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, the only thing that can be considered good without any qualification is a good will (Reitan). He strengthens this stance with the notion that the merit of a good will is independent of the consequences that stem from acting on said will (Reitan). Kant goes so far as to claim that there is a difference morally in “acting from duty” and “acting merely in accord with duty (Reitan).” In other words, doing the right thing is not enough, you must do the right thing for the right reasons, and the only acceptable reason is in respect for the moral law. 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, ar...
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...iminal to find the location of various bombs would be immoral. Scenario two is worded in a way that leads us to assume the criminal is 100% guilty. If this is true, then I support torturing him to save hundreds, but if there is any miniscule chance that he is not guilty, then I am against the torturing of the suspect. However, I do not support the torture of his wife in either situation. I believe that out of respect for the dignity of human life, torture should be forbidden, except in extreme cases where we know the person is guilty, beyond any doubt. In conclusion, while I do believe the Kantian lens is correct in showing that torture is wrong, I believe that, in the case of scenario two, it gets the verdict wrong. The suspect, we can assume, is known to be 100% guilt and, in my opinion, this gives us the right to invoke torture to save the innocent people.
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