Question

Can acting out of a sense of one’s duty be the wrong thing to do (i.e. duty to tell the truth; never break a promise; or leak secret information)?

Think of an example in which someone (perhaps you) acted out of a sense of duty, even though by doing so one caused greater harm than if one had not acted, one failed to prevent harm from occurring, or one failed to bring about greater happiness.

Then, explain whether you think that (a) this person was right to do that despite the negative consequences; (b) it was wrong for this person to act in this way, despite the fact that it was their moral duty to do so; or (b) this person was mistaken about what their duty really was. Be sure to back up your answer with argument and references to the text.

Discuss the positive and negative aspects of Kant’s deontological theory as it relates to another of the theories you have encountered in this course. Minimum 300 words.

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While this may not be a personal example, I think the Edward Snowden NSA leak story is an exemplar of how Kant’s deontological theory is flawed. Arguably, when Snowden signed his contract with the contractor and consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, and thereby with the NSA, he made a promise to maintain not just the confidentiality...

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