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Kant And Utilitarianism

First of all I want to state the Kantian and the Utilitarian views butt heads on
this issue. The Kantian view is nonconsequential, that is as a matter of
principle with the consequences be damned. The Utilitarian view is consequential
with the results given as much consideration as possible. I will attempt to
explain what I mean through some examples. Some school systems hand out condoms
free of charge to their students. The Utilitarian view would be that this is a
good thing. They would state that by doing so they are stopping unwanted
pregnancies that in turn could cost society. This program would help stop the
spreading of diseases such as HIV, AIDS and syphilis. This also would lesson the
burden on society. Kantian view would not be in favor of this program because it
is considering the outcome of what might happen if the program were not in
place. They might feel it is the parent’s decision to make because it is their
job to act in good will of their family and not the school system’s. Another
topic under much debate would be assisted suicide. The Kantian view is totally
opposed to this. It is just wrong to kill someone. One cannot kill another
person out of good will. If you were to apply this to the Universal Law it would
not hold true and there for it is wrong. On the other hand, the Utilitarian view
would be open to this concept. How could we allow one to suffer knowing they are
going to die in the end anyway? Would it be wrong to stop the suffering? How can
one seek the greatest amount of happiness if they are suffering and are
basically condemned to die? By assisting this individual we are also helping out
his family by limiting their grief. We are also helping out society by freeing
up a bed in the hospital for those individuals that could be healed and go on to
lead a happy life. It could also save money if the person does not have
insurance. The last example I want to use is the needle exchange program. This
is where drug users can exchange dirty needles for clean ones. This program also
stops the spreading of diseases such as HIV and AIDS. The Utilitarian would also
state that is lessons the burden on society. Drug users are also associated to
crime and when they come into exchange needles help may be provided to get them
off drugs and there fore lesson the crime rate and bring more happiness to
society. The Kantian view would not be in favor of this program because it is
considering the consequences of what would happen if community doesn’t help.

They would state that drug use is not good will and not at all duty. If a drug
user is breaking the law by using drugs and needles they should be punished.

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This punishment is not to be a deterrent but rather what is right because one
breaks the law. I Think the Utilitarian view is better than the Kantian view
because it does consider the outcomes of the event. Though I am not wholly sold
on their concept. The Kantian view does not address the problem it just condemns
it. In the world today we all know what happens when a person breaks the law and
so do the criminals yet; they still break the law. When someone is addicted to a
drug it is out of their control to help themselves and society as a whole should
step in and help. Their does come a time when you can help only so much and it
is up to the individual to correct their own wrong but not in all circumstances.

I think the best approach would be a happy medium between both views.


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