Monday, March 20, 2006

Teleological Ethics vs. Deontological Ethics

“Suppose you are holidaying in Europe some 65 years ago and returning from a hunting trip in the Austrian Alps. As you and your guide wander towards a small village where you have been staying, a motorcade pulls up in front of the hotel and a very notorious dictator with a strange-looking moustache steps out of the car with his trusted German Shepherd at his side. You are in the perfect position to potentially shoot this person and change the course of History. What will you do?”

(Finally, something worth studying from Accounting Theory and Practice)


Blogger jacksons said...

Wow, can you help me by defining what Teleological Ethics vs. Deontological Ethics is? My Arthur Holmes book has an explanation, but I have not read it yet.

11:42 AM  
Blogger tehtarik said...

If I were not mistaken,
teleological ethics function as utilitarianism- the greater good concept.

Deontological ethics go with having a moral obligation to live by.

So, the begging question here is-should I kill him because then I know I would have prevented the genocides of millions of the Js or should I save from killing him because it is wrong to murder?

(EJ said "bunuh aje") okiela, I paraphrased what he said. Keke.

I didn't know these tongue-gymansatics-pronouncing-words are in Holmes' book. Hehe.

3:35 PM  
Blogger 10sen said...

Hmmm ... my understanding of "teleological ethics" allows me to sh--t the dictator.

Isn't that what *I* said? Hehe

Well if I could see the future, or to borrow a page from the charismata, and the absolute gift of prophecy or word of knowledge, and if I knew that the dictator would be responsible for the genocide of millions, then there is no hesitation.

But assuming I did not know, then I cannot and will not do er.. that dastardly deed.

1:55 AM  
Blogger jacksons said...

Its in Holmes Ethics book, not the worldview one. Anyway, I say shoot the bur*#r, as it would have been a lesser of two evils. Though its wrong to murder, its even worst not to prevent such mass murder - if taking one life can prevent so much, then though it is still wrong, it is the lesser wrong.

Of course the real life ethical question is now, no one can know the future, and so, no one could have prevented Hitler - but the laws of the land could have had checks and balances against his ideology ahead of time.

7:40 AM  
Blogger tehtarik said...

Finally, 10sen has a juicy blog. Makes mine depreciate to 10 rupiah..keke.

Not much arguments here- you are both right. Given that we do not know the future, this situation is not logically feasible. Something like the "If you were in a room that has an infinite number of balls, what happens if you take one ball out/ put another ball in?" thingy.


7:23 PM  
Blogger 10sen said...

Hmm... seems like the mighty padawan has taken a page off the al-Ghazalli's "Kalam Teleological Argument"

Hail! Hail! The Princess of the 10 Rupiah!

8:26 AM  
Blogger jedibaba said...

This problem reminds me of the movie Minority Report. I would hesitate to kill the guy because in real time the horrendous event has yet to happen. Even Old Testament prophecies where the "future is revealed" is often done so that there will be changes in the present. The future is more dynamic than we normally allow. But I am responsible for my actions in real time.
jedibaba, 5 cent preacher.

1:02 PM  
Blogger 10sen said...


Nothing on your blog.....?

6:36 PM  
Blogger jedibaba said...

sorry 10 sen. I only got a blog name to make it easier for me to comment on other people's blogs! My website is

8:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home