Moral Worth  deontological View

Kant believes that Good lies in the intention or will and they are morally praiseworthy when done with a sense of duty rather than for the consequences that are expected. This comes from a deontological thought where actions are right or wrong in themselves, regardless of the outcome. Therefore, when one is in a situation where they can cheat on a test successfully without being caught, they would not cheat as it is their duty to do what is morally right even though cheating would produce a good grade and possibly pass the class.

A counterexample to Kant’s view would come from a teleological thought where it is believed that the right action produces the best consequences. In this week’s lesson we read of The Inquiring Murderer where a murderer comes to your door asking if the person he intends to kill is in the home. According to Kant’s theory, it would be wrong to lie and say that he is not. A Consequentialist would think of what the best outcome would be and that would be for the person not to be killed, therefore they would lie to the murderer. Another counterexample would be if you saw or heard of someone about to shoot into a crowd of people. You can stop this and save the people by stealing an object from someone to use as a weapon. In Kant’s theory stealing would be wrong and according to our duty to moral law we should not do this. The result would then end in several people being shot. Thinking teleologically, one would steal the object as it would produce the best consequence of the shooter being stopped and no one else being hurt. It is a matter of doing right and wrong but where is the line drawn? Would you kill someone to save someone else? Either way someone is dying so how do you decide what is right?