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The thought of justifying means rather than ends seems to be more ethical in the long run, even if not more productive. As an officer we have trouble in this way of thinking for two reasons. First, we are in a profession in which our ends are what matters. We must produce the results that are needed, when they are needed, or we have failed to perform our duties. This means we have let down those in charge of us, as well as those whom we lead.
Second, our means of doing things are also very important.
We as officers must be moral in our decisions, for if we aren’t then we also fail to do our jobs. If we go about achieving a good end through bad means then we are no better than our enemies. Maxims are rules of law that we apply in our decision making to be considered rules of the Universe as a way of deciding if our actions are moral or immoral.
One example of a maxim would be “I can use rob a bank or take money from people for financial gain”. When applying Kant’s rules we test it first to see if it can be generalized.
This would end up as “anyone can use force to get what they want. This would not make sense in the long run because if everyone used force to get what they want then the world would be anarchic and full of chaos. Another example of a maxim would be “I won’t help this drowning person because they probably won’t pay me. ” It almost makes sense to do this as doing something for little gain sometimes seems useless. However; if this were to be applied as a general rule then no one would ever get help unless the Samaritan deemed it profitable to them. Both of these show how decision making in Kantianism is the key factor in deciding what to do.
There are both good and bad sides to Kantianism. First, as stated previously, we need to do things based on moral reasoning and not just end results. We can’t be officers who can go to the limit of Utilitarianism and allow for things such as an Omelas society. We do need to consider the good of the whole but we must do things that are moral by reason. We need to rationalize why and how we perform so that we can lead the way we’re supposed to. Kantianism is a good means for this and will allow officers to not only have good ends, but a good means of achieving them.