Deontological Theories of Kant

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Immanuel Kant is well-known for his philosophical ideas and importance in the field of deontological ethics. As spelled out in his moral philosophy, Kant continues to argue that human beings are born with a special capacity to reason. Human beings may participate in acts that are morally evil or wrong, but they may unwittingly lead to desirable results, according to him. As a consequence, deontology is an approach to ethical research that focuses on the rightness and wrongness of a specific behavior. It does not base its focus on consequentialism and virtue of ethical concerns that establish a link in either the rightness or wrongness of actions to the characters and their habits (Merges).

Gone Baby Gone

The movie is about the kidnapping of a four-year-old girl Amanda from her parental home in Boston. The abduction was planned in efforts to salvage her from the poor habits of her mother who is addicted to drugs and see to it that she lived a life that was free of drugs and the influence of her mother. Helene McCready uses cocaine among other drugs which make her associate with dangerous people which only serves to threaten the upbringing that Amana would get from her mother. The dilemma situation in the movie is establishing whether or not it was ethical to stage the abduction of Amanda from her maternal mother. The perpetrators of the kidnapping act as though they have no idea of whereabouts of the girl and use their financial abilities to ensure that the girl is not found by the detectives hired to take charge of the case (Lehane).

In view of Kant’s deontological theory, good deeds are represented by the efforts put forward by rational beings in doing what ought to be done rather than acting from the point of self-interest and inclination. The detectives; Patrick and Angie were not sure about taking the case, but after re-evaluation or morality and anticipations, they felt obliged to get involved and not for their self-interests (Merges). In the course of their investigation, Patrick faces a difficult situation, and he murders Corwin Earle; a child molester not because she is a better position to do so but because she feels pity for the defenseless child who was taken advantage of by Corwin. The climactic point in the movie is when detective Patrick and Jack Doyle find themselves in conflicting sides when the detective discovers that the latter was behind the kidnapping of Amanda McCready. He defends his action by stating that Helene was a bad influence to Amanda due to her drug addiction and company coupled with her irresponsible nature. This only serves to shed light on the fact that Amanda was better off being with Jack, but then the circumstances that brought Amanda to him seem to be wrong and unlawful.

As the discussion between Jack Doyle and detective Patrick continues, they start coming to an understanding which implies that they came to terms with Kant’s idea of deontological theories that there may be actions that may be taken to treat human beings not merely as means to ends but means to themselves. It is logical and morally right that Amanda was better of being with Jack yet Patrick still made the decision to take her back to her parental home (Lehane). Acting otherwise would have meant that Patrick was for the fact that kidnapping and stealing are right. In so doing, Patrick acted as though his action was establishing a universal law that would be used by others who would have found themselves entangled in the same situation (Johnson).

Works Cited

Johnson, Mark. Morality for humans: Ethical understanding from the perspective of cognitive science. University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Lehane, Dennis. Gone, baby, gone. Éditions Rivages, 2013.

Merges, Robert P. “Philosophical Foundations of IP Law: The Law and Economics Paradigm.” (2016).

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