Need some help here...

Say a mad axe man knocks on my door and asks if my wife (whom I love) is in. Am I compelled by Kant's Categorial Imperative not to tell a lie? or is it ok to lie to mad axe men?

To put my question another way does telling white lies go against universal reason?

What would Kant do?

Tags: categorial, imperatieve, kant

Views: 54

Replies to This Discussion

I can never be bothered to follow all that stuff, it seems a bit weird, which is probably why it's never caught on.  What works in one situation doesn't necessarily work in another.  A few virtues can be said to be valid 100% of the time, and I don't consider telling the truth to be one of them.  Which is worse - lying to a mad axe man, or letting your wife be murdered?  In that situation you would need to keep your nerve. 

Yeah you would have to tell the truth because in the long run telling the truth about everything would benefit more than it would hurt. According to Kant.
But as Simon says life's not that simple. And if we followed this then Ann Franks diary would be much shorter!

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