Presentation on theme: "Today’s Class: Kant & Moral Duty"— Presentation transcript:
1 Today’s Class: Kant & Moral Duty EMP (21 pages)Kantian Ethics and the Basis of Duty (Lucas), pp ; from Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (Kant), pp ; A Simplified Account of Kantian Ethics (O’Neill), ppCSME (7 pages)Aviano EA-6B Gondola Mishap (Slyman), pp ,Immanuel Kant ( )Animation: Anytime your reading starts like this…you know it is going to be a tough class…“The German Enlightenment philosopher, Immanuel Kant, is regarded as among the greatest and most influential of Western philosophers, and undeniably as one of the most difficult to read and understand.”- Kantian Ethics and the Basics of Duty – page 143Objectives from reading:Comprehend moral basis & standard of Kantian or duty-based ethics:What are the strengths & weaknesses of Kantian ethics as a moral standard?Kantian concept of good will, reason, intent, & dutyKnow and apply the 3 versions of the Categorical Imperative.How does Kantian moral theory differ from utilitarianism regarding intent & consequences?How would you compare Kant’s concept of duty to the concept or military duty?
2 Due 1 March 1-Page Point Paper Pick 1 of the 3 Case Studies The Christmas Party, p 177Flex Deck Ops, p 179Missiles: Ready to Fire, p 181Use prescribed formatIn Handout from 1st Class, orFormat posted on unit WebsiteOne page ONLYShows your ability to communicate salient points and make recommendations in a powerful, concise document5 points toward final gradeDue 1 March
3 Extreme MeasuresGene Hackman plays a doctor who has been kidnapping street people to use them in research to cure spinal injuries and paralysisHugh Grant plays an idealistic, young research physician who has learned Hackman’s modus operandi and wants to stop himWhat is your moral argument against what Gene Hackman is doing?
4 Do what is “correct…” Do what is “right…” Do what is “brave…” …and your rebuttal?Do what is “correct…”What about Justice? What about individual rights?Do what is “right…”Do what is “brave…”
5 Utilitarianism (review) The Principle of Utility (GHP) is a good example of most of these provisions…Gives clear answers, helps resolve many problems, explains and justifies our intuitionsBut the Extreme Measures story, or “shoot the prisoners” dilemma, illustrate issues (like justice, fairness, and rights) which are not sufficiently addressedCost benefit analysis is a very logical means of decision making for business and preferential choicesWe have previously identified some wrinkles, however, in certain ethical situations
6 Chapter I…. Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals Good WillReasonDutyRational BeingsSelf DisciplineActing on Universal PrincipleSuppose now, that for a being possessed of reason and a will, the real purpose of nature were his preservation, his welfare or in a word his happiness [function of Reason]Does he ever mention God?
7 Kant for Fighter Pilots DesireWhat we want (or are inclined) to doDutyWhat we know we should doUniversalPrinciples(Categorical Imperative)Obligationfrom reasonGood WillActs solelyout ofReverence forMoral LawConflictIn our heads …we know what we want to do and what we SHOULD doOften what we want to do is NOT what we know we should doWe experience our own moral conflict…that little thing called conscience(George Washington quote - )2) Kant reasons that the fact that we experience this conflict is evidence that we have a choice…if we had no choice, there would be no conflict.3) Choice indicates free will – autonomy – that which separates us from baboons, dogs, cats and cockroaches – We have the ability to make conscious decisions to act against our simple desires, pleasures, and apparent happiness to do what is right.4) How do we recognize our moral duties? From reason…intuitive reason and deduction allow us to identify universal principles (later class we will talk about Natural Law).5)He even gives us a tool – the Categorical Imperative – to help us identify these universal principles and the Moral Law. These universal laws allow Kantian ethics to better consider things like justice and rights – important moral values which utilitarian ethics have trouble representing.6) That is what’s going on inside our heads…lets talk about how we act. We can choose to act in accordance with Duty (the Moral Law)…we can also choose act in accordance with our inclinations or desires.7) When we choose to do the right thing…simply because it is the right thing to do…Kant says that is a Good thing…in fact he says it is the best thing!8) By Kant’s reasoning, if we ignore our moral obligations and act selfishly, we are being immoral.9) Sometimes, our desires, inclinations and our duties coincide. Kant says that doesn’t necessarily make our actions immoral…we just don’t get extra credit…10) For Kant…the Good Will is the greatest thing…not consequences…it is the choice to do what is right, simply out of respect for the moral law. Respect is something you give…it is a choice…Unlike utilitarianism, it is not the consequences that matter, it is purely the intent…Good Will that matters.Indicates we have a choiceFree Will,AutonomyWhat makes us human...not animalsHow we actIAW DesiresIAW Duty(Moral Law)-+
8 Kant Brainstorm Universal Law = Maxim Scientific Absolutism Not for profit, benefitor feeling goodSake of Duty!Good IntentionsLaws of MoralityIn our heads …we know what we want to do and what we SHOULD doOften what we want to do is NOT what we know we should doWe experience our own moral conflict…that little thing called conscience(George Washington quote - )2) Kant reasons that the fact that we experience this conflict is evidence that we have a choice…if we had no choice, there would be no conflict.3) Choice indicates free will – autonomy – that which separates us from baboons, dogs, cats and cockroaches – We have the ability to make conscious decisions to act against our simple desires, pleasures, and apparent happiness to do what is right.4) How do we recognize our moral duties? From reason…intuitive reason and deduction allow us to identify universal principles (later class we will talk about Natural Law).5)He even gives us a tool – the Categorical Imperative – to help us identify these universal principles and the Moral Law. These universal laws allow Kantian ethics to better consider things like justice and rights – important moral values which utilitarian ethics have trouble representing.6) That is what’s going on inside our heads…lets talk about how we act. We can choose to act in accordance with Duty (the Moral Law)…we can also choose act in accordance with our inclinations or desires.7) When we choose to do the right thing…simply because it is the right thing to do…Kant says that is a Good thing…in fact he says it is the best thing!8) By Kant’s reasoning, if we ignore our moral obligations and act selfishly, we are being immoral.9) Sometimes, our desires, inclinations and our duties coincide. Kant says that doesn’t necessarily make our actions immoral…we just don’t get extra credit…10) For Kant…the Good Will is the greatest thing…not consequences…it is the choice to do what is right, simply out of respect for the moral law. Respect is something you give…it is a choice…Unlike utilitarianism, it is not the consequences that matter, it is purely the intent…Good Will that matters.Not aboutNumbersRight is RightRationalNever treat asMere meansNot concernedwith ConsequencesRespect forHuman Dignity
9 Kant DefinitionThe morally worthy individual (if such a person exists) does what he or she ought to do, whether he feels like it or not, or whether anyone else notices, rewards, praises or blames or punishes her or not.He expects everyone to act, not just Military Officers that are required to act.
10 Kant’s direct swipes… At Utilitarianism At Aristotelian Virtues “A good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes…it is good in the willing alone…”At Aristotelian Virtues“Intelligence, courage, resolution, determination…are good in many respects, but they can be bad or hurtful when the will is not good…” (see Adolph Hitler)I don’t have to do a cost benefit analysisI don’t have to find a mean between extremes of temperament (although that is admirable)It’s is not all about me…It is about doing your duty simply because it is the right thing to do
11 Kant’s Contrasting Strategy Morality seems to consist in various law-like principles, obligations, that limit our freedom“I ought…” (duty) versus I want…” (desire)The “Morally Good Will” (person of good character, integrity)recognizes the moral law as his own self-imposed limitations on individual freedom for the sake of allHuman beings have moral dignity because of this power of reason to regulate their behaviorunlike mere animals, we don’t just “have desires” or impulses and act on them, we also have AUTONOMY (the capacity for self-governance)Morality is an expression of that autonomy, it is “self-governance”Kant - These moral duties issue from our truly impartial rational desires, and so are expressions of our freedom (“Laws of Freedom”)
12 Kant: the “Supreme Principle” of Morality If we ask for the essential characteristic defining moral goodness or worth, we find:An action has “moral worth” ifit conforms to the requirements of duty, andis done for the sake of duty (…and not for some other motive); andA person is morally good (“good will”) ifhe or she can be counted on to do his/her duty, motivated solely by a respect or reverence for the moral law (rather than consideration of some other, variable principle).Kant’s Morality = Duty vs Mill’s Morality = Happiness
13 What is “Duty?” Main Entry: Pronunciation: Function: \ˈdü-tē also ˈdyü-\Function:nounInflected Form(s):plural dutiesEtymology:Middle English duete, from Anglo-French deueté, dueté, from deu dueDate:13th century1: conduct due to parents and superiors : respect2 a: obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one's position (as in life or in a group) b (1): assigned service or business (2): active military service (3): a period of being on duty3 a: a moral or legal obligation b: the force of moral obligation4: tax ; especially : a tax on imports5 a: workI don’t have to do a cost benefit analysisI don’t have to find a mean between extremes of temperament (although that is admirable)It’s is not all about me…It is about doing your duty simply because it is the right thing to do13
14 You Make the Call…A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer.There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered.The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug.The sick woman's husband went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it."So the husband got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife.Should the husband have done that?(Kohlberg, 1963, p. 19)
15 Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development 6. Does this meet universal principles of justiceLevel III: Post-Conventional6. Universal Principles5. Social contract and individual rights5. Does this instance merit transcendence of what society would normally do?Level II: Conventional4. Maintaining the social order3. Good interpersonal relationships4. What would happen if we all did this?3. “Good people” would do it…Level I: Pre-Conventional2. Individualism and exchange1. Obedience and punishment oreintation2. If I do it, I get something in return…1. If I don’t do it I might get in trouble!A SUMMARY OF LAWRENCE KOHLBERG'S STAGES OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT Copyright 2000 by Robert N. Barger, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556Where would your motives be ranked?...
16 Some Notes on this Conclusion This does NOT mean that someone who does the “right” thing for the “wrong” reasons is acting wrongly, only that their action is not praiseworthy.…It merely means they get no “extra credit.”Kant allows that this confluence of actions and personal motivations is unusual.He wonders whether, on these criteria, there has ever been a truly “morally good will” in the world!Our duty presents itself to us in the form of “imperatives” (commands) that are absolute and binding.…i.e., categorical (no exceptions or excuses)
17 Terms to Know Categorical Imperative (CI) Maxim Deontological Ethics “Unconditional Obligation”“No alibi, must comply”MaximFundamental principle you act uponRule of conductDeontological EthicsBased on Moral ObligationAs Johnny Cochran might say…No alibi, must comply
18 Observations about Categorical Imperatives (CIs) CI’s derive their authority from within – from the rational impulse to obey the dictates of Reason itself(as an expression of my autonomy)CI’s command absolutely, unconditionally, “no ifs, ands or buts”(no strings attached)CI’s are universal, unconditional, NOT subject to variation or changeDuty and the institution of morality are like this(Must comply- no alibi)“Do this, whether you want to or not, whether you can be made to or not, whether anyone will notice, reward, praise, or blame you (or not).”
19 Categorical Imperative (CI1): Formula of Universal Law CI1 – Formula of Universal Law: “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”Translation:1. Can I universalize my act without contradiction?Kant’s 4 illustrations:Do not harm the self (suicide)Do not harm or deceive others (lying)Do what is good for the self (develop your talents)Do what is good for others (beneficence)Suicide – Accepted (from reason) Natural law: We should protect life – Suicide is a contradiction of that Natural lawBorrow money with intent not to pay back – Making promises with intent to break…if it were universal law, it would contradict the very meaning of a promise.Can you will universally that you do NOT to develop your talents?Neglect OC Goddard’s Homeless guy – But can you make it a universal law to neglect those in need
20 Categorical Imperative (CI2) Formula of the End in Itself CI2 – Formula of the End in Itself “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.”Consider Kant’s 4 illustrations, from the perspective of the “agent” (i.e., the person undertaking the action) rather than action:Do not harm the self (suicide)Do not harm or deceive others (lying)Do what is good for the self (develop your talents)Do what is good for others (beneficence)If he does away with himself to escape pain, he is making use of a person (himself) as a means to maintain a more tolerable state of affairs until death. (3rd categorical – can you make suicide mandatory?)By lying you are using the victim as a means to an endCan’t just “not conflict” with Humanity as an end….you must harmonize with this end. Responsibility goes beyond maintenance of this end…it requires for promotion this end. Can’t ignore it, can’t neglect it.If you don’t pursue others as an ends, you are using them as a meansAL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq – A member of the 5th Civil Affairs Group, 2nd Marine Division gives a soccer ball to an Iraqi child
21 The “Categorical Imperative Procedure” (CI3) CI3 - “The Kingdom of Ends” – Reason is both the source of moral law (legislator) and subject of the law (citizen).Accordingly: “Act always as if you were, through your maxims, a lawmaking member of the moral community, bound to obey the laws you impose upon yourself and others”Translation:Can this act become a binding moral law for all of us (…including you)?Consider Congressman Mark Foley – He caught considerable heat because he passed legislation to protect children from internet predators, and then did not live by his own legislation.The moral repugnance was his hypocrisy!
22 Categorical Imperatives CI#1CI#2CI#3PASECould the maxim be willed by you and agreed upon by everyone to as moral law for the community?Does ittreatpeopleas an Endnot merely as a Means?Could itbecomeUniversalLaw?Form aMaximIt’s important to keep in mind that the three formulations/derivations of the categorical imperative are just that, different ways, according to Kant, of formulating or deriving the very same question. That is, all three questions are in essence asking the same thing, are you being consistent in your actions. For example, to treat a person as merely a means and not as an end, yet at the same time want that person to treat you as an end is to be inconsistent, to engage yourself in a contradiction. And to will a moral law for yourself that you would not want others to will for themselves is, once again, to be inconsistent and to engage yourself in a contradiction.NoNoNoFails the Categorical Imperative:IT IS NOT MORALLY RIGHT!
23 False Promise: Using Test One Maxim: I may make a false promise in order to reap financial gain.Generalized: Anyone may make a false promise to get something they want.
24 Bad Samaritan: Using Tests One and Two Maxim: I may refuse to help another person in distress who cannot pay me, even though I could do so at little cost to myself.Generalized: Anyone may refuse to help another person in distress who cannot pay her even though it would cost her little to help.
25 Can I, or Kant I? Some potential maxims: I will always tell the truth. I will always throw my paper wrappers out my car window.I will cure cancer forever by experimenting with one homeless person’s life.I will shoot the POW to get the information to possibly save my troops.I will provide for my family.I will steal food for my family if they are starving.
26 Weighing “Intent” & “Consequence:” A Legal Example First Degree MurderIntent and consequenceAttempted MurderIntent, no consequenceNegligent HomicideConsequence, no intentLet’s look at some real world practices…
27 Would you do it? LIE? KEEP IF FOUND STEAL? CHEAT? THE GRAY AREA If Grandma asked if you liked her terrible cookies?Protect a classmate from PRB?Protect a room-mate’s honor offense?To the Admiral?KEEP IF FOUNDDollar bill?Navy gym shorts?CD Player ($100)$1000 cash?Aban-doned car?STEAL?Govt. ballpoint pen?Room-mate’sSocks?Piratesong off internet?Shirt at mall?Kidnap person?CHEAT?Copy someone’s homework?Copy someone’s lab report?On term paper?On final exam?Where would Kant draw the line? All the way to the left.THE GRAY AREACONSEQUENCES LOWCONSEQUENCES HIGH
28 What would Kant do?Consider the following – it is You are hiding Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl, to protect her from the Gestapo and Nazi policies of ethnic cleansing. Imagine you are Immanuel Kant -There is a knock at the door and an SS officer asks if you are hiding Jews in the attic. What do you tell him? Do you break the categorical imperative against lying? Categorical Imperative means – by definition – it is an UNCONDITIONAL requirement to always comply.Kant did not believe one should lie to protect others, as it would break the CI against lying.This illustrates one of the major criticisms of pure Kantian ethics – they can be too rigid.
29 Universal Principle Suppose… IED Victim Horrific BurnsBrain damageComaLife support$1,000,000 life insurance policyA wife knows her husband is injured in an IED attack. He has horrific burns, probable brain damage, is in a coma and is currently on life support.She asks that he not be kept artificially alive. Would you honor her wishes?Now, same case, but you know the wife also has a Million Dollar life insurance policy. Does this change anything? Would you feel any differently? Why or why not?
30 Observations about Categorical Imperatives (CIs) CI’s derive their authority from within – from the rational impulse to obey the dictates of Reason itself(as an expression of my autonomy)CI’s command absolutely, unconditionally, “no ifs, ands or buts”(no strings attached)CI’s are universal, unconditional, NOT subject to variation or changeDuty and the institution of morality are like this(Must comply- no alibi)“Do this, whether you want to or not, whether you can be made to or not, whether anyone will notice, reward, praise, or blame you (or not).”Grandma’s bad cookies, Anne Frank, ….What do these indicate?Is it simply we don’t always practice what we preach?Is it that there are few things we can REALLY follow unconditionally in a real world?Do we lack Moral Courage?Just as we felt that there were situations where Utilitarian reasoning didn’t cut the mustard (justice, rights, fairness)…are there areas where Kantian reasoning struggles?See any issues here?
31 Goods and Others… Kantian Ethics Strengths Realm of duty, free from utility (Woo-hoo! no math involved!)Respect for personsGolden rule – do unto others, expressed in rational termsReason basedWeaknessesHyper-rationality and lack of emotionThe irrelevance of inclinationOverly formal and universali.e., most of our duties are in social rolesInflexibilitySupererogationIt requires us to be completely stoic…and we don’t cover stoicism until the last class!Pure motive of duty without inclination is probably impossible (Kantian rebuttle…we don’t have perfection in science either – scientific error, etc - ..but we know what the IDEAL IS)Complex situations don’t fit universal model ( in fact it is hard to find cases that work as well as Kant’s 4 examples – suicide, promise keeping, etc)We give our highest medal to people who go above an beyond the call of duty…If the highest morality is defined by doing your duty, how can you possibly do more than your duty? Wouldn’t it be your duty to go beyond the call of duty?
32 Aviano EA-6B Gondola Mishap “Four Marines were flying in an EA-6B Prowler when it severed a cable supporting a ski gondola near Cavalese, Italy, on February 3,1998.The gondola operator and 19 skiers were killed. The cables were from 364 to 370 feet (109 to 111 meters) off the ground in a valley.” (CNN.com)Crash site near Cavalese, Italy
33 The Case Aircrew Flight Immediate Aftermath Aviano 4-8 Feb Cherry Point 4-8 FebThe TapeThe Sequel
34 Lead in to Virtue Ethics How does Kant account for heroism?Is it our duty to go “beyond the call of duty?”Wouldn’t celibacy be immoralCouldn’t will it to be a universal law (…not for long, anyway)Which person is more moral?A pirate who returns a walletA priest who returns a walletIt can’t be our duty to do more than our dutyAristotle would see heroism as a VIRTUE rather than an obligation.Kant would say the pirate – he does so unwillingly, but out of obligationAristotle would say the Priest – He does so out of intent to do good
35 A Few Good Men One of those cases where law and morality coincide… The Kantian point:We knew it was wrongWe were using Santiago as means (to show the rest of the platoon that his actions were wrong)We were not respecting him as a personWe made an exception for ourselves (even though we were following orders)Interestingly, in this movie, which is all about legal proceeding, evidence, witnesses, and the law, the big point at the end is a moral point. The law and the morality of the actions don’t always coincide, but in this movie, they are put together in the Sergeant’s line.One of those cases where law and morality coincide…
36 Recap CI-procedure CI1 = formula of “universal law” Make it law… without any loopholesCI2 = “respect for persons principle”People as ends not meansCI3 = “Kingdom of Ends”You are bound to obey the laws you make… for the Good of the CommunityKant portrays the first two as derivations from the third, which attempts to portray the moral situation of a free, rational individual within a democratic society.The “essence of morality” is the motive (good will) behind the act to produce a “…Systematic union of rational beings under common objective law.”
37 Reading for Next Class Aristotle : Character & Virtue Ethics Objectives from reading:Comprehend key concepts of Aristotelian Virtue or Character ethicsWhat is Aristotle’s basis for human flourishing?What is the concept of the “golden mean?”Relative importance of mentorship and habituationWhat exactly is character?4 cardinal virtuesHow does Aristotle’s view of the virtues of courage and friendship fit w/in the context of our roles as military officers?EMP (27 pages)Aristotle and the Ethics of Virtue and Character (Lucas), ; The Moral Virtues (Aristotle), ; Habit and Virtue (Aristotle), ; Courage (Aristotle), ; Friendship, (Aristotle), ; Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle (Gray),CSME (5 pages)CWO Hugh W. Thompson at My Lai (Lucas), pp ; Hugh Thompson; The Sequel (Lucas), pp