Kantian Perspectives on Morality

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

This individual practically admits that there are better things in life but that he or she needs to refrain from getting involved in them because he or she has the duty to behave morally.

Question 2

Although Kant was especially specific with regard to moral duties and to the degree to which a person can be considered to behave morally, it would be especially difficult to determine whether or not he would agree to an abortion. When regarding matters from his direct perspective (the position of a man who had a limited understanding of the condition of the fetus before it develops into a fully-grown infant), it would be safe to say that the German philosopher would be pro-choice.

Kant would probably focus on the woman's position with regard to the matter and as long as she would be supportive toward having an abortion the individuals performing it would behave morally -- as they choose to act in the woman's best interest (assuming that she believes there is no other solution for the problem). Kant's understanding of a pregnancy was certainly limited and he could not have possibly considered that a woman can give birth and the baby can develop normally at an earlier stage in the pregnancy. Taking this into account, he would have likely considered that the moral thing to do in such a situation would be to allow the woman to get an abortion.

When considering a situation in which Kant would be familiarized with contemporary ideas, it would be more likely that he would oppose to the idea of abortion. He would be probable to consider that a fetus is a human being and that it would thus be against moral ideas to perform an abortion. The German philosopher would consider that there is no difference whatsoever between committing murder and performing an abortion. From his perspective, a person should not concentrate on the final effect of his or her actions and thus act accordingly, as he or she should focus on all effects associated with his or her performances. Kant would surely be against the expression 'you have to break some eggs in order to make an omelet.'

Kantian thinking supports the idea that in order to behave morally people would have to be selfless in doing everything they do. As a consequence, a woman wanting an abortion would have to consider the fact that she needs to give birth to her child as a means of doing something moral for him or her. She should not allow herself to be guided by her interests and should only concentrate on what would be best for the world as a whole. A person should generally concentrate on doing actions that are beneficial for the world, with an abortion or a chain of abortions obviously damaging the social order through the ideas they entail.

All things considered, while abortion might seem like the moral thing to do when considering particular ideas, it would be safe to say that Kant would oppose the act on account of how it is essentially immoral. Regardless of the situation that the woman is in, abortion would have a negative impact on the world and, as seen from a Kantian perspective, would be wrong.

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