Kant's Utilitarian Ethics Case

933 Words 4 Pages
Now let’s apply Utilitarianism to L’s case. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory. This means that what matters when deciding if an act was good or bad are the consequences of said action. With Utilitarianism, whatever action maximizes the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people is the right action (Tait, pg.10). The Philosopher Gilbert Harmon describes Utilitarianism as such, “ You ought always to act so as to maximize the social utility where social utility is simply another name for the general welfare,” (Harmon, pg. 152). What this means is that the right action is the one that maximizes the good (happiness) for society as a whole. From looking at this we can tell that a Utilitarian would most likely have no …show more content…
The focus of this ethical theory lies in motivations, not the consequences of an action. In order for an act to be morally right it must come from the right motivations, and according to Immanuel Kant, the only valid motivation was Duty (Tait, pg.12). According to Kant we must all follow the Categorical Imperative which has two formulations. The first is, “ Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law,” (Kant, pg. 31). This means that when we try and choose a moral rule to follow we should be able to universalize it, as in everyone else in the world could also follow this rule without the structure of society falling into chaos because of it. The second part of the CI is often called the Humanity Principle, and it states that no one should be treated as a mere means to an end, but rather as ends in themselves (Kant, pg. 36). This means that we must treat other human beings with respect, and we can’t use them as a tool to further our own …show more content…
A common objection to Kantian Ethics is that because there are no exceptions to the rule, we cannot override one duty to obey another. So, when two duties come into conflict, we are stuck at a standstill because we can’t go against either duties. For example, in L’s case, if the teachers have a duty to prevent injustice in the classroom, but they also have a duty to provide an adequate education for the rest of their students, they are stuck because they can’t override either duty. But regardless of the faults in Deontology I still think that it is the one best suited to be applied to this case as it takes into consideration the importance of fairness and equality for disabled

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