My favorite school of ethics is consequentialism because this theory is based on the concept of thinking about consequences. The concept is exciting and controversial in matters of morality and ethics. According to Ellis (2019), this definition is one of the famous versions of utilitarianism. Let us consider two focal points of view on this issue, considering the meaning of the concept and ethics rules. The first principle is to achieve the goal by any measures if the result is considered positive. The second point of view is the absence of moral norms of behavior to achieve the goal.
Getting a positive result justifies the means; this is the central message of consequentialism. It means that the concept is not focused on general human behavior but only on the consequences. For example, a child needs to do well at school; hence he cheats from a neighbor on a desk. On the one hand, the result is good, that is, a good test score, which means compliance with the rules of consequentialism. On the other hand, the student did not learn the lesson, and as a result, did not master the fundamental skills, which is an untoward event. The problem may lie in the party’s view, evaluating the outcome of the behavior. If we look from the position of a student, the situation allows us to say that the end justifies the means; the student has achieved what he wanted. When viewed from the perspective of the educational system, the outcome does not justify the means. It means that the student completed his goal by fraudulent measures and received a positive result. However, he did not receive the required profit as knowledge, which is a negative result. Consequentialism can be beneficial when viewed from one perspective, which justifies its message.
The downside is violations of moral and ethical norms to achieve a positive result. Equally stated earlier, consequentialism is based on concrete reflection and consideration of the consequences, which should be positive. However, it does not consider a means to an end, which may be wrong, dishonest, and possibly illegal. For example, consider a situation where students are struggling for the best-in-class position. It can include many criteria, such as good grades, extracurricular activities, volunteering, achievement in sports clubs, etcetera. Typically, the best students receive additional awards in college admission grants, which makes achievement a positive outcome. In practice, there are many ways of deception and circumvention when influential scholars are fighting. It means that both try to pursue reasonable goals and use moral means until they start losing the race. The first student can begin to put moral pressure on the opponent, look for reasons to bypass him in the competition through blackmail. It may involve creating a controversial or provocative situation for the second student that will distract or force him to deviate from the goal. In this case, one can see immoral behavior that leads to a positive result.
Consequentialism is closely related to non-consequentialist and virtue theory since all these concepts characterize human behavior in a particular situation. Consequentialism aims to achieve a positive outcome, as stated earlier. Non-consequentialism is based on how the individual handles to achieve a result. The theory of virtue emphasizes human character as a fundamental element. It is worth noting that these three theories may not contradict each other. For example, a person achieves the position of the best student, relying on his personal solid qualities and norms of public morality.
Ellis, P. (2019). Ethical concepts: the meaning of consequentialism. Journal of Kidney Care, 4(5), 274–276. Web.