Question: Kant, the founder of deontology, insisted that lying is always a moral fault. So how should a deontologist handle the problem of Anne Frank? That is, if you are hiding someone from murderers and you know that under casual inquiry or rigorous interrogation the only way to keep the secret is to “convince” yourself of a lie and thereby lie to convince the evildoers, have you done a bad thing?
Answer: Kant, the founder of deontology talks about Moral Absolutism. He speaks that right or wrong no matter what your intentions are have consequences. By telling a lie to protect someone from murders has consequences if caught. The protectors or liars know full well what the punishment will be before they share their thoughts or lies with the enforcers. Deontology is described as duty or even obligation. If an agent thinks it is their duty to protect another agent from harm by lying would be considered ethical because that is their duty to one self. So, if we are talking about Moral Absolutism then you are wrong for lying to protect anyone even if it involves the selfish gene. In the case of Ann Frank her protectors were wrong for lying because they knew what would happen if they were caught. If you are acting under Deontological Ethics, and are bound by duty to tell a lie to protect what you believe is right, you are ethically right even if it is wrong. If no one finds out that you are lying than there is no harm done. To live with goodwill is the only way to achieve excellence. If you always believe what you are doing is good than goodwill is created. Altruism could also fit into the Anne Frank situation. Altruism is about sacrificing something for others. In this case sacrifice was made too and could have been severe to save others.
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