When talking about normative theories, after reviewing the book as well as searching the internet, the theory that I feel relates to myself the most is the Kant’s theory. According to the book, Kant’s theory is an individual’s measure of their ethics based on good will and using the categorical imperative. (Shaw 2017). This normative theory comes from a German philosopher Immanuel Kant who believes that each person in society encounters experiences throughout their lifetime which is what shapes the human mind into creating ethics for themselves based on what they feel is right and wrong or fair and unfair.
In relation to Kant’s ethics, a scenario that jumps out in my head comes from when I was a young teenager going into the cafeteria for my lunch break during middle school. I had witnessed an individual take a slice of pizza off another classmate’s tray while they were using the restroom. I thought I was the only one to see this take place and felt that due to what I thought was right and wrong I should go talk to that student and tell them to put the pizza back where it was found because that was considered stealing.
My ethics that I had built growing up since I was a toddler had told me that stealing is considered bad throughout society and therefore I should stop it if I ever saw it. Although because I was the only one that happened to be looking at that time, I could have just as easily ignored the situation and went about my everyday life. Due to the Kant’s ethics and my brain forming morals, I felt that I had to go talk to the person as what he did was not right, and stealing is not accepted globally. I identified this particular situation because of what Kant’s ethics means along with the fact that although I was not awarded with any prize, I felt much better after acting upon the matter because of my ethics.
Shaw, William H. Business Ethics. 9th ed, Cengage Learning, 2017
1 Comment for “M2 (Muzzillo)”
I completely relate to your story. If I had been the person to witness someone stealing that slice of pizza off of another classmates tray, I would definitely feel the need to walk over and tell that person to put the pizza back and that it is not right for them to be doing what they are doing. Kant’s theory is an individual’s measure of their ethics based on goodwill using the categorical imperative (Shaw, 2017). I would feel guilt inside me if rather I had not done anything about the situation than tried to fix it. I try to look at situations where I place myself in someone else’s shoes, and I would not want to find my lunch gone after coming back from the restroom. Guilt would form inside me, not because I had stolen the pizza but because I did nothing to stop what was happening. Kant held that only when we act from duty does our action have moral worth. Your act of duty of going to tell the student to put the pizza back that they stole, is an act Kant’s theory and therefore has moral worth.