Fair Playing Field

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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Fair playing Field This paper will refute Kant's duty oriented morality based on the fact that society is not a fair playing field for universal morality.

Immanuel Kant determines the morality of an action based on universal acceptance and unconditional motivation. It is universally known that stealing is wrong because we would not want things stolen from us. Similar to the golden rule, one can judge a morality of an action based on justification should the same action be directed at them. If you can not justify the action happening to you, such as having something stolen from you, you are morally wrong to perform this action against someone else. Secondly, He theorizes that an action can not be considered moral if motivated by self-interest. For example, I will only help you when you fall because I expect a big inheritance when you die and want to keep in your good graces.

In this example the person is motivated by self-interest and the action of helping would be immoral according to Kant.

On the first part of Kant's theory of morality, universality, this could be correct if all powers of society were equally distributed. If you ran a basketball game with six year olds challenging eighteen year olds the disadvantaged six year old would most certainly be allowed a handicap and cheating would not be seen as a moral wrong doing. However, in society there are those born with silver spoons and others born with grave disadvantages. Yet however unfair the playing field of life, we are diluted by the mythical notion that hard work and fair play will bring you far. This mythical notion tries to bring fairness to a very unfair playing field, but only brings disenchantment and further defeat to those who never had a chance to...