Good Essays
One of my great difficulties with Kant's moral philosophy is that it suggests that our moral obligations leave us helpless when dealing with evil. “Kant's theory sets a high ideal of conduct and tells us to live up to that ideal regardless of what other persons are doing.” Imagine you are a character in a Shakespearean play and are watching your father getting murdered. He is the King and you aspire that one day you will take his place (Even though you know it won’t happen, because you’re a woman). Your brother takes the initiate to kill him and take his place. I’m sure you would not be thinking oh, it’s fine that he killed your father because being king is a great thing and it doesn’t matter how or why he got there. Most likely you’d be thinking to yourself: How can he become king by murdering my father? This is horrible and unjust. He does not have the entitlement to be king. Even though the people will accept him as king, but know the way he acquired this position was through murder. And they would pretend to like him, but out of fear or resentment, depending, perhaps, if the previous king was good or bad. If your brother had waited to become king, rather than murdering his own father to become king, then the means that he used to get to the end would’ve been better and the people would most likely have accepted him. Emmanuel Kant states: "Act so as to treat people always as ends in themselves, never as mere means." The idea here is that everyone is essentially valuable. We should treat people as having a value all their own rather than merely as useful tools by means of which we can satisfy our own goals or purposes. Other people are valuable not merely insofar as they can serve our purposes; they are also valuable in t... ... middle of paper ... ...her. We may in Kant's view justifiably risk or sacrifice our lives for others. For in doing so we follow our own maxim and nobody uses us as mere means. But no others may use either our lives or our bodies for a scheme that they have either coerced or deceived us into joining. For in doing so they would fail to treat us as rational beings; they would use us as mere means and not as ends in ourselves. I think that how you get to the end matters more than the end itself. Notice that in my very first example I’ve determined that if your brother murdered your father to claim the throne you’d be thinking that it wasn’t just. That’s because, even though he did something great and the whole court should be proud of him, he got to that high position in a horrible way, so instead of everyone adoring him, they despise him. I have many ethical issues with Kant’s Groundwork.
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