Kant 7 Spelunkers Analysis

768 Words 4 Pages
In this essay I will be going over what I believe Kant would do in the situation of the seven spelunkers. First, I will state if Kant would blast the large man or not, then explain why he would make this decision. Next, I will present a counter-argument to Kant’s opinion. Finally, I will give my own opinion on the topic and conclude the essay.
If Kant were to be in the situation of the seven spelunkers, he would almost always choose to let the spelunkers drown. This is because Kant is a Deontologist, a school of thought that judges the what is right based on universally set rules (Landry, 2018). Kant also believed in the categorical imperative. Because of this he believed you should never do any harm, under any situation, even if it means saving
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If he did ask to sacrifice himself for the good of the others Kant would choose to kill him, as it no longer goes against the categorical imperative. One might argue that Kant’s absolutism causes him to make the wrong decision in this situation. Since Kant is only worried about doing what he thinks is moral at the time, he guarantees the death of seven people; instead of just the one. If we look at a higher good instead of a categorical imperative it puts a hole in his argument. Since we do not have enough information as to what the spelunkers do outside of this situation, it is logical to argue letting the most people live is the best end to the situation. Instead of the alternative, letting everyone die just to avoid committing a murder, especially since the large man will die in either outcome. Another flaw in Kant’s argument is our ability to redefine our maxims. If we allow ourselves to have broad maxims such as “never committing murder”, Kant’s argument remains strong, but if we redefine that maxim to “never commit murder unless it is for the greatest possible good” then it becomes fragile. Some may even argue without the ability to redefine maxims the world would become more chaotic. For example, if you could never lie in any situation, even if it is to protect another, there could be very negative consequences. By redefining the maxim to “never lie unless it is for some greater good”, we can get around the absolutism of deontology, and damage Kant’s

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