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John and his eight roommates have been managing to split the cost of rent for a while, but money is getting tight, and the roommates are going to have to cut back on their usage of water, or they will be evicted at the end of the winter. John does not think it is fair he has to slow his water usage, and decided that he will use all the water he wants. This case is one that Immanuel Kant would consider immoral, and wrong. If john uses the water as he pleases, Kant’s Formula of Universal Law proves that what John is doing is wrong, and contradicts itself. John is also going against Kant’s formula of humanity, because he is using his friends as a means rather than an end. John’s choice to use all the water he wants is immoral and acting upon this maxim is contrary to duty, according to Kant.
Immanuel Kant, an eighteenth century German philosopher, is considered one of the most influential philosophers to ever live. Kant was a deontologist, meaning he creates theories in order to locate the rightness and wrongness of an action. Kant created a moral theory called the Categorical Imperative, which is considered an unbreakable moral law. As Kant claims, “Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time and without contradiction will to be a universal law.” A maxim is the principle that causes us to perform a specific action. Kant’s Categorical Imperative is black and white. Regardless of contexts or circumstances, what is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong, according to Kant. Ultimately, the Categorical Imperative gives us a template to decide whether an action is moral or not.
Kant believed the only way to exercise the Categorical Imperative, was first to formulate a maxim. Though Kant does not provide us wit...

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...mmates’ supply of water. John acknowledges that he has to save water in order to pay rent at the end of the month, and in choosing to ignore this, is using his roommates. So no, I do not think it is just for John to use as much water as he sees fit. However, I found a couple of problems with Kant’s Categorical Imperative, the most overarching one being that he never supplied us with a template for formulating a maxim. I find it impossible to base my morality on the Categorical Imperative when I am not given a guideline on how to formulate my maxims. In nearly all-possible scenarios, if everyone on earth was held to the same maxim there would almost certainly be a contradiction, making said act immoral. Overall I think Kant is very interesting, and his Categorical Imperative could be useful in judging morality of an action, but I do not call my self a Kantist.
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