Kantian Torture Essay

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Imagine this: a man abducts ten children and stows them away in some unknown location. Eventually, the police are able to locate the man and arrest him. While in police custody, he is interrogated and admits to the kidnappings. Though the criminal refuses to tell where the children are hidden. Due to the high danger that the children face and the urgency of the issue, a rogue cop is pushed to torturing the kidnapper in an attempt to force him to disclose the whereabouts of the minors. The torture does not render any information regarding their location, but the criminal does admit that if his fourteen year old daughter was tortured he would be unable to withhold the information any longer. The moral issue is then arisen whether or not the torture …show more content…
The Kantian viewpoint is opposite of utilitarianism in the way that it is believed that “right actions do not depend in the least on consequences…, the production of happiness, or the desires and needs of human beings” (68). It is thought that actions are naturally right or wrong, and that “moral duties are expressed in the form of categorical imperatives”, (68) or universal commands. Therefore, for a thing to be ethical under Kantian ethics, it must be able to become a universal law that all humans would be able to follow. When a person is motivated by duty alone, they are not persuaded by punishments or achievements, and they are following the universal moral laws, then that is what is considered morally …show more content…
Not everything that is ethical can be done on a universal scale. For example, I would not classify it unethical to have a large family, but if every single person in the world had eight children, then the world would be far too overpopulated and resources would be extremely limited. Furthermore, there are some cases where an exception to a rule is necessary. In the event that an intruder attacks another group of citizens and the only way to stop him is to kill him, then that too would not necessarily be unethical in my eyes even though murdering another goes against the categorical

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