Kantianism And Deontological Ethics

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When two groups of people coexist it is possible that one group can become subjected by the other. But is it possible for the superior society based on reason to do such things? In Kant’s ideal a “kingdom of ends” the kingdom is ruled by Kantian rational human beings. The question then becomes ‘what is the purpose of non-rational beings?’ What rights would be given to the hodgepodge of living beings? I will explore the basics of Kantianism and discuss the outcome of the non-rational beings in the kingdom of ends. Immanuel Kant is one of the great enlightenment philosophers who focuses on deontological ethics; Deon being Greek for “duty” and Kantianism being the popular branch of deontological ethics. Kantianism is making ethical choices based…show more content…
This is often confused with the golden rule of “treat others as you yourself would like to be treated.” However in Kantianism the rule is “treat people as they ought to be treated” (Burnor, 162). It then becomes ones duty to treat people as they ought to be treated and not base decisions on any one individual’s experiences. Kantianism is against “a posteriori” or actions that come from experience. As experiences are not universal and would create inconsistencies among people making moral choices, Kant is against making choices dependent on experiences. For example, one individual who helps a fallen old man back to his feet may be attacked for assisting; Another individual who helps a different old man to his feet might be offered monetary compensation for his or her service. The first individual would be less inclined to help a fallen old man for fear of another attack, while the second individual would help the old man to receive the financial benefits. Kant believes it is the duty of each individual to help out the old man regardless of experience. The first man acting out of fear is not acting morally because he is being controlled by his own phobia. The second man is acting for financial benefit and is being controlled by outside forces. This example proves experiences lead to amoral…show more content…
With people being reduced to the same level of moral integrity as plants and animals, it is not difficult to predict the outcome. The whole group of have-nots would be transformed into a factory of servitude and sacrifice. Animals and plants for instance, are treated as inferior beings being used as pets (houseplant), put on display, hunted, and harvested for the betterment of mankind. With non-rational beings placed on the same tier as plants and animals, then it’s possible that non- rational beings will be subjected to the same conditions. However the Kantians could choose to give rights to these beings and treat them as equals. Their duty could become ensuring the rights of the non-rational beings. However, in a society totally dominated by rationals, it is impossible to give non-rationals equal rights unless the non- rationals establish a power on the kingdom. If that were to happen, it would no longer be a kingdom of ends but just another kingdom. The kingdom of ends must place rights of the rationalist above others. Humanity has the goal to treat everyone as an equal and not as a subject but in the kingdom of ends the rational have more rights than the other
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