This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Deontology In Jim And The Indians

1112 words - 5 pages

Jim has found himself in a quandary. When arriving in a South American town he has happened upon a captain and his army about to assassinate twenty Indians in order to deter other Indians protesting against the government. Jim is treated as a guest to the town and offered the privilege of shooting one of the Indians in which case the captain will let the other nineteen go, however declining this offer will mean the captain will carry on as planned and kill all twenty.
Consequentialism is ordinarily distinct from deontology, as deontology offers rightness or wrongness of an act, rather than the outcome of the action. In this essay we are going to explore the differences of consequentialism and deontology and apply them to the quandary that Bernard Williams and J.J.C Smart put forward in their original analogy of “Jim and the Indians” in their book , Utilitarianism: for and against (J.J.C Smart & Bernard Williams, 1973, p.78-79.).
The deontological view would be that we should act according to a set of rules, obligations, or duties that we must fulfil, unmindful of the consequences. Kant, a popular deontological philosopher of the 19th century, wrote in his “Foundations of Metaphysics of Morals”,
Nothing in the world – indeed even beyond the world – can possibly be conceived which could be called good with qualification except good will (Kant 61).
This “good will” is the basis of for a deontological argument. Courage, perseverance and patience are all qualities of character, while qualities of mind may include intelligence and judgement. All are desirable and good; however these qualities can become bad and harmful, if there is no good will.
The belief here is if there is good will in everyone and that this good will can prevail however we are not answerable for someone else’s good will, we can only answer for our own good will. Take for instance we were to find a large bag of money on the street, our good will would mean that we would hand this money up to the appropriate authorities. However, should these authorities deicide to keep the money and not declare it, is beyond my control as they are acting on their own good will. Likewise in the Jim and the Indians case, we could only act on our own good will and not kill anyone in the hope that the good will would prevail in the captain and his men.
Deontologists would be of the opinion that something’s we are not expected to do, to perceive ourselves as moral agents. However opponents of the deontological view, such as Nancy Davies (1993), would argue that this is just “keeping ones hands clean”. Davies goes on to argue that,
“Deontologists … not only assign more weight to our own avoidance of wrongdoing—where wrongdoing is understood as violating the rule—than to the interests of others, they also require that we assign more weight to our own avoidance of wrongdoing than we do to the avoidance of wrongdoing tout court, or the prevention of wrongdoing of others” (1993, p. 207).
However...

Find Another Essay On Deontology in Jim and the Indians

Plains Indians And The Reservation And Assimilatio

1299 words - 5 pages Anglo American views towards Native Americans have changed many times through history. When America was first discovered, Native Americans were viewed as savages that could be exploited for use in learning how to hunt and other tasks. As America began to grow, Native Americans were viewed as intruders that were trespassing on land that obviously belonged to the United States. In the late nineteenth century, views towards Native Americans began

The United States And The Cherokee Indians

2401 words - 10 pages given to the sovereign authority of England. So when the British government had lost the Revolutionary war, by "right of conquest" the United States won all of England's authority, which included rule over all of the people and land in the Americas. By this reasoning, this rule extended to the Indians that were in fact living on their land. But rather then defend (by another fight) the "right of conquest" against the Indians

The Historical Interaction Between the Europeans and Indians in the Disney Movie Pocahontas

1740 words - 7 pages The Historical Interaction Between the Europeans and Indians in the Disney Movie Pocahontas Over the past couple of weeks, we have been studying the story of the Native American (Indian) princess, Pocahontas. We have studied both literature and the 1995 Disney movie. I am going to write about what methods are used to portray the relationship between these two civilisations. Both media portray the same relationship

Finn and Jim: Brothers in Morality

1229 words - 5 pages society, what is right and wrong is straight forward. Obedience to one's superiors is one issue that should not be contentious by society's standards. This is highlighted by Finn's relationship with his father, and later, whether or not to help Jim escape. In the former, his reunion with his father is something he finds he can get used to, at first, despite the drunkenness1. As time passes, Finn realises how far gone his father is – with

The Jim Crow Laws in the South

1201 words - 5 pages Christina Stephens Miss Bookmiller English 10 Honors 11 April 2014 Jim Crow South Racism was prominent in the Colonial seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Racism is the belief that the physical characteristics of a person determine the capabilities in which that individual is best fit to do. Race was the foundation of all slavery and eventually led to what would be known as the Jim Crow Laws. At this time, the North and South expressed

Columbus, The Indians, And Human Progress

729 words - 3 pages In this chapter Howard Zinn gives countless events on the different encounters from Columbus to Corte’s, Pizarro and the Puritans against the Indians such as the Arawaks, Aztecs, Powhatans and the Pequots. Zinn goes into great details on the horrific attacks and raids by Columbus and his crew sailing from island to island in the Caribbean taking the Indians captive in search for land, gold and slaves. Some of the Indians fled when they heard

Tepeticpac Indians and the Town of Tlaxcala

1158 words - 5 pages Tlaxcala... It has what you like was founded in 1591 by a group of thirty families of tlaxcaltec, originating in the header of Tepeticpac, Indians who – as part of the project of colonization of the frontier chichimeca - months ago had been settled in Mexquitic. At this stage Tlaxcala, or Tlaxcalilla, it received the name of the town of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, settling in the current founders Plaza. Later, between June and July next year

In defense of the Indians by Las Casas and On the Cannibals by Montaigne

1707 words - 7 pages the Europeans during the 1513 conquest. The Spanish Conquest of Central and South America and the voyage to the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought the Spanish crown a great amount of wealth. The native inhabitants which resided in the Americas prior to the discovery, saw what was once their home being taken away from them and being completely devoured by the Conquistas. In Defense of the Indians by Bartolome de Las Casas and On

Infectious Disease and Demise of the Indians in the New World

2027 words - 8 pages Infectious Disease and Demise of the Indians in the New World The European conquest of the New World was not caused by guns, swords, or barbaric type behavior but by the invisible danger- germs. Infectious diseases have played a major role in shaping the conquest of the New World. Vast amounts of people indigenous to the Americas died due to various types of diseases. It is often said that in the centuries after Columbus landed in the New

Location and Description of the Algonkian Indians

1220 words - 5 pages Location and Description of the Algonkian Indians - Algonkian lived in Quebec and Ontario; starting from the Ottawa valley, beneath Hudson Bay and above lower Ontario - the areas in which they lived in were dense woodlands with trees, such as, birch and evergreen; and snow covered the land most of the year. Adaptation to the physical Environment Home - Algonkian homes were called Wigwam, there frames were built out of saplings of

Hearty Gifts such as the Della and Jim´s in The Gift of the Magi

819 words - 4 pages The story of “The Gift of the MAGI” by O. Henry is about a couple, Della and Jim, who trying to make each other happy by buying gift in Christmas day. Unfortunately, they are very poor, and the only valuable things they have are Della’s beautiful hair and Jim’s gold watch. Since Della does not have enough money to buy Jim a gift, she sells her hair. After shopping in too many places, Della buys Jim a chain for his watch. She is sad for her hair

Similar Essays

Indians And The Media Essay

801 words - 3 pages The biggest problems with Aboriginal people gaining widespread acceptance in the Australian community is the negative stereotyping created by the mass media. The average media stereotype of an Aboriginal person is uncivilized, ill tempered, unemployed, violent, and often inebriated. While not all media portray this, the few that do not only have a relatively insignificant influence as their readers and viewers only form a minor percentage of the

An Examination Of Deontology And Utilitarianism In Deeply Moral Situations

1305 words - 5 pages An Examination of Deontology and Utilitarianism in Deeply Moral Situations Samuel Adams (1722 - 1803), an American patriot and politician, once stated, "Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason"[1]. This statement is significant, as it undermines two of the primary ethical doctrines in philosophy - the deontological perspective defended by Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) in Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals

The Otomi Indians And Montecillo Essay

1338 words - 5 pages Montecillo... It has what you like a group of Otomi Indians around 1600 and tarascan avecindaron part of the ejidos in the East of the city of San Luis Potosí. The new settlement was small in size: only consisted of two leagues, measured in terms of the city towards the Cerro de San Pedro, and width less than a quarter of a League. The name of Montecillo, adopted from the outset by its inhabitants according to the titles of erection of the

The Black Legend And White Legend: Relationship Between The Spanish And Indians In The New World

2525 words - 10 pages The Black Legend and White Legend: Relationship Between the Spanish and Indians in the New World The Spanish-Indian relationship can be defined in many ways. One definition used is through the Black Legend and the White Legend. The interpretation of the Black Legend can depend on whom you are talking to. The Black Legend speaks of the Spaniards abusing the Indians and being guilty of much more misconduct than history has ever