Immanuel Kant Vs Canada's Liberalism Essay

1518 words - 6 pages

Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy is very structured and rule based, with no room for exceptions. His main principle for his ethical philosophy is the Categorical Imperative. There are two principles that form the basis of Kant's ethics. They are: "act only on that maxim that you can will as a universal law" and, "always treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end" (2004, p. 70-71)." These principles are meant to apply equally to everyone, and accommodate no exceptions. In the Liberal modern state, all of its citizens are seen as equals. But what about minority recognition and rights are they being quashed by the liberal system that is designed to equalize everyone? To be consistent, the discussion will examine a modern liberal nation state: Canada. Canada fits the standard of a Liberal society because of its equality policy specified in their constitution:Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.By examining The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, The Youth Criminal Justice Act and political immunity in Canada, the course of the discussion will reveal liberalism is a dichotomy. The liberal system asserts everyone as equal but at the same time focuses legislation on promoting minority rights. Furthermore, the discussion will describe how Kant would agree with this argument.First, political immunity gives minorities in Canada rights above those of other citizens. In 2001, Russian diplomat Andrei Knyasev, a repeat drunk driving offender, ran over and killed a woman and seriously injured her friend while driving under the influence of alcohol, he was not charged in Canada because of diplomatic immunity (Canada 2001 ¶ 10). In 1996, Olexandor Yushko, a Ukranian Councellor escaped freely from prosecution after trying to lure two girls aged 12 and 14 into his car while holding an anesthetic soaked handkerchief (Canada 2001 ¶ 12). In 1991 two unnamed Kenyan diplomats claimed immunity after being questioned in Ottawa for allegedly assaulting four teenage girls at knifepoint in two separate incidents in a vacant apartment they had broken into, they left the country without any prosecution (Canada 2001 ¶ 13). Any other Canadian who committed any of these acts would be charged and probably serve jail time. In these instances rights of minorities are not only triumphing, but supersede the rights of society to prosecute criminals. To apply this practice of letting people walk free after committing crimes as universal law would lead to a disorderly society. Kant would agree that a moral law must apply to all people. That a law against drunk driving, assault with a weapon or conspiracy to commit a crime should apply to...

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