The Importance Of Kantian Code Of Ethics

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The earth is under threat. Aliens are coming from multiple light years away with one mission – to decimate humanity. They are a cruel race by nature, and they will not rest until they see violence enacted. Luckily, they have a stipulation that could save humanity – if I punch the person sitting next to me right in the face, they will relent their barrage. Specifically, the person to make this decision and take the action must me. Unfortunately for humanity, I live my life under a strict Kantian code of ethics. I struggle, because I recognize immediately that using someone as a means to an end is, to me, morally reprehensible. On the other hand, I am a human, and I instinctually begin to worry about my own safety. Thinking fast, I try to come up with a …show more content…
The maxim says that, if I am aware that someone could potentially come to harm, either through my action or inaction, then I have a duty to do what I can to prevent that harm. Certainly, I know that aliens destroying the Earth counts as a very big harm. So, I am in violation of my own maxim by not punching the man in the face. But if I punch him in the face, I am in violation of a different maxim. However, I could shift my thinking to see this man not as a means to an end, but in fact, and end in and of himself. If I punch him, I am causing him harm. But I am also saving his life, which would lead to a more harmonious convergence of all of my problems. But, as I wind back my arm to punch him in the face, I realize that I cannot justify hitting this man in the face. Under Kantian means, the ends do not justify the means. Although I do have a duty to save this man, if possible, I am not failing in my maxim if it is not possible to save him. So, even though I know we will all die, I lower my fist and resolve not to punch him. I may be about to die, but I will be going out with the knowledge that I remained faithful to my Kantian ideals the entire way

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