Phil_103_Chapter_11 - Phil 103 Chapter 11 The Kantain...

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Phil 103 Chapter 11The Kantain Perspective, Fairness and JusticeImmanuel KantoNo matter how much personal gain such actions bring, they are still wrong, because theyare unfair and unjustConsistency and fairnessothat you can get away with making an exception of yourself doesn’t mean that it is right to do sooOur deep opposition to unfairness, and the resulting importance we attach to consistency, are revealed in two very popular tests of moralityWhat if everyone did that?How would you like it if I did that to youWhat if everyone did that? oThis question is really shorthand for the following test: if disastrous results would occur if everyone did X, then X is immoral.If everyone used the emergency lanes in traffic jams, then ambulances and fire trucks would often fail to provide needed help, leaving many to die.othe test fails for other cases, and so it cannot serve as a reliable way to learn the morality of actionsConsider a common argument against homosexual sex: if everyone did that, disaster would soon follow, for the human race would quickly die outoThe real problem for this test, apart from the fact that it sometimes delivers mistaken verdicts, is that it makes the morality of an action depend on how it is described.the very same action is said to be both morally wrong and morally acceptable, depending only on how it is describedWithout any independent guidance on how to select one description over another, this test cannot do the job it was supposed to do—namely, identify which acts are immoralHow would you like it if I did that to you?odirect application of the golden ruletreat others as you would like to be treatedThe golden rule is the classic test of morality.test of consistencyoThe golden rule cannot be correct imaginatively filling someone else’s shoes, and asking yourself whether you’d accept being treated in a certain way, is actually an unreliable test of morality. he golden rule makes morality depend on a person’s desiresMost of us don’t like to be hit. And so the golden rule forbids us from hitting others. Good. But what about masochists who enjoy being hit? The golden rule allows them to go around hitting others.The golden rule also fails to give us guidance on self-regarding actions (i.e., thosethat concern only oneself)
Because the golden rule sometimes gives the wrong answer to moral questions, it cannot be the ultimate test of morality.The Principle of Universalizability Kant, like most of us, felt the appeal of the two tests just discussed.He agreed that common sense is deeply committed to the importance of fairness and consistency, something that these two tests were trying, unsuccessfully, to capture.principle of universalizability: oAn act is morally acceptable if, and only if, its maxim is universalizable.

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