences. Some moral rules are that it is always wrong to kill innocent people, that it is wrong to steal or tell lies, and that it’s right to keep promises.

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Immanuel Kant Painting

Immanuel Kant

Kant, considered the father of deontology, was a moral absolutist. Moral absolutism declares specific universal moral beliefs by which others may judge all peoples’ actions.

How to reason in a deontological way

Reasoning deontologically is relatively easy. For example, one must consider four things: First, a person must always do the right thing. Second, a person should do it because it is the right thing to do. Third, A person shouldn’t do the wrong things. Lastly, a person should avoid the bad stuff because they are wrong.

Do the right thing

It is essential that you always do the right thing and be aware of that. We could easily avoid racism, economic exploitation, and police brutality this way.

Do it because it is the right thing to do

We all strive to become the best version of ourselves. Sometimes it is pretty hard to define the right thing.

Don’t do the wrong things

Easier said than done. But I know that you have it in you. No one is a bad person by nature. Stay away from the bad things.

Avoid them because they are wrong

Avoid the wrong things. For instance, your work needs money for a project and commits subsidy fraud. Don't get yourself involved in that.

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Universal Law

Deontology originates from the word: ‘duty.’ This means that an action is either right or wrong, or good or bad. Kant believed that ethics is all about having a goodwill. Not because it ‘feels’ good or because it has the best outcome. Deontology has a fixed number of morals that they apply. It is what must be done.

Kant asked himself: ‘would it be rational for everyone to act this way?’. Deontology considers everyone equally. It is not right to use people as mere tools to make it easier. Therefore, there are a set of rules which we may never break no matter the consequences. They are considered to be the ‘Universal Law.’

McCombs School of Business on Deontology

"Do what is right simply because it is right,,
world theories immanuel kant
Immanuel Kant

If you want to know more about how you can beat your SWS, see this article: ‘The Sine Wave Syndrome. ‘ above is a summary of all different types of ethics if you want to learn all about it. Knowing all kinds of ethics may help you to understand how ‘good’ choices are being made among their different aspects.

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