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PHI 208 Week 3 Discussion (Hero)
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PHI 208 Week 3 Discussion (Hero)

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Think of someone real or fictional whom some people regard as a “hero” for helping others, stopping something bad or evil, and so forth, even though by doing so they violated what would normally be considered a moral rule (focus on morality; don't simply think of someone who broke the law). For example, they may have lied, broken a promise, stolen, harmed someone innocent, or even murdered, but done so with good intentions. (Note: this last part is crucial: make sure you explain what it was that they did that would otherwise be morally questionable. Also, it need not be someone you think is a hero.)

Try to think of any example that we would either all be familiar with, or something we can easily look up (in other words, don’t just make something up or describe something generic). Many examples are given in the guidance and the readings, including people like Robin Hood, Edward Snowden, etc. Please don’t use an example that someone else has already used!

Now here’s the fun part: once you have thought of your example, evaluate what they did according to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Is what the person did moral, or immoral, according to the CI?

Do you agree with this evaluation of the action? If you agree, how would you explain to the person in your own words why what they did was wrong? If you don’t agree and think that what they did was morally right, how would you respond to the question, “what if everyone did that?”

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