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Ethical Theories - the Law of Human Nature

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Ethical Theories-The Law of Human Nature

Three of the ethical theories includes; utilitarianism, Kantianism, and the natural law which evaluates morality, what it takes to be moral, and if the moral aspects of an event is determined by the motive, action, or consequences.

Utilitarianism was introduced by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, according to this ethical theory all that matters is the consequences that results from an action not the motive. Mill said that "He who saves a fellow creature from drowning does what is morally right, whether his motive be duty or the hope of being paid for his trouble" (quoted in Mackinnon 54). According to Utilitarianism we can evaluate the morality of our actions by examining the consequences of each alternative action. The Utilitarianism theory goes according to the principle of utility or "the greatest happiness principle" (Mackinnon 54). The greatest happiness principle favors the action that will result in the highest amount of happiness or in other words the consequence of an action that is associated with more happiness. The greatest amount of happiness associated by the results of an action can be calculated by determining its intensity, duration, fruitfulness, likelihood, and net amount of pleasure produced.

Kantianism or Kant's Moral theory was introduced by Immanuel Kant who was a German philosophy professor at the University of Konigsberg, according to Kant, what give an act moral worth is not the consequences of the act but rather motive behind our actions. Kant believes that the motive of an action determines its moral worth because we have control over our motives as refers to the results of our actions. According to Kantianism if the motivation of our action is right then the unraveling or the consequences of our actions whether good or bad does not determine the morality of the action or as Mackinnon interpretation of the Kant's moral theory, "we may do what has good results, but if we do so for the wrong motive, then that act has no moral worth" (77). Kant also believes that the act itself be moral, in other words our acts are independent on our goals, wants, and needs. According to Kant we should "act only on that maxim that [we] can will as a universal law," the first form of categorical imperative, and "always treat humanity, whether in [our] own person or that of another, never simply as means but always at same time as an end" (Mackinnon, 78-79).

The Natural Law theory which can be traced back to Aristotle time era, according to this theory laws set by nature has validity everywhere or is universal. This theory holds that we as humans are governed by basic laws of nature and these laws are distinct from laws which are legislated. According to this law we

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