Kant’s Moral Theory and the Lucifer Effect

8/5/10

Kant’s Moral Theory

Categorical Imperative
1st formulation diosen’t work
Objection from specifics
Universalizing a subjective intention will work for any – if if is specific enough.
Second formulation works better:
1. Never treat anyone as a means (for immoral purposes) of using would violate their free will. The free will has intrinsic value. (fairly, not lied to, don’t murder)
2. If an act is to have moral value, it must be performed out of DUTY (not sentiment) (want to conform, categorical imperative)
a. Expectation of salvation or a good life, self-fulfillment, pleasure etc. NOT perfect expectation. Get rid of consequences
b. Motives in moral law need to be pure, intrinsic motives
c. Deals with evaluative propositions, science is involved with describing the world as it is, predicting what the world may be.
3. Logic not consequences is how we determine the moral value of an action using F2 of the Categorical imperative

Moral actions must “conform to moral law” and be for “the sake of moral law”
Only thing that is a truly good thing is a good will.

Next Week: War made easy: Arguments for / against iraq war – applications in ethics
Human rights violations
“The greater good” justice, democracy, freedom, for the Iraqi people

The Lucifer Effect Video:
Good people can do bad things in different situations
Lucifer Effect: Transformation from good to evil.
Evil: The exercise of power to intentionally harm, hurt, and/or destroy
Tells us that we really don’t understand who we are as individuals
Personality changes across time and over different situations

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