10 pages/≈2750 words
Philosophy, John Kitzhaber (Essay Sample)
Chat with Amanda. Agreed to add premium writers for free, and 2 pages of draft within 48 hours. The two books that the essay should relate to are: Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and Mill's Utilitarianism. Please follow careful the prompt: John Kitzhaber, the Governor of Oregon, recently declared a moratorium on carrying out executions in his State. The press release announcing his decision is available here: http://governor(dot)oregon(dot)gov/Gov/media_room/press_releases/p2011/press_112211.shtml. You can easily find on the internet various articles and blogs responding, some positively, some negatively, to Kitzhaber's decision. Mill and Kant each offer moral theories that have direct implications for Gov. Kitzhaber's decision, specifically concerning which considerations are morally relevant to his situation. Think through their positions and their arguments and take a position, yourself, as to what considerations are morally relevant to his decision and why. Likely you will come to think a number of different considerations are relevant, some having to do with whether and when capital punishment might be justified, some having to do with the responsibilities one has as an elected official (concerning, for instance, the role one is allowed to give to one's personal convictions), some having to do with whether it matters that the person who was about to be executed wanted the punishment to be carried out, etcetera. If you find yourself thinking there are a number of relevant considerations, focus on one (or a few) that you think especially weighty, and especially worth exploring and understanding. I am asking you to take a stand as to which considerations are relevant and why. You can do this without taking a stand about what he should have done. It might well be that you think there are relevant details you don't know. On the other hand, you might think that what you do know is enough to settle the question, in which case you should draw the conclusion you believe those considerations establish. This is all by way of preparation. Against that background, write an essay articulating and defending your position as clearly and persuasively as you can. Be sure, along the way, to consider explicitly and clearly how the view you defend relates to those advanced by Mill and by Kant. In particular, you need to be explicit about what aspects of their respective theories of value and right action you accept or reject and why. If you find yourself accepting utilitarianism, then you will need to present the utilitarian position well, consider how a Kantian would view the situation, and defend the utilitarian position against at least one significant objection a Kantian might raise. Alternatively, if you find yourself accepting Kantianism, then you will need to present the Kantian position well, consider how a utilitarian would view the situation, and defend the Kantian position against at least one significant objection a utilitarian might raise. Or, if you find yourself accepting some third position (either one related to, but different from the others, or one that is completely different), then you will need to present the position well, consider how your position differs from the other two, and defend it against at least one significant objection either a utilitarian or a Kantian might raise. No matter what, you should do your best to write an honest, clear, and probing discussion of what is, or might seem to be, morally relevant to the sort of decision Governor Kitzhaber faced. Part of doing this well will involve your doing justice to the arguments utilitarians and Kantians would each advance in favor of their respective positions. And part will involve coming to grips with the fact that utilitarians and Kantians simply cannot both be right, even though they might each be on to something important. (When you find yourself discussing or relying on the Categorical Imperative, concentrate on the second formulation of it: Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means. ) These links are related to the topic, please read through them, and if possible, make some references: http://www(dot)huffingtonpost(dot)com/david-protess/kitzhaber-death-penalty-moratorium-oregon_b_1113616.html http://governor(dot)oregon(dot)gov/Gov/media_room/press_releases/p2011/press_112211.shtml http://www(dot)washingtonpost(dot)com/opinions/oregons-death-penalty-cop-out/2011/11/28/gIQAIsLN6N_story.html http://www(dot)washingtontimes(dot)com/news/2011/nov/30/a-new-debate-on-halting-executions/ source..
Philosophy, John Kitzhaber
Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc311113472 \h 3Discussion PAGEREF _Toc311113473 \h 3Kant arguments in relation to Capital Punishment PAGEREF _Toc311113474 \h 3Mill arguments in relation to Capital Punishment PAGEREF _Toc311113475 \h 5Religious and emotional arguments supporting capital punishment PAGEREF _Toc311113476 \h 6Utilitarian perspective on Capital punishment PAGEREF _Toc311113477 \h 7Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc311113478 \h 12References PAGEREF _Toc311113479 \h 14
Capital punishment is a death sentence upon a person by the state as a punishment for the crime he or she has committed. Capital punishment has over the years been practiced by most societies, though the issue has raised controversy with many people arguing that capital punishment is morally wrong and each and every individual deserves to live as well as a second chance to correct his mistakes. On other hand other people favor capital punishment for murderers, saying that it is morally right to punish them for the crimes they committed without any sympathy or compassion.
Kant arguments in relation to Capital Punishment
The recent decision by Kitzhaber, the Governor of Oregon on capital punishment where he publicly declared a moratorium on carrying out executions in his State can be termed as morally right from the human perspective. On other hand if we relate Kitzhaber decision to the arguments raised by theorists Emmanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill's it is evident that the decision which Kitzhaber took was not in the best interest of the society. Ethically a morally wrong action is unjustified violation of a morale rule. Morality therefore can be defined as the principles of right and wrong. Human beings being moral creatures, they deserve compliment for good deeds and punishment for bad deeds (Kant, 2002).
Immanuel Kant is one of the greatest philosophers of ethics who formulated the first and one of the most scientific approaches to the death penalty part of the categorical Imperative. From Kant`s perspective society and individuals must act in such a way that their actions can become a universal law for all to follow. According to Kant`s argument using his doctrines on crime and capital punishment is stated in his work "Metaphysics of Morals" (Part One), a society nor a state cannot exist without laws. In precise he states that if there is no law then there is no society as well as state (Kant, 2002). According to Kant law enforcement is significant for a society`s protection as well as the state hence any person violating the law loses the right to be a society`s member, opposes social order is deemed guilty and must be punished hence Kant`s insists that capital punishment for murderers. Whoever commits murder must die hence any society which does not sentence murderers to death penalty can be deemed to be accomplices to crimes (Kant, 2002).
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