Ethics and Morality One Example Where the Essay

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Ethics and Morality

One example where the moral judgment of Kant and utilitarianism might conflict is in the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Where Kant would argue it is always wrong to kill innocent civilians, utilitarianism would hold that in order to more quickly end World War II, and thus potentially save countless additional lives, the bombing would satisfy utilitarian calculus. An example where Kantianism and libertarianism would conflict may be in the instance of the use of recreational drugs. Kant would argue that recreational drug use harms others by creating a trade/market that is filled with criminality; or drug use can be harmful if the eventual hospitalization of the user takes up medical resources that otherwise would go to those who are ill through no fault of their own. A libertarian may argue that the use of illicit drugs is an act of free choice and the user uses with the knowledge of the consequences of his or her action, and thus an individual should be free to engage in recreational drug use, since it is arguable the damage to the social body is negligible. Rawls would argue that government action may be necessary to distribute/redistribute resources due to inequalities created by the operation of free markets, since free markets tend to create significant inequalities of wealth and property; whereas a libertarian would argue that the government should not, or have very little intervention in the operation of free markets, since engaging in market economic activity is an act of free choice (or not).

Capability theory is the understanding that an individual's ability to live a safe and secure life is of significant moral importance; and that also, one's ability or freedom to attain this well-being is based upon his or her ability or opportunity to secure a safe, happy and meaningful life. This theory argues that individual ends are attained through certain freedoms and rights, and it is the capability to exercise the right or freedom that is paramount.

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The goal of capability theory then, is to determine how to bring this moral system into being. This theory of justice is relatively new in the history of ideas. Libertarians may find this theory lacking in that it is argued that certain governmental, economic and social institutions may be necessary to "level the playing field" so that all persons are granted the same opportunities and resources to pursue those ends that give their lives meaning, safety and happiness. Though libertarians may agree with the justice of the theory, they would disagree in the use of institutions to limit those individual freedoms while "enhancing" the freedoms of those poorly situated. This theory is Kantian in nature in that reason constructs a theory of justice where humanity "wills" in its institutions those social, political and economic structures whereby individuals act in a system which benefits all, and in which individuals exercise their liberty. Capability theory is thus consonant to Kant in that the system seeks the moral/legal/economic code where as all freely pursue their ends, they do so with the minimal amount of harm to others.

If you use Rawls as a frame, then yes, economic inequality in the United States is a moral problem since this inequality violates Rawls' two principles of justice. First, it is….....

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