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Published: 10-10-2019

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The Pros and Cons of Kantian Deontology Moral Theory

Immanuel Kant is a single of the greatest moral theorists of the eighteenth century. He is the mastermind behind the moral theory, which is aptly named soon after him, Kantian Deontology. His moral theory “is broadly deemed the most critical and influential of all deontological theories” (Burnor and Raley). It does has a lot of desirable aspects, but it is not perfect. Two attractive qualities of Kant’s moral theory is that it aims for true (and logical) universality and the principle of ends. But, as stated just before, Kantian Deontology is not perfect. Two unattractive qualities are the fact that Kant does not take account of consequencesthat outcome from some morals and the “rational agent objection” (Burnor and Raley).

Universality of one’s morals is at the best of the ‘attractive qualities’ list of Kantian Deontology. He makes use of the term maxim to refer to “rule of conduct or behavior that 1 can act in accordance with”(Burnor and Raley). When it comes down to the fundamentals of universality of morals, Kant’s “strategy is to let the morality of an act depend on whether or not rational sense can be made of that act being established as a universal practice” (Burnor and Raley). The best way to demonstrate how a maxim is determined rational adequate to be universalized is by applying it to a easy concept like lying. Can lying be universalized? The answer would be ‘no’ because the point of lying is to deceive somebody (no matter whether it is a massive or small deception) and if lying were a normal each day maxim, then everyone would know they are becoming deceived. Whichjust defeats the goal. In relation to that, an observation that has resulted from studying Kant’s universality of morals is “each individual has the same moral worth, it follows that each individual deserves specifically the very same degree of respect”(Burnor and Raley). Reading this may possibly bring the golden rule to mind, but it is not the same issue. Rational sense of universalizing a maxim is what differs Kant’s belief from the golden rule. The factor to bear in mind about Kant’s goal isthat he desires to attempt andshowhow moral principles can arise from purpose. A bonus detail that makes universality appealing is the reality that it responds to Utilitarianism’s weakness of not even obtaining universalism.

Principle of Ends is another appealing good quality of Kantian Deontology. Primarily, the principle of ends is to “Act so as to treat each person affected by your action (including yourself) as an end and in no way as a signifies only” (Burnor and Raley). Intrinsic value is crucial and must be taken into consideration when it comes to the principle of ends. Honestly, this principle can be a bit confusing if you do not know what Kant’s definition of ‘means’ and ‘end’ are. In this case, ‘means’ is generally defined as a tool or even a way of reaching your purpose at some expense. Then there is ‘end’, which is the goal you are attempting to get to. According to the authors of the book, “Kant’s principle of an ends offers us a profound moral insight” (Burnor and Raley). The very best instance used to demonstrate this principle is Al’s dishonest treatment of Mrs. Satzoner (the client) from the book. Extended story quick, Al lies to Mrs. Satzoner that the SUV she is searching to purchase is in “tiptop condition” (Burnor and Raley), in order to finalize the sale of the SUV. Al naturally has knowledge of the history of the vehicle, which contains all the concerns it has, and he is hiding a transmission leak in the SUV so he can keep away from expenses that are needed to fix it. According to the principle, he is morally wrong since “he has failed to respect her as a person” and only treats her as a implies. There is also the categorical crucial which “doesn’t depend upon any situations – it unconditionally holds for everybody and each and every situation” (Burnor and Raley). Principle of Ends is really 1 of many equivalent versions of the categorical imperative and it is the easiest 1 to realize.

As I stated at the beginning, despite the attractiveness of Kantian Deontology there are some flaws since it is not excellent. One flaw is that “Kant refuses to take consequences into account” (Burnor and Raley). What does that imply? Well, Kant defends his option not to account for consequences by saying that they “have no effect on morality” and “no matter the circumstance, one particular cannot control or even anticipate the future course of events” (Burnor and Raley). If we had been to accept this, then “we cannot be morally accountable for what eventually takes place” (Burnor and Raley). The example that the book utilizes was, if terrorists had been to come up to you and ask when the train station is most most likely to be complete what would you do? If you reside by the maxim of not lying then you will tell them the truth. Now this is where Kant’s belief that you have no handle over the future comes into question, the station they are organizing to blow up could be unexpectedly shut down when they planned to attack. But how most likely is that? As a result, the Consequentialists would like to argue that individuals “do not appear as normally powerless as Kant suggests” (Burnor and Raley) since some of our alternatives do influence other people. For example, picking not to answer the terrorists’ concerns may possibly trigger them to be unsuccessful and not follow by way of. This is where Kantian Deontology slips up.

“The Rational Agent Objection” (Burnor and Raley), is yet another unattractive quality of Kantian Deontology. “Kantian ethics only demands the just and respectful therapy of persons – of autonomous moral agents” (Burnor and Raley) which indicates that infants, young youngsters and those who look to lack autonomy do not get just and respectful treatment. They are excluded due to the fact they can't generate a moral law for themselves. Kant likes to argue that we still have person duties,in spite of not obtaining direct duties, to them. In other words, you do not have to show respect or execute specific duties for those who are not autonomous. For example if you, a young youngster, a young adult and an elderly particular person with Alzheimer’s had been all in a space collectively and they all required assistance of some sort, you only have a duty to the young adult simply because they are autonomous. How messed up is that? Then the authors pose the idea that “perhaps the creatures that have the capability of future (or that have had autonomy in the previous) should be granted particular rights.” (Burnor and Raley). But all round Kant’s beliefs here will not satisfy supporters of animal rights.

Kantian Deontology is one particular of the strongest “most critical and influential of all deontological theories” (Burnor and Raley).It has a multitude of eye-catching qualities that make it one particular of the most well-liked theories to comply with. Two of those appealing qualities are the fact that it attempts to attain true universality and there is the principle of ends (which is generally looks at intrinsic worth). Nevertheless, Kant’s moral theory is not perfect and does have flaws. The reality that Kant does not acknowledge or accept consequences in his theory and says that we need to only respect only these who are autonomous moral agents (the rational agent objection).All round, Kantian Deontology is the second greatest moral theory we studied this semester.
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