Tok Ethics Notes

Topics: Ethics, Logic, Morality Pages: 2 (618 words) Published: February 13, 2013
P. 378-390. Notes on the Ethical Theories

Kant and His Theories

Immanuel Kant (notice that he lived in the 1700’s and people likely had different views back then), a philosopher, believes that using reason, one can make a list of ethical actions. Kant says that one must generalize the certain action he is about to do to see if it is reasonable. For example, you ask yourself “should I cut the line in the cafeteria?” The way you can answer this question is by asking yourself “What if everyone cut the line?” Of course, if that happened then there would be chaos, so you shouldn’t cut the line. This also applies to stealing, murdering, and keeping promises. He basically says that everyone is equal and you shouldn’t justify your actions to yourself because you are not special and you wouldn’t want others to do that to you. “Treat others as you would have them treat you.” Golden Rule. But, if only you do this and no one else does you are going to get eaten up by the world. This may contradict a person’s adaptability and may negatively appeal to emotion; you will feel like a B----.

Veil of ignorance- You have two people who love cake. Tell one person to cut a cake in half but let the other choose which half to take. Again, Golden Rule.

Kant says there is a difference between objects and people, you can replace objects but not people. Someone broke my computer, I am sad. He buys me a new one, I am happy. I am about to die, my parents are sad. They can clone me, should they be happy? He also says that you shouldn’t kill people for the greater good. But what if they were murderers or rapists aren’t they causing sadness, and their deaths would in fact be for the greater good?

Kant sees that a persons intentions that count rather than the final result. But what if I am helping a person, who is bad and corrupt, against a thief who is only trying to feed his family, quite the dilemma. Kant uses only reasoning rather than emotion so that people always do what is...
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