Read chapter 3, watch Week 6 Lectures, and watch the films “Gone Baby Gone” and “Sleepers”. Pick one movie and apply Kant’s moral philosophy to judge the MAIN FINAL action. For “Gone Baby Gone” judge Patrick’s final decision and for “Sleepers” judge the priest’s final decision. Judging any other action in the movie is an automatic zero. 500 words minimum in MLA/APA format. *You must apply Kant’s 3 premises and Michael Sandel’s 3 contrasts (Week 6 Lecture “Mind your Motive”)*

The application of Kant’s moral philosophy to judge the main final actions of the characters in “Gone Baby Gone” and “Sleepers” requires a deep understanding of Kant’s three premises and Michael Sandel’s three contrasts, as discussed in the Week 6 lectures. This analysis will employ these concepts to evaluate Patrick’s final decision in “Gone Baby Gone” and the priest’s final decision in “Sleepers.” Kant’s moral philosophy emphasizes the importance of universalizability, treating individuals as ends in themselves, and acting out of duty. Meanwhile, Sandel’s three contrasts shed light on the motivations underlying our actions.

In “Gone Baby Gone,” Patrick’s final decision involves rescuing a kidnapped child and returning her to her negligent but biological mother, instead of leaving her in the care of a loving and supportive foster family. Applying Kant’s three premises to evaluate this action, the first premise of universalizability requires that we consider whether the decision can be made into a universal law. In this case, if everyone were to prioritize biological parents over foster families, it would undermine the stability and trust in the foster care system, potentially endangering children in need of care. Therefore, Patrick’s decision fails the first premise as it cannot be universally applied without negative consequences.

The second premise of treating individuals as ends in themselves entails respecting their autonomy and well-being. By choosing to return the child to her negligent mother, Patrick arguably prioritizes the mother’s rights over the child’s welfare. This raises ethical concerns as it disregards the importance of protecting the child from harm and potentially perpetuates a cycle of neglect. Kant would argue that individuals, including children, should be treated as ends in themselves, and thus the child’s well-being should take precedence over the mother’s rights. Patrick’s decision fails the second premise of Kant’s moral philosophy.

Finally, Kant’s third premise focuses on acting out of duty rather than emotional inclination or personal gain. Patrick’s decision is driven by his personal belief that the child is better off with her biological mother. However, Kant would argue that a moral action should be based on a sense of duty to uphold principles and moral obligations, rather than personal preferences or subjective judgments. Thus, Patrick’s decision fails the third premise as it lacks a moral duty grounded in universal principles.

Now, let us examine the priest’s final decision in “Sleepers.” The priest, aware of the severe abuse suffered by a group of boys at a correctional facility, chooses to remain silent and not testify in court against the institution. Applying Kant’s three premises to evaluate this action, the first premise of universalizability entails considering the consequences if everyone were to remain silent in the face of institutional abuse. This would perpetuate a culture of impunity and undermine the pursuit of justice. Therefore, the priest’s decision fails the first premise as it cannot be universally applied without negative consequences.

The second premise of treating individuals as ends in themselves urges us to prioritize the well-being and dignity of others. By remaining silent and not testifying against the abusive institution, the priest fails to prioritize the well-being of the abused boys who deserve justice and protection. Kant emphasizes the importance of treating individuals as ends in themselves, which means upholding their rights and ensuring their well-being. The priest’s decision fails the second premise.

Finally, Kant’s third premise focuses on acting out of duty rather than being influenced by personal gain or fear. The priest’s decision to remain silent is motivated by a desire to protect his own reputation and avoid potential repercussions. Kant would argue that a moral action should be driven by a sense of moral duty and the obligation to uphold justice, irrespective of personal interests. The priest’s decision fails the third premise as it lacks a sense of moral duty.

In conclusion, applying Kant’s moral philosophy to judge the main final actions of the characters in “Gone Baby Gone” and “Sleepers” reveals that both decisions fall short of Kant’s principles. Patrick’s decision fails to pass the three premises of universalizability, treating individuals as ends in themselves, and acting out of duty. Similarly, the priest’s decision in “Sleepers” also fails to meet these three premises. These evaluations highlight the complexities and ethical challenges involved in applying Kant’s moral philosophy to real-life situations.