The ethical dilemma is a choice between two possibilities that will inevitably lead to violations of certain moral principles. In this sense, Coach Rob is faced with a dilemma where he needs to decide the fate of his two top starters. Students were caught cheating on an exam, which led to them being suspended from classes. However, the soccer team may lose the upcoming tournament because their main players are penalized. Accordingly, the coach is faced with a dilemma, as he can either allow them to play, or let the school teach them a lesson and leave them punished. I will argue that according to Kant’s Categorical Imperative, a person should make decisions based on their moral principles rather than personal desires. Thus, it is necessary to choose one option from the two provided choices, which will meet the laws of morality and apply with the Kant’s theory.
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Thus, according to Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Coach Rob should make a choice based on moral principles. The first formulation of the Categorical Imperative is the idea that moral rules should be universal laws (Kranak, 2019). Thus, a person should act in such a way that the maxim of the will can become a law applicable to everyone. In the event of an ethical dilemma, Coach Rob should choose the second option. He should prohibit his players from participating in the championship, as they have violated the rule and should be punished. In this case, the maxim is the basic principle on which the action and decision of the coach depends. If students are allowed to play football despite cheating on the exam, they will consider that such actions are encouraged. In this situation, Coach Rob will violate his moral principle, which in turn will lead to the fact that the students will not learn a lesson from the situation.
Moreover, in order to assess how Kant’s philosophy is comparable to this ethical dilemma, it is important to mention the second formulation. According to this formulation, all people inside are valuable because they have dignity (Kranak, 2019). Therefore, each person is irreplaceable, worthy of respect and should not be regarded as an inanimate object. Kant believes that a person cannot be used as a tool to achieve a goal. Furthermore, while respecting the dignity of each person, it is necessary to treat it as the goal itself. In other words, the human being is so valuable and important that it is the objective itself. Based on this, Coach Rob should not use his students as a means to win the championship. On the contrary, by removing the players from the match, he will be able to teach them a lesson and instill moral values and laws in them.
In conclusion, summing up everything that was mentioned earlier, it should be noted that the choice of a coach should be based on moral principles. Acting according to Kant’s theory of the Categorical Imperative, each person must, first, rely solely on moral values and laws. Thus, the coach will not only be able to stay true to his morals, but also teach students important things. Secondly, each person is inherently unique, valuable, and important, because it has dignity. It is dignity that distinguishes a human being from inanimate objects that are used as tools to achieve a goal. According to the Categorical Imperative, man is not a means, but an end. Consequently, Coach Rob should treat delinquent students as worthy people who should learn moral principles and laws.
Kranak, J. (2019). Kantian Deontology. Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics.