consequentialism v.s. kantian non-consequentialism

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Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:24 am
consequentialism..and kantian nonconsequentialism.

im having a hard time distinguishing the differences of both..could someone put it in easier terms for me? I keep reading it over and over but cant really grasp the definition of both.
especially the (ful and fh) of kantian
and how both
affect a person (A) if they killed person (b) because person (b) is an unknown being with an identical brother who is a killer and is on the loose.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 06:21 pm
@mk1 phil,
What does ful and fh stand for? I am assuming it refers to German?

Consequentialism is based on the idea that the consequences of a particular action form a basis for any valid moral judgment about that action.

Deontological ethics (which Kantian ethics falls under) focuses on the rightness or wrongness of intentions or motives behind action such as respect for rights, duties, or principles, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions.

That is about the simplest terms I can sum them up in. I could go into more depth if you would like, but I don't want to confuse you more than necessary.
 
mk1 phil
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 06:51 pm
@Theaetetus,
ful= formula of universal law

fh= formula of humanity

they are 2 of 5 formulations of categorical imperative. for kantian nonconsequentialism
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 07:24 pm
@mk1 phil,
Sorry, my professor didn't use the abbreviations and the terms were different. This is part of the reason why Kantian ethics are rather difficult.

Is this the humanity one? "So act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a a means." All this does is state that all rational agents are equal and are not to be treated as means.

Is this the universal law one? "Act in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law? And this one states that that each individual has is an autonomous agent capable of formulating maxims.

I thought there were only three formulations of the categorical imperative. Do two more show up outside the Groundwork?
 
mk1 phil
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 07:46 pm
@Theaetetus,
yes you are correct. those are the definitions but i think there are 5 imperative.

heres a story.
A notorious mass murderer who has thus far evaded capture has a little-known identical twin brother. On a lonely road in the middle of the night and during a terrible storm, the twin brother's car breaks down. Seeking shelter, the bedraggled twin knocks on the door of the nearest house. On opening the door Claire-the resident-thinking that the twin is the murderer come to kill her, panics and kills the twin before he even has time to speak and identify himself.

1a) according to kantian noncomsequenctialism what is the deontic status of claires action?
1b) what features of this case are morally relevant.

2a). according to consequentialism what is the deontic status of claires action?
2b) same as 1b

anythoughts?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 08:01 pm
@mk1 phil,
In 1a what Claire did was morally wrong. Killing is considered wrong in deotological ethics, because it is treating an individual as a means by to an end (not potentially being murdered in this case).

1b. Only thing morally relevant is the murder. None of the rest matters.

2a. This one is not so cut and dry, because she killed the wrong twin, not to mention that had it been the mass murdering twin, there is no guarantee that she would have been attacked and murdered. She could have potentially been murdered, but she did not wait to find out if she was in danger. I would say that she is guilty of murder, because it was not out of self defense, but instead out of fear of a potential outcome. The ends did not justify the means, because she was in no danger, but instead acted out of fear.

2b. The consequences of the action are the only thing relevant here, because it was not the murderer that she killed. Had she killed the murderer, she would have a case for self-defense, and then the ends could have justified the means.
 
mk1 phil
 
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 08:16 pm
@Theaetetus,
damm man that was a fast response. How long have you been involved in philosophy, or should i say ethics? Were you like me when you first started? as in really couldnt grasp and understand this "language"?

Why is only the murder morally relevant? and no-other apply?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 06:01 am
@mk1 phil,
mk1 wrote:
damm man that was a fast response. How long have you been involved in philosophy, or should i say ethics? Were you like me when you first started? as in really couldnt grasp and understand this "language"?

Why is only the murder morally relevant? and no-other apply?


I have been study ethics for a few years. I just studied Kant's moral philosophy last semester so it is fresh in my mind. I started in applied ethics before I studied any ethical theories, so I was already familiar with many of the concepts used. I admit the language is difficult, but with time it starts to make sense.

Kant's ethical theory is based on duties of an autonomous agent. In this case, Claire is using the twin she killed as a means to an end. She is killing another human to potentially save her life. She is breaking this version of the categorical imperative "whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a a means." To Kant, it does not matter what the consequences are. What matters is motives and duties.

By the way, I just checked, there are only three formulations of the categorical imperative.
 
mk1 phil
 
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 12:08 pm
@mk1 phil,
you are right there are only three im sorry.
i mistaken it for five because you have
five formula's
1.formula of universal law,
1a. Formula of universal law of nature
2. formula of humanity
3. formula of autonomy.
3a. Formula of kingdom of ends.
 
Phronimos
 
Reply Sun 15 Mar, 2009 10:58 pm
@mk1 phil,
I'd also add that it seems to me any case of intending to kill another human being is morally wrong deontologically (at least from Kant), as it violates the dignity of another person, a being that possesses absolute moral worth from their capacity for rationality.

I think you arguably get this from Kant's suicide example, as there would be no contradiction in thought if someone committing suicide could make the distinction "I am ending my physical existence, in order to improve my spiritual being."
 
 

 
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