When I was in grade school, my maternal grandmother gave me a set of hard cover American Heritage books. My favorite one was the historical treatment of the 1920’s. In that book there were citations of some jokes from the Harvard Lampoon of the 20’s (maybe the precursor to the National Lampoon?). The joke follows:
A linebacker, who was having a hard time passing his philosophy class, made a deal with his professor that if he could answer only one question in class, he could receive a passing grade and play in the Championship game on the following Saturday.
The exchange went:
Professor: “Name one German philospher.”
Linebacker: “Can’t sir.”
Professor: “Congratulations, Kowalski, you have passed.”
Emanuel Kant is our pictured guest above. And, also a German Philospher.
Moral Philosophy was the precursor to the study of ethics. Kant has very interested in deontological ethical frameworks. Simply put, deontology posits that there is a morally correct resolution of all ethical problems and those should be sought, regardless of the outcome. An example: “People get hurt, so be it. Executing God’s will is more important. “
Contrast the deontological framework with the Utilitarian perspective; the major tenet of this latter approach was that the action that produces the greatest amount of good, for the greatest number of people, is the ethical solution that should be sought.
Guess which of the above approaches matches best with the two major U.S. political Parties.
Most ethical codes try to resolve and use both of these approaches. Sometimes including both can work and sometimes not.
The value of both approaches is what makes it important to me that the Republican party does not cease to exist.
Your thoughts? I am taking a home study ethics course; so I apologize for this digression.