+1 (218) 451-4151

Heroes or Villains?

Heroes or Villains?

Week 3 Discussion 1: Heroes or Villains?

To ensure that your initial post starts its own unique thread, do not reply to this post. Instead, please click the “Reply” link above this post.

Please read the general discussion requirements above, as well as the weekly announcement. If anything is still unclear, let me know!

(This discussion will require you to have carefully read Chapter 4 of the textbook, as well as the assigned portions of Immanuel Kant’s (2008) Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.)

Think of someone fictional whom we might regard as a “hero” for helping others, stopping something bad from happening, etc. Try to think of someone whose actions violated what would normally be considered a moral rule (focus on morality; don’t simply think of someone who broke the law).

For example, they may have lied, broken a promise, stolen, harmed someone innocent, or even murdered, but done so with good intentions. (Be sure to clearly explain both sides of this example – what seems good and what seems morally questionable about the action.)

Try to think of any example that we would either all be familiar with, or something we can easily look up (in other words, don’t just make something up or describe something generic). Think of characters in movies, TV shows, books, etc. Please try not to use an example that someone else has already used!

Engage with the text:

Once you have thought of your example, evaluate what they did according to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. First, explain the “formula” of the Categorical Imperative that you are using. Is what the person did moral, or immoral, according to Kant? (You may focus on either formulation of the C.I.)

Reflect on yourself:

Do you agree with the hero’s action?

If you think Kant would regard it as immoral and you agree, how would you explain to someone in your own words why what they did was wrong despite the good intentions and effects? If you don’t agree, and think that what they did was morally right, how would you respond to the question, “what if everyone did that?”