Case Study Of Kant's Deontology

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A Kantian Approach to Case Two Over the course of this essay, I will present the reader with information on Kant’s Deontology, including, but not limited to, explaining how Immanuel Kant discerns what is morally right and morally wrong. I will then apply these criterion to case number two, and attempt to accurately portray what Kant’s Deontology dictates is the morally correct response. Following this determination, I will show the reader that although Kant’s moral reasoning will lead us to a definitive answer, we should not be so quick to accept it. Interestingly enough, he seems to lead us to what would generally be the correct answer, but perhaps not in the given circumstance and not for the right reason. According to Immanuel Kant,…show more content…
Kant presents his followers with both categorical and hypothetical imperatives (Reitan). The hypothetical imperatives, often dubbed the imperfect duties, basically state, “If you want X, do Y (Reitan).” In other words, hypothetical imperatives are not obligatory of people, but encourage certain actions for certain results. Categorical imperatives say, “Do Y, no matter what you want (Reitan).” These perfect duties, as they are referred to as, are rules that we must follow without any acceptable exceptions (Degrazia, Mappes and Brand-Ballard). These perfect duties include the forbidding of killing innocent people, lying, breaking promises, becoming intoxicated, committing suicide, and masturbating (Horn). Kant ultimately believes that reason dictates what is right and wrong through the categorical imperative of Kantian Deontology, which has two formulations (Reitan). The first states, “Act only on that maxim that you can at the same time (consistently) will to be a universal law (of nature) (Reitan).” This is the philosophical equivalent of “treat others the way you want to be treated.” The second formulation, which could arguably provide a different…show more content…
As we analyze this scenario through the eyes of Kantian Deontology, it is imperative that we recognize that, for our purposes, the lives of the civilians in question are irrelevant. This is because, as stated earlier, the consequences of one’s actions are meaningless; it is only the intent and will that truly matter in deciding an actions morality. We are only concerned with discerning the moral nature of torture itself. By removing the possibility of a terrible outcome, Kant leads us to a clear verdict on torture. In response to the first question that Kantian’s must ask themselves, it appears that torture fails. Torture is certainly not a maxim that many would want to will into the natural law. The second formulation of the categorical imperative, the basis of the second question that Kantian’s need to consider, is where torturing for information is declared absolutely impermissible. By torturing someone for information, specifically the location of several bombs, we are disregarding their rational autonomy by using them merely as a means only (Reitan). There is one scenario where the torture of the criminal could be considered morally acceptable. This is supported by Kant’s stance on capital punishment. Some may find this surprising, but Immanuel Kant was a
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