Consequentialist Theories Approaches Discussion

Consequentialist Theories Approaches Discussion


Consider two types moral reasoning: Consequentialist and Non-Consequentialist approaches (and the specific theories involved).

  • Which of these theories, if any, do you find most reasonable, and why?
  • Provide a clear example to demonstrate your thinking.

2 responses: In responses to at least two peers, check their work. Were their explanations and examples clear and accurate? Identify any problems/errors in their logic or explain why you agree with their rationale. Make sure your responses are substantive and contribute extra to the discussion.

Professors example:

So, let’s consider a hypothetical situation…

You’ve got an acquaintance at school. Not a close friend, but someone you’ve taken classes with before. And in those classes, this person has generally done as well or better than you. They’re a responsible, capable student.

But one term, this student disappears for a few weeks at the end of the term. You see them right before you go into take your final exam, and the student says they had to leave the country to care for a sick relative. They asked the professor for an extension, but the professor refused, and now they’re totally unprepared for the final and about to fail the class.

Except there’s a quirk in the testing room. From this student’s seat, they can look up at the light fixtures and see a reflection of your desk a few rows away. So, they can copy off your exam with no chance of you getting caught (just accept this as part of the hypothetical). Why the student told you this before cheating, I’m not sure, but now you know their plan.

So…what’s the right thing to do? Let them copy? Report to the professor? Just move seats (if you do, someone else will sit in your seat and they’ll probably copy off of them)?

Now, here’s the important part. It’s not your answer that we’re after this week. It’s your reasons. The big values that you used to arrive at the specific judgment about this case. For example, you might make the following argument:

P: It will help them a lot if they pass

P: Nobody will get in any trouble

C: It’s good to let them copy

That’s an example of a Consequentialist argument. Your focused on the outcomes of the decision. Specifically, it’s a Utilitarian argument, because the big principle required to make that argument work is the premise: the right action is the one that creates that maximized happiness for all involved.

But you could arrive at the same conclusion for entirely different reasons. You might say something like this:

P: To report the person is to snitch

P: You have a duty never to snitch

C: You should let them copy or switch seats

This argument isn’t really about outcomes anymore. It invokes a duty – a moral rule that must be followed no matter what. That’s a Deontological approach.

Obviously, I think there are logical problems with both of those arguments! In the first case, I think there may well be people harmed by cheating, especially if we consider what would happen if everyone did it. In the second, is the duty not to snitch really one you can apply consistently? Would you not report a car theft or a murder? And if your “no snitch” duty only applies some of the time, how do you decide when?

So, read up on the different moral perspectives in the book. The prompt mentions four, but there are more! Then, talk about which ones make the most (or event the least) sense to you and try to apply them to some hypotheticals. I look forward to hearing your ideas 😉

The book used : Moore, B. N., & Parker, R. (2016). Critical Thinking (12th ed.). McGraw-Hill E

I have a link to the book VIA google drive if u need it

also I will provide 2 students works as examples and so u can reply to them cycle