week 3 discussion 1755532 2

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Post must be 600 words minimum, references cited, and due by 10pm EST on 12/04/2014.


Please carefully read and think about the entire prompt before composing your first post. This discussion will require you to have carefully read and thought about the excerpts from Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, as well as the Week 3 Instructor Guidance.

Think of someone real or fictional whom some people regard as a “hero” for helping others, stopping something bad or evil, and so forth, even though by doing so they violated what would normally be considered a moral rule (focus on morality; don’t simply think of someone who broke the law). For example, they may have lied, broken a promise, stolen, harmed someone innocent, or even murdered, but done so with good intentions.

(Notes about the example:

·      It shouldn’t simply be someone people consider a hero; it’s crucial that they gained that status as a result of doing something that would otherwise be morally questionable.  Also make sure that it’s not someone considered a hero who also did something wrong, where the wrong action isn’t connected to their “hero” status.

·      Make sure you explain what it was that they did that would otherwise be morally questionable.

·      It need not be someone you think is a hero; you may think the person isn’t a hero at all!)

·      Try to think of any example that we would either all be familiar with, or something we can easily look up (in other words, don’t just make something up or describe something generic). Please don’t use an example that someone else has already used!

Now here’s the fun part: once you have thought of your example, evaluate what they did according to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Is what the person did moral, or immoral, according to the CI?  You can apply either the Formula of Universal Law or the Formula of Humanity.  There are examples of how to evaluate actions according to the Categorical Imperative, so use those as a model. 

Do you agree with this evaluation of the action? Explain what you might say to someone (such as the person himself or herself) who disagrees with this evaluation (this may end up being one of your peers!). 

When responding to your peers, consider whether they have correctly applied the Categorical Imperative, and if they agreed with Kant, consider what a consequentialist might say; if they disagreed with Kant, consider what a Kantian might say, and use those considerations as a springboard for dialogue and discussion.




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