Consequentialists and non-consequentialist are the opposite moral reasoning types that include specific theories and determine the individual’s perception of principles. Consequentialism evaluates the outcomes, and if the consequent advantages are more significant than drawbacks, an action is considered profound (Gustafson 2020). Consequentialist theories are utilitarianism, which prioritizes decision-making approaches that promote overall happiness, and moral egoism, which identifies self-interest actions as ethically acceptable (Gustafson 2020). Non-consequentialism assesses if an act itself is right or wrong rather than its consequences (Wedgwood 2016). Non-consequentialist theories are virtue ethics and deontology that regulate the individual’s traits and habits. Virtue morals support the thesis that a person must develop profound habits such as honesty, and their actions will be evaluated as good (Gustafson 2020). Deontology followers find sets of rules which determine whether a decision is beneficial or not (Wedgwood 2016). The difference between consequentialism and non-consequentialism is still discussed, yet any person can choose the one they find the most suitable.
In my opinion, both types of moral reasoning can be applied by an individual, yet modern life requires us to consider any action’s consequences. Theories such as utilitarianism and ethical egoism help society stay healthy and build trustworthy relationships between people. Moreover, the golden rule of morality that encourages to treat others the way you want to be treated belongs to Kant, whose philosophy is dedicated to consequentialism.
An example of non-consequentialist action that can prove that the opposite theory is better is how Sweden coped with the COVID-19 pandemics. The government decided not to evaluate the consequences of the virus spread and did not establish nationwide lockdowns because non-intervention in people’s lives was the right action regardless of the outcomes. It led the country to extremely high death rates, economic issues, and decreased trust in the legislators (Bjorklund and Ewing 2020). If consequentialist reasoning was applied, these consequences could be considered when the pandemic began, and the Swedish government’s decisions could be safer for the country.
Bjorklund, Kelly, and Andrew Ewing. 2020. “The Swedish COVID-19 Response Is a Disaster. It Shouldn’t Be a Model for the Rest of the World.” Time Magazine, Web.
Gustafson, Andrew. 2018. “Consequentialism and non-consequentialism.” In The Routledge Companion to Business Ethics, 79-95. London: Routledge.
Wedgwood, Ralph. 2016. “Two grades of non-consequentialism.” Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (4): 795-814. Web.