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Kant, Fundamental Principles - Essay Example

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Kant, Fundamental Principles

Because if the will behind these things are bad, so will the actions be bad. Intelligence can be used to create things which help the world or which harm it. Courage can be good in the fact of danger or it can exercised without moderation and result in more danger.
A person acts out of moral duty if the only reason he commits is the act is out of recognition that he has a moral duty. Moral duty requires understanding the value of the morality of an act. It is good will that that is the motivation for duty and nothing else.
3. A maxim is a subjective principle, e.g., I keep promises, and Kant claims that actions derive their moral worth from the maxims behind the actions. Another way to put this might be that the goodness of an action is based on the why the action was performed. Give an example of the same action being performed by two different people, e.g., giving money to charity, and explain how the second person's action can be morally superior to the first person's action.
Example 2: A person is being held hostage in a house by an escaped convict when the police knock on the door. Because they believe the convict's story that he was unfairly convicted and therefore innocent, the person refuses to answer the door.
Even if one is under the most difficult of circumstances, Kant disallows the notion of universalizing such a concept. Although the invidual lie could be willed, applying it universally would be incoherent in the sense that it would turn every promise into a false, empty promise.


5. Write a brief essay in which you describe a biomedical scenario, identify a moral question arising from it, and resolve the question by applying the categorical imperative to the scenario. You must state the categorical imperative in your essay.


A recent real-life scenario brought to the forefront an analysis of Kantian ethics in the biomedical field. During the ravages of Hurricane Katrina several elderly people housed in a nursing home were left to the ethical considerations of doctors and nurses. Lines of communication with family members of patients were non-existent, power supplies were down and nutrition delivery severely compromised. In addition, the lack of an adequate response from the government left medical personnel with the distinct impression that they could be caring for these patients for several days, if not weeks, before help arrived. Faced the horror of allowing these patients to suffer needlessly for who knew how long or to allow them to die peacefully in their sleep, an ethical dilemma was definitely being presented to them.
Kant's categorical imperative impels us to act "according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law." In other words, if the doctors and nurses under these circumstances chose to enact mercy ...Show more

Summary

Read pages 45-56 from the Primis Packet. This reading presents the second moral theory of the semester, Kant's Deontology (i.e., Kant's analysis of our moral duties), which is arguably the most influential if not most successful moral theory in the history of philosophy…
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