• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The use of the Categorical Imperative makes no room for compassionate treatment of women who want an abortion. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


The use of the Categorical Imperative makes no room for compassionate treatment of women who want an abortion. Discuss. In order to use Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative, you must apply the 3 maxims- this will tell you whether an action is morally right or wrong. This can be used to make a decision about any morally or ethically controversial action- in this case abortion. The first maxim is to make a universalised decision. If every woman in the world were to have an abortion when they fell pregnant, then no children would be born and the species would die out. Even though Kantian Ethics is not teleological and therefore not concerned with the consequences of an action, this would still be conceived as morally wrong and therefore, by using the formula of the universal law, it would not be feasible for every woman to have an abortion. Furthermore, there are many, many different views on abortion. Different religions, and even different denominations within religions think differently about abortion and whether it is morally acceptable or not- obviously no religion is going to say that all women should have abortions, but some may say that women ought to have the choice whether to have an abortion or not. ...read more.


She could come from a very strong religious background and has possibly been raped. If she is deeply distressed about her pregnancy, but her family are forcing her to have the baby (either to fulfil their religious beliefs or to bring them a new member of their family) then she is being used as a means to an end. Moreover, Kantian ethics says that you are not able to make a good moral judgement if you are not free. The mother could be seen as trapped and not free. Hence she would not be able to make a moral decision for herself. Finally, if you are to make a decision about [your own] abortion, then you are acting as a member of the Kingdom of Ends: you think that everyone should abide by the same rules and laws and that everyone has equal status and indiscriminate rights. On the one hand, you could argue that the mother has the right to make her own decisions as it could cripple her career or make her life very unhappy if she is forced to finish the pregnancy and give birth. ...read more.


She has broken the law and therefore must pay the price in a jail sentence. Even in 1950, only 59 years ago- in our own country, abortion was always seen as wrong. However, the times and social norms have changed (relativism). Nurses and doctors are now able to give information about abortions is asked for- something that many people 50 (or maybe even less) years ago would have seen as disgusting. In a modern time, Kant would possibly have believed that abortion was acceptable- we'll never know. Moreover, if Kantian Ethics is a religious theory, then it would also be wrong as God gave human beings lives, and therefore the potential mothers could not decided whether to not let their potential baby have life or not- only God could. It is unknown whether Kant wanted his theory to be religious or not. He claims that it isn't, however, one of the conditions of the Categorical Imperative is that to achieve Summom Bonum, it is likely to take more than one lifetime. Maybe this is Kant saying it is near impossible to achieve, or maybe he is saying that he believes in an afterlife- and therefore God. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. Compare Utilitarianism With Kant's Theory of The Categorical Imperative And Explain Which You Think ...

    Another flaw is the way it is universal - the issue is, can two problems be treated in the same manner? A good example for this is, as self defence and murder are classed under the same maxim - a maxim about taking human life - are they actually the same, or should they be treated differently?

  2. "It is impossible to reconcile any kind of determinism with the concept of freewill." ...

    Thus moral actions are not chance or random events, but result from the values and character of the moral agent. Some people may give into temptation, while others hold out as they have the freedom to do so. However the big question for libertarianism is how much moral responsibility and freewill do autonomous moral agents have in reality?

  1. Evaluate Korsgaard's discussion of the Universalizability Argument. In what ways does she conform with ...

    I appeal to the notion of self-actualization ethics. We are in a process to construct ourselves in such a way that we long and we intend to actualize ourselves towards our fullness. Whatever that means, again, is subject to different hermeneutics of self, but as men try to go about

  2. Contraception. In this essay I will be analysing and examining whether the use of ...

    90 art. 4) (Ethical studies Robert Bowie second edition page 25)5. Natural law evaluates both what we do and why we do it. So in order to apply 'Natural law' to the philosophy concepts of using condom if it's acceptable or not by the 'Natural law' the answer is contraception (condom)

  1. Discussion of abortion

    The Church leaders regularly meet together to help Catholics in their faith. The church council help Catholics decide what to do in various situations. They use teachings from the Bible and the Church Documents to teach us that all life is a precious gift from God and must be protected at all times.

  2. is abortion justified to save the mother's life

    Quality of life is the degree of well-being felt by an individual or group of people. It consists of two components: physical and psychological. The physical aspect includes things such as health, diet, and protection against pain and disease. The psychological aspect includes stress, worry, pleasure and other positive or negative emotional states.

  1. Examine and comment on Christian beliefs about homosexuality

    But, since the Church still regards the main purpose of sex to be procreation, they insist that any sexual act must be open to conception in order to be ethical. On this basis, they do not condone the use of artificial methods of birth control, and consider any sexual behaviour

  2. The concept of hell makes no sense discuss

    In Islam Muslims believe in Jahannom (resembles the versions of Hell in Christianity). In there holy book the Qur'an there are descriptions of a fiery Hell, and in contrast a garden like paradise which resembles Heaven.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work