Read chapter 3, watch Week 6 Lecture, and watch the films “Gone Baby Gone” .apply Kant’s moral philosophy to judge the MAIN FINAL action. For “Gone Baby Gone” judge Patrick’s final decision. Judging any other action in the movie is an automatic zero. 500 words minimum in MLA format. Due on December 5th *You must apply Kant’s 3 premises (course materials) for 50 points and Michael Sandel’s 3 contrasts (Week 6 Lecture “Mind your Motive”) for 50 points.

Title: Kantian Analysis of Patrick’s Final Decision in “Gone Baby Gone”

Introduction:
Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy serves as a prominent framework for ethical analysis by emphasizing the role of rationality and universal principles in guiding moral decision-making. By applying Kant’s three premises and Michael Sandel’s three contrasts, this paper will analyze Patrick’s final decision in the film “Gone Baby Gone” through a Kantian lens.

Kant’s Three Premises:
Kant’s moral philosophy is centered on the idea that individuals have a moral duty to act in accordance with rational principles, regardless of the consequences. His three premises further elucidate this perspective:

1. Categorical Imperative: According to Kant, individuals should act only in ways that can be universally applied. In other words, an action should be deemed morally acceptable if it could be willed as a universal law. Conversely, if an action cannot be applied universally, it is morally impermissible.

2. Respect for Humanity: Kant contends that individuals should never treat others solely as a means to an end, but rather as ends in themselves. This premise emphasizes the importance of valuing and respecting the inherent worth and autonomy of all individuals.

3. Autonomy and Freedom: Kant emphasizes the significance of autonomy, asserting that individuals possess the ability to make rational choices and have the freedom to act in accordance with their moral principles. Autonomy allows individuals to hold themselves accountable for their moral actions.

Sandel’s Three Contrasts:
Michael Sandel’s three contrasts further contribute to the Kantian analysis by exploring the motivations behind moral actions:

1. Maximizing Welfare vs. Respecting Rights: Sandel highlights the tension between utilitarianism, which emphasizes the maximization of overall welfare, and deontological ethics, which prioritizes the respect for individual rights. This contrast serves to scrutinize whether an action is justified by considering its impact on overall welfare or by upholding individual rights.

2. Consequences vs. Duties: Sandel examines the distinction between consequentialist approaches, which prioritize the outcomes and consequences of actions, and deontological ethics, which focuses on the moral duty to act irrespective of the consequences. This contrast prompts us to question whether a moral action is determined by the outcomes it produces or by its adherence to moral principles.

3. Self-Realization vs. Impartiality: Sandel explores the contrast between ethical theories that prioritize individual self-realization and those that promote impartiality. This contrast urges us to reflect on whether moral actions are motivated by self-interest or by a desire for fairness and impartiality.

Analysis of Patrick’s Decision:
In “Gone Baby Gone,” Patrick, a private investigator, is faced with a moral dilemma when he discovers the location of a missing child who has been kidnapped by her neglectful mother. Patrick must decide whether to return the child to her abusive but biological mother or to leave her with a loving and stable adoptive family.

Applying Kant’s three premises, the first premise of categorical imperative requires us to examine whether Patrick’s decision can be universalized. If Patrick were to return the child to her mother, it would imply that any child, regardless of their well-being, should be reunited with their biological parents. However, such a universalization would disregard the potential harm and neglect inflicted upon children who find themselves in abusive situations. Therefore, Patrick’s decision to leave the child with the adoptive family aligns with the principle of categorical imperative.

Kant’s second premise of respect for humanity highlights the importance of treating individuals as ends in themselves. By considering the well-being and autonomy of the child, Patrick chooses to prioritize the welfare and rights of the child over the biological relationship with her mother. His decision reflects a deep regard for the inherent worth of the child, demonstrating respect for humanity.

Regarding Kant’s third premise of autonomy and freedom, Patrick’s decision exemplifies his exercise of autonomy. He does not succumb to external pressures or personal biases but makes an independent choice based on his understanding of rational principles. By acting autonomously, Patrick takes moral responsibility for the consequences of his decision and aligns with Kant’s emphasis on individual agency.

Considering Sandel’s three contrasts, Patrick’s decision aligns with the contrasting perspectives.