Ethical Conundrum

Even if it meant saving a dozen people, I would not seek the death of one person. This is due to the fact that every human life is valuable and cannot be taken away. Because each human being is unique and original, I do not have the moral or ethical authority to kill anyone, regardless of the consequences (Kant, 142). As a result, I am in favor of ethical formalism and opposed to utilitarianism.
Killing people or seeking their death, according to ethical formalism, is wrong in any situation and at any time because it is universally wrong. But utilitarianism suggests that a person should seek the death of another person if it would save a dozen of other people because it is rational and logical for everybody, even for an innocent person who must die in order to save others.

I do not agree with utilitarianism because it states that some people can decide the fates of other people and choose who to kill for others to survive. Ethical utilitarianism ignores the innocent person completely. If a death of an innocent person would most surely save the lives of a dozen of other people this innocent person may or may not freely commit an act of sacrifice by himself or herself. Otherwise society shows its primitive nature and an innocent person acts like a scapegoat who is to be killed so other people could survive.

One last aspect of this problem is the way in which the dilemma says that a dozen people will surely survive if one person is killed. How could anyone possibly know that for sure? What if killing a person wouldn’t save a dozen of people or would save only six? Anything could go wrong and no one is able to predict what consequences his or her actions will bring in the future. Therefore, one should not kill also because he or she can never be sure whether his or her action will really have a desired effect.

Works Cited

Kant, I. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals. New York: Courier Corporation, 2005. Print

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