Is Lying Under Any Circustances "Righ or Wrong"?

Topics: Morality, Logic, Ethics Pages: 3 (949 words) Published: December 12, 2010

Based on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, I would have to disagree with his argument that lying is wrong under any circumstances. In this paper I will discuss my reason for disagreeing with the argument based on the flaw stated in the argument, how lying and telling the truth both have bad consequences depending on the circumstances, and also how moral rules cannot be absolute.

In this paragraph I will be discussing the flaw that is stated in the argument, in which I absolutely agree with. The philosophy that “ Kant” is stating is completely flawed because it is contradictory on what he base his reasoning on. “ Suppose it was necessary to lie to save someone’s life. Should you do it? Kant would have us reason as follows: We should do only those actions that conform to rules that we could will to be adopted universally. Second, if you were to lie, you would be following the rule ' It is okay to lie.' Also this rule could not be adopted universally, because it would be self-defeating: People would stop believing one another, and then it would do no good to lie, therefore, you should not lie.” (Immanuel Kant). The problem would show in step two, on why we would be saying if we lied that we would be following a rule that it is okay to lie, when as Anscombe stated if you changed it around to “ I will lie when doing so would save someone’s life.” That would make that rule not be self-defeating. Ancombe's argument,shows that in order not to lie completely and prove Kant’s philosophy you have to show where lying would not have a good consequence behind it. But it clearly shows that depending on what you are lying for some lies can help more than hurt.

Which leads me into my second point on how lying and telling the truth both has bad consequences. In Kant’s philosophy telling the truth leaves you blameless no matter what the outcome of the truth. And lying leaves you being held responsible for the outcome...

Cited: Rachels, James ( 1941-2003) The Elements of Moral Philosophy
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