In the determination of people’s conduct and behavior, it is crucial to create and employ several factors and indicators necessary to evaluate and determine communal or a person’s behavior and conduct. These moral and ethical indicators are derived from principles like beneficence, nonmaleficence, social justice, procedural justice, integrity, autonomy, confidentiality, and fidelity. Most of these principles share the same ideologies and concepts with Kant’s Ethics and deontological ethics, except for those involved with Categorical Imperative (Di Maria 2019). While considering contemporary issues like the death penalty, it should not be enforced since it violates the right to life, and more so, it is ethically wrong to kill. Also, stem cell research would be exceptional only if fidelity is applied, procedural justice, and integrity is enforced. With abortion and animals’ rights, there should be the implementation of nonmaleficence, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and procedural fairness.
Kantian ethics, the Categorical imperative, supports absolutism viewpoint where individuals have an ethical duty towards one another. Contemporarily, the death penalty is one of the most controversial topics in America with one side of the divide support it while the other opposing the law due to their moral and ethical differences. Kant’s ethics warrant the death penalty with one of the significant pillars of the categorical imperative that maintains making a moral choice is hugely dependent on the intention no matter what the consequences are; thus, such murders are justifiable (Bowen & Prescott 2015). In the prisoner’s perspective, Kantian ethics is in favor of capital punishment, though killing is purely unethical; it permits the Criminal Justice System to enforce the death penalty. As a prisoner, it is wrong to commit a crime; also, in part of the justice system, killing is morally wrong in any case; these two wrongs are unethical. On the other end, when a fetus is designated as a potential human, abortion poses a moral dilemma. Kant’s philosophy applies to individuals with rational nature; since the fetus lack sentience and ability to rationalize thoughts, keeping the pregnancy will be violating women the freedom to choose. However, under categorical imperative regarding entities as a mere means to an end applies in the case of the fetus. Kant goes further to maintain that ethical decisions are heavily reliant on logical and rational thinking.
Bowen, Shannon A., and Paul Prescott (2015). Kant’s contribution to the ethics of communication. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics 12: 38-44.
Di Maria, Ted (2019). Kant on Practical Judgment. International Philosophical Quarterly.
Rachels, J., & Rachels, S. (2019). The Elements of Moral Philosophy. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.
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