Moral Obligations

To prepare for this Discussion:
Read Chapter 5 in the course text, focusing on the definitions of moral obligation and the categorical imperative. Also consider how Kantians distinguish between right and wrong.
View Kevin Carter’s photograph and consider how his actions would be viewed from a Kantian perspective.
Carter, K. (2011). Vulture watching starving child [Photograph]. Retrieved from
Write a 2-paragraph explanation of what Carter’s duty was toward the child in the photograph, using Kant’s categorical imperative to justify your position. Then, state whether you agree with the Kantian position, explaining why you do or do not agree. Include ethics-related terms in your post, and be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources. Practice APA style for your in-text citations.
Watch each video link below:
Required Resources

  • MacKinnon, B. (2012). Ethics: Theory and contemporary issues (concise 2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
    • Chapter 5, “Kant’s Moral Theory” (pp. 42–52)
      This chapter explains the origins of Kant’s moral theory and its emphasis on moral obligation. The chapter explains what the categorical imperative is and how Kantians use it to distinguish between right and wrong. The chapter concludes with an evaluation of the theory.
    • Appendix, “How to Write an Ethics Paper” (pp. 246–257)
      This appendix provides guidelines on how to write an ethics paper and is a good resource to use as you write papers for your Application Assignments and for the Final Project.