KANT AND POLLAN 4
Similarityand differences of Kant and Utilitarian Egalitarianism Theories
Egalitarianismrefers to the belief that equality of all people in the society isimportant. This school of thought emphasizes that human rights arefundamental and should, therefore, be respected(Zack, 2011).These include social, political, economic and civil rights.There aredifferent views to egalitarianism such as that of Emmanuel Kant andthe Utilitarian view. According to Kant, human actions should bebased on rationality and autonomy(Sullivan, 2011).This means that a person’s actions should not be forced either byhimself or someone else. He goes ahead to explain that actions shouldgo beyond making us feel good. They should as well be right.
Onthe other hand, Utilitarianism believes that human actions should bebased on the amount of pleasure they bring not only to the person butalso to others. These actions should cause the least amount of painto the people.
Thesimilarity between these two views is that both agree that actionsshould bring happiness. The point of contention is that Kantemphasizes that the human behavior should be right. Therefore, onedoes not need to use himself or someone else as a means of doingsomething. A good example is drug addiction and suicide, which shouldnot be done, since they undermine one’s rationality or autonomy.
However,Utilitarian views go ahead to cover the happiness and pleasure ofother people. Despite the fact that the action is right, it shouldalso bring happiness and less pain to others. Therefore, the moralbenefits are determined by the outcome of an action. It is leastimportant to evaluate as to wheher an action is embarked upon due topersonal reasons or only as a gesture. Unlike Kant views, it is,therefore, difficult to develop yourself based on Utilitarian theory.
Therehas been a lot of criticism on these two views. In these twotheories, non-human animals’ rights have not been taken intoconsideration. However, some are of the opinion that Kant’sideology is more plausible in this context since a person will haveto think whether his action is right or wrong before embarking ondoing it(Keshen, 2009).In this way, any exploitation to non-human animals can be reduced.The Utilitarian idea is not entirely explicit on non-human animals’rights. This is because, according to this theory, an action isright so long as it brings happiness and pleasure to the otherperson, which is based on human beings, leaving the effects onnon-human animals alone.
Zack,N. (2011). Theethics and mores of race: Equality after the history of philosophy.Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Sullivan,R. J. (2011). ImmanuelKant`s moral theory.Cambridge England: Cambridge University Press.
Keshen,R. (2009). Reasonableself-esteem.Montréal: McGill-Queen`s University Press