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Ethical Decision Making Frameworks

During this week, I studied five ethical decision making frameworks. Deontological, virtue, utilitarian, relativist, and divine command ethics are the most standard decision making frameworks that are available the most widely practiced today. Most people use these frameworks to deal with their daily ethical issues. Different ethnic groups around the world follow one, two or all of these ethical thinking styles; however they prefer one of them, the most. Ethical thinking style has a very strong influence on the individuals’ or society’s behaviour, character, and political or social cohesion. Each individual should actually think carefully on which ethical decision making framework, he is going to follow. Although, freedom exists but it is not absolute; so choosing to follow one ethical thinking style not practiced by your community, will actually draw criticism from all corners of the society.

Divine command ethics is the one followed by the religious people. According to encyclopaedia, close to seventy percent of the world’s population are people of faith. By the way, practicing religion or just saying I believe in that faith without practicing it, are two different things. So, the existence of heretical people emerged who either violated their religious commandments or gave them a wrong and ill interpretation that suits their interests. ALLAH or God never approved the genocide of the weak like women, children, old people, prisoners of war and civilians at large. America is a country where its basic religious theology is Christianity although the other faiths are respected. It hit two atomic bombs on Japan where hundreds of thousands of women and young innocent children were vaporised to death. Puritanical strains of Muslim Wahhabis are massacring their fellow Muslims all over the globe because other Muslims don’t agree with their wrong interpretation of the Quran. They commit suicide in the name of ALLAH. Coming to the Jewish, systematic displacement, bombardment, detention, torture and killing of children and women on the Palestinian territory is their habit. The absolute reality is that Prophet Mussa (PBUH), Prophet Isa (Jesus) (PBUH) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never ever harmed physically or psychologically women, children, old people, prisoners of war and even their defeated enemies. The question is from where these people adapted from these distorted interpretations. In my own idea, I believe they consult with the devils, demons and their corrupt and literally dead souls.

Some ethical decision making frameworks are not fair to all human beings as some of them promote brutality. Utilitarian ethics is a very good example. It is based on ethnocentrism, trade protectionism, favouritism and nepotism. Utilitarianisms do not care other people.  It favours only a certain group; and a person who has that kind of decision making style cannot be trusted at all. Use of atomic bomb against Japan and American domination of the African and Muslim countries can be called utilitarianism and deontological based ideology to alleviate human suffering. Then why Americans have co-operated with many African dictators and kept them in power for a such a long time like Mobutu Seseko of Congo, Husni Mubarak of Egypt, and the continuous support of the merciless Polpot  regime in Cambodia, to mention a few. These organised crimes committed by the American administration around the world favours the survival and the military might of the US but it leads to the suffering of other humanbeings. How can we dare to explain that one as utilitarianism? Then if utilitarianism is like that, I totally disagree with it. Obama is now facing a real ethical dilemma to increase taxation on the rich people or tax the poor more to solve the US budget problem. In this case, utilitarianism is not fair to all.

Furthermore, deontology decision making framework promotes peace among the society as its followers are claiming but it lacks elaborate explanation on issues related to social justice. Justice is upheld to maintain the harmony and equality of the society . Deontologists say, “People should never go to war.” If one society is being bullied by their immoral leader or another powerful society, then other people should come at the aid of that weak society to alleviate their suffering and injustice. Abstraction associated with deontological ethical framework creates an absolute ambiguity therefore rendering it useless. As the truth is, deontology does not have well-organized guiding principles that can really help you in your daily struggles with worldly challenges. It only pacifies bad people to continue their criminal activities without fearing from the consequences. In other words, repressive and tyrannical governments and kingdoms come up with their own rules so a deontologist will continue to respect these; as they beleive in political quitism. So, deontology is not more than general words. It lacks hard facts and real examples.

Last but not the least, virtue ethics is the weakest ethical decision making framework of all because it all depends on copying the actions of a good person. Categorising a person as good or bad is even a difficult thing. In this life, each individual is going through a change. Many good people can be bad people by carrying out unethical actions but these unethical things can be established as norm practiced by his followers long after his demise. Virtue ethics suppresses logical reasoning and mental freedom. It promotes blind guidance which its final results will be disastrous. Human beings are not holy spirits or angels. They were, they are, and they will be prone to mistakes and errors. Many church leaders including the last Pope of the Roman Catholic Church was charged with paedophilia. So, how if we say paedophilia is right because some good people did it and their intentions were actually good.

Ethical relativism is actually clear, well-developed and unambiguous. Ethical relativism uses beliefs and cultural practices of a community or an individual. The people who follow it  have their strong and tough logical reasoning because they took thousands of years to develop. It is something agreed upon by a society. It reflects a society’s or a community’s pride and diversity. So, decision making using ethical relativism is acceptable within a certain society which makes it always successful as you can always alter your decision making framework according to the society, you are living in. Ethical relativist practices with in a specific society can be changed; if the society is persuaded and convinced that certain actions they are doing are not good for their well-being. So, it promotes open-mindedness as it takes care of the intellectuals and elites of the community. Its decision making style is also very flexible and varies from community to community.

In my own idea, divine command ethical framework and relativist ethical framework are the most convenient for successful decision making because they are well-organized, fully elaborated and effectively supported through concrete logical reasoning.

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