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Free «The Consequences of Ethical Actions» Essay Sample


This paper seeks to study in depth the normative ethical theories in relation to consequences of one’s action and conduct and the basis of its results .In other words, this paper seeks to study the rightness or wrongness of a persons conduct. This is based on the behavior rather than on the conduct itself. The study of consequentialism entails the evaluation of moral worth of actions based on its contribution to stability.

The virtue ethics as the force that drives ethical behavior was used to describe early Greece philosophers ‘Socrates’ (469 BC – 399 BC).Knowledge was seen as having the highest bearing. Thus knowledge was attributed to success and was viewed as an essential good. The 20th century has seen expansion and evolution of these theories. However, in modern consequentialism, the consequences of actions and rules out weigh considerations. There are several factors that one should take into consideration while determining the moral action or decision to take. These factors include; 



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One needs to consider this factor while determining the moral action or decision to take. This simply means the intensity of the outcome from a decision or an action. This is a calculative approach to consequentialism or moral ethics. It calculates the strength of the pleasure and the strength of the pain. It is important to note that according to this theory, the greater the pleasure, the higher the positive value and the greater the pain, the higher the negative value. The calculation of the consequences helps to identify the course of action to take and the weigh the benefits and harms that would results from the course of action by the person taking the action. This is a good decision that is based on positive attributes, since it encourages ethical actions.


This is the length of time that the pain or pleasure will last. It is important to note that ethical action takes time to prepare access, decide, implement and reflect on. The duration of the length of time the pain or pleasure will last depends on the principal of ethics. This principal is based on the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain. It attributes that an action or decision of self gratification without considering consequences will maximize the duration of pain. On the other hand, ethical pursuits will help to maximize the duration of pleasure and happiness for that matter. This is a positive decision which encourages ethical pursuit as a way of maximizing pleasure.


Certainty refers to how soon in time the pleasure or pain will occur. According to the book; Ethics on Humanism by Paul Kurtz, there are two different aspects in the ethical philosophy that can answer the question of certainty. These are deontological positions and Utilitarian ethics. A deontological position simply inculcates absolute certainty. However, this is only if the ethics of the actions are moral.Certainity in itself should leave no doubt about the proper and moral course of action. In this case the results or the pleasure is certain. Alternatively, Utilitarian ethics is different from the deontological position .The difference is in the focus on the consequences. Actions are judged on how they achieve the goal and are therefore uncertain. Note that the sign of certainty can be drawn from history and from the person who with similar experiences of pain and pleasure. This is a good decision since it encourages moral actions.


This means how soon in time the pleasure or the pan will occur. The propinquility is a question that can be answered by the Hedonistic Calculus. Hedonistic Calculus is a process or a theory that is used to evaluate, calculate and estimate pleasures and pains. This theory or process lists the advantages, benefits, and happiness as phrases and signs of pleasure. Propinquility simply means nearness or remoteness of the pain or pleasure. It depends on how long a person must wait for the pleasure to occur. This is not a very good decision because it is not certain of the probability of the pleasure to occur.

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Pleasure will produce more pleasure at this extent. A question on fecundity can be answered by the Hedonistic Calculus. In this principal the likelihood that pleasure or pain will lead to other or the same kind of pleasure or the pain can be believed to be drawn from the experiences of other people. This can also be drawn from a person’s personal records on their experiences. However, according to Epicureans (Philosophy 302: Ethics the Hedonistic Calculus), many extreme pleasures are not possible to be followed by other pleasure. This is not a good decision or theory since it does not speak of maximum pleasure but the probability of less pleasure after extreme pleasure.


This simply means that pleasure does not cause pain at the same time. Purity constitutes the Fecundity or the probability of the first pain and the contamination of the first pleasure. This speaks of the value pain each pain which happens to be created by the same cause of the first pain is. The summation of pleasure and pain resulting from certain actions can be measured from the complexity of the pleasures and pains which have resulted from the action. This is not a good decision since it relies on probability and is therefore not certain.

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This is the number of sentient beings affected by the action. This means the entire amount of or the value of pleasure can be reached at or attained by summing up the calculations and estimates from similar actions. This action is also based on assumption and probability and is not certain. It is therefore not a good decision.


This paper helps to distinguish virtue ethics on a character rather than on the consequences of the action. It is therefore clear that one needs to determine the consequences of their ethical actions by weighing the intensity, the duration, the certainty, the propinquity, fecundity, purity and the extent of their actions.


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