Ethical Dilemma In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

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Ethical Dilemma: is it Ethical for Jack and his tribe to kill Simon

The book, Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, tells the story of a plane full of boys that have been evacuated from England. Their plane crashes on an island. Upon crashing, the pilot and all the other adults have died, and the young children have been left alone on the island. The oldest child is named Ralph, who is 12 years of age. Ralph, the protagonist of the novel, teams up with his friend Piggy, and gather the boys in one spot. When the boys assemble, most are in tears and scared for their lives. Ralph suggests that they should come up with a set of rules that they should follow in an attempt to keep order on the island. He first recommends that they pick
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The categorical imperative is a moral obligation that is not dependent on the situation of individual, meaning there is a set rule for everyone. A Kantian would say that in order to do something, everyone else must also be allowed to do it. This means that if someone can lie, then everyone can lie, and if someone can steal then everyone can steal. A Kantian would add that if the situation in which you try to achieve your maxim is immoral, do not give up. Rather, you should find a different way in which to achieve the maxim. In this situation, the maxim is for everyone to join Jack’s tribe, however, the action to realize the maxim is to kill Simon. Jack thinks that, in order to achieve his maxim, it is okay to kill Simon. In this case, a Kantian would say that he should not kill Simon, for the simple reason that if you can kill without consequence, then the entire world should be able to do the same, and what if we lived in a world where everyone was able to kill each other. In Kant’s philosophy there is no room for exceptions, and even though the boys are put in this rough situation, it is not acceptable for them to take a person’s …show more content…
I usually subscribe to Bentham’s philosophy of Act Utilitarianism, because of the thorough method he applies when deciding whether or not something is ethical. The reason I agree with Kant in this case is because he does not focus on this particular situation, but rather, considers the hypothetical case in which the entire world is put in this situation. Although Kant and Plato would both come to the conclusion that the boys should not kill Simon, I still agree with Kant’s philosophy for many reasons. Unlike Plato, Kant focuses on what is to come from the action that is going to take place. For example, Kant says that if one person can kill, then everyone should be able to kill, and if everyone can kill then the world would not be able to function. Another reason I agree with Kant and not Plato is because Plato says that if you do bad, than you feel guilty. I personally do not believe that everyone is born with a good conscience, and therefore, people will not feel guilt for their actions, even if their actions are unethical. In conclusion, I strongly agree with Kant’s ethical philosophy, and even though a Kantian and egoist would arrive at the same conclusion, I believe that the way in which a Kantian would get to the conclusion is

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