One of the many challenges faced in moral discernment can be summarized by the question: “How much do consequences matter?” Mom always said, “Think about the consequences before you act!” But are the consequences more important than law and human rights? Immanuel Kant said that since you have no certainty regarding the consequences, you should only weigh law when deciding what is the right act in a given situation. But consequentialists suggest that when determining what is right, you should only weigh the consequences and the principle of utility (the greatest good for the greatest number). For consequentialists, if you can bring about good consequences by breaking the law or invading rights, that would be considered right. Who do you agree with, consequentialists or deontologists? Can you think of a mediating position that honors rights and law while also seeking the best consequences?
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