Deontology & Nonconsequentialism
Length: 2-3 Pages
This week we discussed absolute moral rules and more speciﬁcally Kan’t deontological theory
Describe the general outline of Kant’s theory. What is the categorical imperative? What does
Kant say about lying? What is the major objection to his theory? Does this objection imply that
Kant is worthless? What insights into morality does his theory represent?
Finally, I want you to interpret the ﬁnal scene from Schindler’s List with respect to Kant and
absolute moral rules. Has Oskar Schindler done anything morally wrong on Kant’s view? After
all, he did lie and bribe his way into saving over 1000 people. Do you see any problems with
conﬂicting rules? In the ﬁnal scene Oskar feels tremendous guilt for the death of the people that
he couldn’t save but those people didn’t die because of him, they were killed by others, right?
Does his guilt stem from an absolute moral law within himself to which he feels as if he has not
lived up to? What are your thoughts on the situation?
Here is a brief summary of the ﬁlm for those that have not see it:
Oskar Schindler- womanizer, businessman, and Nazi has taken advantage of the cheap labor
force in Polish territory during World War II. His aim is to make as much money as possible from
the war but unintentionally develops a connection with his workers as he begins to resent Nazi
rule. At his own risk, he employs Jewish families in his workshops and factories, often in
positions in which they would otherwise be unqualiﬁed. Bribing Nazi ofﬁcials and other
businessmen with money and the promise of increased business, Schindler produces a list of
names and saves over 1000 Polish-Jewish refugees destined to Auschwitz during the
Holocaust. Based on a true story, Schindler ﬁnds himself questioning his morals, ethics and
obligations as a human being.
(The goal here is to get you to explain Kant’s theory and then place the theory in a speciﬁc
context to illustrate strengths and weaknesses of the theory)
The post Deontology & Nonconsequentialism
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