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Moral Accountability Essay

Morality depends on the ability of an individual to choose between good and
evil, thus, entailing freedom of the will and the moral responsibility of the
individual for his actions. It is obvious this is so for the individual, but
what about groups and governments? Do they have the ability to choose between
good and evil, do they have free will and therefore are they subject to the same
paradigms of morality as the individual or does an autonomous morality apply.

What if we relate this concept of morality to a present day moral dilemma? Such
as should the United States government fire cruise missiles at Serbian cities in
order to force the government of Serbia to comply with NATO demands of
withdrawal from Kosovo? What moral questions should be asked? Further yet, as we
are members of a representative democracy, do the citizens bear any of the
responsibility of the government’s actions? Am I responsible for the government

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I choose? Being that it is the actions of a governments we wish to question the
morality of, we must know what the present justification for or against the
launch of cruise missiles at Serbia and what the consequences of that decision
would be. It can be conjectured that the “official rational” of the

United States government in its decision to use cruise missiles on Serbia is
based on cost/benefit analysis of what would be in the best interest of the
nation and the worlda utilitarian morality. The Serbian government has
invaded and seeks to undermine the sovereignty of Kosovo while using genocidal
tactics to control the population.

The US is acting on what it believes to be
the greatest good for the greatest number. But who is the government to place a
market value on human life? Is it moral and does the government have the right
to place such a value on human life? And who is responsible for their decision?

The official utilitarian rationale of the United States government does place a
market value on human life Kant writes: “Now morality is the condition
under which alone a rational being can be an end in himself, for only thereby
can he be a legislating member in the kingdom of ends”, survival of the
individual in a group is the end. If we are to treat men otherwise, as a means
to an end, we must make that a categorical imperative and we must treat it as if
that action will be a universal law of nature laws to live by). Hence, to do
harm to others, to place a market value on man, would be immoral since it would
harm humanity. Likewise, it is immoral for the United States to sacrifice ten
thousand lives in hope of saving more. It must be asked “what if everyone
sacrificed ten thousand lives?”.

According to Kants theory of the

Universal law, “We must be able to will that a maxim of our action become
universal law, this is the canon for morally estimating any of our actions”
(Kant). Perhaps it is a touch ironic that the very document the US was founded
on reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are
created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This, like Kant’s moral philosophy of “universal maxims,” proclaims
that man has intrinsic absolute value. Yet, so quickly are we ready to disregard
this declaration as our cost benefit analysis dictates. Slavery was abolished on
the principle of the absolute value of man. Why should we disregard this now? Do
we suspend the unalienable rights to life whenever it would be most prudent? The

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United States must ask itself whether it wishes to make a maxim of placing value
on human life.

It must be remembered that by lowering the value of life of
others, we at the same time lower our own value. Governments and institutions
are composed of a completely different dynamic than that of the individual. This
leaves man curious as to whether to obey the same set of morals. These moral
issues lead to the question of whether or not a man is responsible for what his
government does. I am inclined to believe that either philosopher would not
think that the individual is fully responsible for the actions of his government
so long as they do not participate in the government’s decision-making process.

It is possible to argue that, if all individuals .

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Moral Accountability Essay
Artscolumbia
Artscolumbia
Morality depends on the ability of an individual to choose between good and evil, thus, entailing freedom of the will and the moral responsibility of the individual for his actions. It is obvious this is so for the individual, but what about groups and governments? Do they have the ability to choose between good and evil, do they have free will and therefore are they subject to the same paradigms of morality as the individual or does an autonomous morality apply. What if we relate
2019-02-12 08:21:33
Moral Accountability Essay
$ 13.900 2018-12-31
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