A person who has killed somebody or cheated or lied or has stolen something-how would you judge him/her?- Of course as something very WRONG. And how will you judge a person who is very kind, helpful, make lots of donation – obviously something very moral or RIGHT. So, we judge a person according to his/her action, an event or a mistake despite having no details of the event. Why do we feel that we know something is right or something is just plain wrong? “Do what is right, though the world may perish.” is the famous quote believed all over the world. Let’s understand the concept behind this- Deontology.
What is Deontology?
Deontology is an ethical theory that uses rules to distinguish right from wrong. It places particular emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions. The term deontology is derived from the Greek deon, “duty,” and logos, “science.” It is only about following the rules and does not require weighing the cost and benefits of the situation.
Let’s check some daily life examples of deontology ethics.
1. Do Not Kill
We all see killing or murdering as the wrongest human deed because we are taught since our childhood that killing anybody including an animal in a wrong act. For instance, if we found a killer in our society, we all will hate him and consider him wrong because he/she has killed somebody. But we dont know the detail behind the situation. Maybe that person has killed another one in self-defense.
2. Do Not Steal
Stealing is also considered as a legal crime. We are taught not to steal anything or take anybody’s thing without asking them.
3. Religious Belief
Every person of the particular religion has to follow the rules and regulation of his religion. For example, If you’re a Hindu you might believe that it’s wrong to eat beef; this rule would be part of our deontology because we think it is wrong to eat beef.
4. Keeping Promises
If you have made a promise, you must keep it. For example, you might borrow money on the promise to pay it back, but you don’t intend to pay it back. So, making false promises is considered wrong.
If someone cheats on us, we imagine that person as very wrong and untrustful because we think of cheating as wrong. For example, suppose you’re a software engineer and learn that a nuclear missile is about to launch that might start a war. You can hack the network and cancel the launch, but it’s against your professional code of ethics to break into any software system without permission. And, it’s a form of lying and cheating. However, in letting the missile launch, thousands of people will die.
6. Do Not Lie
“Do not lie” is the most taught ethics by our parents, teachers, and everyone around. Lying is considered wrong, even if it is to benefit or bring about better consequences.
7. Respect The Elders
Elders have to be respected. Respecting them is considered Right. If someone is found disrespecting them, (may have a genuine reason behind the disrespect) is considered as a bad person.