Adolf Eichmann And Kant's Ethical Theory

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Otto Adolf Eichmann was one of the most important members of the Nazi Party who was accused of crimes against the Jewish people and humanity during World War 2. After the war, he went to Argentina to escape prosecution but was captured there by Israeli agents and was transferred to Israel to be judged. During the trial, Eichmann’s defense was based on Kant’s duty-based ethical theory and categorical Imperative since he overstated many times that he was only following orders. By enouncing Kantian ethical theory, Eichmann acquitted himself from moral guilt. Kant’s categorical imperative as known as The Formula Of The End In Itself states that people should act in a certain way that you always treat humanity and always consider them as an end but never as mere means. This moral theory opposes to Utilitarianism, which supports the “greatest happiness principle”. According to “greatest happiness principle” people ought to act in such a way that produce the greatest amount of happiness for the…show more content…
But since he did not tend to produce happiness for the greatest number of people or not adjust his actions according to their consequences, it would be doubtful to relate Eichmann to Kant’s ethical views in the direct way. Eichmann abused and misinterpreted Kantian ethics in order to absolve himself of guilt during the trial. When the judge asks him that if he came across the idea of categorical imperative, then (during the World War 2)? Eichmann says that he met the Kantian ethics during his early life, but not think about it much until the war. Even the answer of Eichmann demonstrates how wrong Kantian ethics had been misused and misinterpreted by him. Nevertheless, according to Kantian ethics, a personal life should not have a confliction with the law which is another reason that indicates that Eichmann was not a true “proper”
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