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Immanuel Kant

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Essay title: Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant, a supporter of capital punishment, offered us of the most complicated, if not ambiguous, views on the subject. In fact, he would've ironically disagreed with its modern proponents. Those who advocate capital punishment today often do so for utilitarian reasons. For example, the death sentence would protect society by not only preventing a purpertrator from committing the same crime again, it would also deter others by setting an example. Kant would've argued the rights of the condemned are being trampled; by using him as an example, we are using him as a means to an end. A rational being, in Kant's view, is an end in himself, whether criminal or law-abiding

citizen. We would thus be violating his humanity.

In Kant's view of ethics, actions must be undertaken from a sense of duty dictated by reason, and no action performed for appropriateness or solely in obedience to law or custom can be regarded as moral. Moral acts are done for the "right" reasons. Kant goes on to describe two types of commands given by reason: the hypothetical imperative, which dictates a given course of action to reach a specific end; and the categorical imperative,

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