What Is the Agreement between Utilitarianism and Kantianism

Kant is a deontologist, which means that duty is the basis of morality. For Kant, there is a strong link between freedom and morality. The human capacity that characterizes our freedom is our capacity for reason and autonomy. This means that we are able to give ourselves the moral law. It is this ability that allows us to be morally responsible. If we were not able to act freely, we could not be held accountable for our actions. Kant thus believes that through our capacity for reason and autonomy, we are moral agents. These skills are also what make each of us unique and irreplaceable. As such, Kant is a strong defender of the rights of the individual. Next, I`ll use a few scenarios to explain where the two moral theories might disagree. This will help to understand the applications of both theories and allow me to explain why I side with Kant about the mill.

The first scenario we call the fair burglar. In this scenario, there is a metropolis with a large distribution of income. There are a lot of millionaires in this city, even billionaires and also extremely poor people, some of whom are very special and could really do a lot of good to the world if they only had the money to escape poverty. In this metropolis, there is a burglar known to steal money from safes contained in the homes of considerably wealthy people. Its theft is not very harmful on an emotional level; He doesn`t take sentimental goods, but he carefully extracts a sum of money that is essentially negligible for the very rich (say, he takes $50,000 from a billionaire), and he gives it to some of the smartest and most sincere poor people in the city, say 5 of them. The poor who receive the money tend to choose to do decent things with their money: they spend it on their families, they start local businesses that employ people, some of them even start charities. Billionaires, who are not very affected by their loss, tend to spend a little more money on security and get on with their lives. Break-ins are clean extractions anyway, and no one is really traumatized. What should we think of the just burglar? Mill would ask us to evaluate his actions because they promote happiness and avoid suffering. Before the just burglar operated, many of the poor were suffering; Now they are happy. The billionaire who was robbed was no matter how happy he was, and now he`s just a little less happy.

The amount of happiness that was caused was great, the amount of suffering caused was minimal. Thus, according to utilitarianism, the right burglar is doing something morally good. Now I will also perform Kant`s test on this scenario: according to Kantianism, action must be motivated by goodwill and duty, and the morality of an action is not measured by its consequences. However, according to utilitarianism, an action is considered moral and good if it leads to more happiness for others, regardless of their intention; Therefore, an action is measured by its consequences. Therefore, this is another difference between Kantianism and utilitarianism. The second possible contradiction is our desire for the act to become a universal law. This is not a contradiction between #3 and #2 (as you will see), but rather a contradiction between #2 and my will – I would not commit this act if its principle were universalized. Never take help for someone else as an example: in Mill`s eyes, the righteous burglar is good, and in Kant`s eyes, he is bad.

This is what I think is the main bullet that Kant`s disciples have to bite. Even things that would make many people very happy cannot be achieved until their principle could be universally replicated, which is certainly a high standard for action. Kantianism and utilitarianism are both ethical theories that express the ethical norm of action. However, these two philosophies take different views on ethics. As a result, Kantianism is considered the opposite philosophy of utilitarianism. Therefore, this article deals with this difference between Kantianism and utilitarianism. [2] That is, we will not worry about Kant`s theory of value. It is the theory that morally praises actions when they are motivated only by duty. Although some essays that compare Mill to Kant may include this, I think we should focus on comparing Mill`s greatest principle of happiness with Kant`s categorical imperative. A longer essay might examine Kant`s theory of value in more detail than this footnote, and perhaps even compare it to Mill.

“Excellence is an art that is acquired through training and habituation. We do not act right because we have virtue or excellence, but we do it because we have done it well. We are what we do again and again. Excellence is therefore not an act, but a habit” (Ethics of Nicomachus, Bk. 2). Therefore, in utilitarianism, it is the morally correct decision/action that evokes more joy or happiness for the actor and others. .

Please follow and like us: