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Kant - 1 Question 1 Is it right or wrong is it our...

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1 Question 1 Is it right or wrong; is it our responsibility; is it our duty? These are questions that we are forced to answer on a day-to-day basis. These questions while seemingly unimportant at the time can impact our lives in countless ways. Kant argues that the only way people can be moral is if they stick to their duty, it does not matter if the outcome is bad; it just matters if they did what was required of them. When applying Kant’s view to the first situation that Bernard Williams presented in his piece about positive responsibility, it can be viewed from two different levels. First George is confronted with his duty to his family. They are struggling to make ends meat, and he is having difficulty getting his job. Therefore it is his duty to take the job. However, when confronted with the type of job it is, there is the option to look upon it on the grander scale than just his duty to his family. What about his duty to humanity? The job he was offered is at a plant that researches biological and chemical warfare. This has the means to cause mass destruction wherever people, at first glance you would assume that it then becomes his responsibility to turn down the job. Yet another twist gets thrown into this situation; George is informed that there is another man up for this job who is very enthusiastic about biological warfare and would go after the research with much more zeal. This piece of information basically negates his previous responsibility; which leads him with the only option of taking the job even if it is against his personal beliefs. In my opinion this is a situation where Kant’s philosophy becomes flawed, what responsibility takes first chair, and how do you decide that. In my personal opinion I think that George’s duty to his family should trump the rest, however, what if someone
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2 believes that George’s own personal hang-ups and his responsibility to the humanity trumps the rest. Who is to decide what duty is the most important? In my personal opinion no one can, because eventually it would become too overwhelming for one person to handle.
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