Discussion: Lying-promises are morally wrong Discussion: Lying-promises are morally wrong 1. According to Kant, making a lying-promise is morally wrong because:

Discussion: Lying-promises are morally wrong

Discussion: Lying-promises are morally wrong

1. According to Kant, making a lying-promise is morally wrong because:

A. It is not expected to maximize happiness.

B. It violates a rule that tends to contribute positively to the overall utility of society.

C. It is self-defeating in that it results in a practical contradiction.

D. It tends to corrupt the character of the cheater.

E. It annihilates happiness.


2. According to Kant, our moral duties (as given by the categorical imperative):

A. Can only be determined from a consideration of what is seen to be rational from the viewpoint of a particular culture or society.

B. Can only be determined from a consideration of the “historical struggle” of a culture or society.

C. Are binding on all human beings from the moment of conception until death.

D. Are binding on all rational persons, at all times, in all places.

E. Are binding on all persons if, and only if, they are seen to promote the general interests of society.

3. The basic idea behind Kant’s categorical imperative is that our moral duties are:

A. Binding only on those persons who are expected to live flourishing or ”eudaimonic” lives on the whole.

B. Binding on all persons at all times regardless of whether a given individual is a rational person or not.

C. Binding on all rational persons at all times independently of what a given rational person happens to want or desire at a given time.

D. Binding on all rational persons, but are fully determined by the culture in which a person lives, and thus allow for a ”categorical difference” between one society and another.


4. According to Kant, I treat someone merely as a means if:

A. I ask someone to act in way that he does not want to act.

B. I ask someone to act in way that is in my self-interest.

C. I act according to a principle that conflicts with the customs of society. Discussion: Lying-promises are morally wrong

D. I act according to a principle that a reasonable person could not reasonably accept.

E. I act according to a principle that does not tend to contribute to the happiness of others.


5. A Kantian criticism of a deterrence (utilitarian) justification of punishment is that:

A. A maxim of punishment can never be willed to be a universal law of nature.

B. A society that punishes criminal offenders nevers succeeds in maximizing overall happiness.

C. By making an example of a convicted criminal by punishing him we treat him as a means only.

D. Punishment is never an effective deterrent.

E. Punishment can never reform a person’s character.

6. The claims made by Phadke and Anandh that kidney sales commercialize or commodify the human body, and so kidney sales undercut human dignity can best be seen as what type of argument in spirit.

A. Utilitiarian.

B. Aristotelian.

C. Kantian.

D. Nihilistic.

E. None of the above.

7. In response to the claim that kidney sales would reduce altruistic giving, Radcliffe-Richards (et. al.) claim:

A. That just because some useful action is not motivated by altruism is not a reason to ban that action.

B. That altruistic giving must never be allowed to be reduced.

C. That there is really no such thing as altruistic giving.

D. All of the above.

E. None of the above.


Essay question:

8. How might Kant show that lying-promises are morally wrong using his formula of universal law version (Ch. 9 in Rachels’ EMP) of the Categorical Imperative. A lying-promise is when you say the words, ”I promise..,” to someone, but have no intention of fulfilling that promise (e.g., someone says, ”I promise to pay you back next week if you lend me a few dollars today,” but this person has absolutely no intention of paying the other person back if the other person lends him the money).

Then explain why the very idea of an absolute prohibition of certain types of actions or omissions (e.g., ”don’t ever make lying promises”) is intuitively problematic for Kant’s view of morality.

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