Kant's Ethics: Jim Doesn T Kill The Indian Man

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As a Kantian, the ultimate goal is to focus on our maxims and not on how much pain or pleasure the act could possibly produce. So as a result, Kant would argue that Jim should not kill the Indian man, even if it would save the other Indian men. The reason why is because Kant does not believe in using people as mere means, it wouldn’t be considered a conceivable maxim, and it would be betraying a perfect duty.
The definition of deontology is having the belief that you do what’s right because you have a moral duty. For Kant, his ethics are grounded on reason and pure reason alone. It is a matter of a priori vs a posteriori. A priori is knowing the truth of the judgement, regardless of empirical view. An example of a priori would be that a single …show more content…

“Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means…” (Kant 234). Jim would be using the one Indian man as a mere means to an end. To use them as a mere means is to involve them in a situation in “which they could not principle consent” (O’Neil 2). Even though it is stated that the villagers and the men against the wall are begging Jim to accept, it isn’t considered a principle consent if one has to be coerced to consent. Although we use people as means all the time, it is immoral to use them as mere means, which is take a subject and treat them as if they are an object that is only there to serve your interests. “Therefore, no one rational or autonomous creature should be treated as mere means for the enjoyment or even the happiness of another” (O’Neil 6). We have a perfect duty to others, and that includes not using them as mere means. In Kant’s eyes, Jim would be using the Indian as a mere means. The man would not be able to truly consent to an “offer he can’t refuse” (O’Neil 3). Kant values human life because they are rational beings. By coercion, it takes away the rationality in oneself. If a utilitarian were in this situation, it would mean achieving the greatest number of happiness, but Kant is focused on intentions rather than consequences. “It is conceivable

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