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Anabolic Steroid Use in Professional Baseball

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What would have Kant and Ross thought about the use of Anabolic Steroids
Summarize Kantian Deontology. In Kantian ethics, morals are a priori, which means that nothing mediates it. In that sense, a priori knowledge is not dependent on the experience to exist, nor to explain the phenomena. If morals were a posteriori, they would depend on experience to existing. In that way, if morals depended on knowledge, they would not be universal, and necessary. That would mean that every person would have its set of moral rules, and would not necessarily respect the other. Kantian ethics and theory of morals can be considered deontological. That way, people, act morally as a sense of duty (Kelly 161). In the same way, the German philosopher states that his ethics is not ethics concerning right or wrong. They are more an ethics of intentions. This means that to Kant, the consequences of an action are not truly right or wrong, what makes them such is the motives the person held. Also, he states that there is no such thing as good, without a good will (Kant 12). This good will is what drives our actions and make humans intrinsically good in their actions. That is why, to him the consequences of an act cannot be subsumed in the act of will since that act is always oriented toward good. In that way, good things can be an outcome of actions motivated by desire, or with the aim of hurting someone.
Categorical Imperative. As a way to explain his thought on Morals, he creates the categorical imperative.

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The categorical imperative is a moral construct that impels to exert our will in a particular way. The categorical imperative controls both morals and ethics. In the modern culture, these concepts are seen as the same, but they are not. Ethics refers to the existence, and how certain things are good, or bad for the person. Morals are centered on how does ethical actions can be used to life a good life. The categorical imperative is supposed to be a sort of axiom that apodictically shows the people what they should do, or which posture take (Robert).
Two definitions of Categorical Imperative. Kant offers us two definitions of the Categorical Imperative (CI). The first is to formulate the CI as a universal law. This is the most known definition of the CI and says that every person should act in a way their actions can become a universal law (Kant 41). The second one, considers that every person is an end in itself, which means that people should not be treated in a way, since they have their set of values that we might be overstepping (Kant 39).
Rossian theory and comparison. There is not a master principle that explains why particular things in the world are either good or bad. This can be seen as a way to take distance from Kantian deontology and the categorical imperative. To the philosopher, there is a plurality of both moral and intrinsic goods (Skelton), and those goods are part of a fundamental moral requirement that cannot be reduced to basic principles. In that way, to Ross all those moral requirements are used to make decisions, and should be considered equally. In another light, Ross theory states that those principles are neither right nor wrong, and there are no such things as an intrinsic good or bad.
Unlike Kant, Ross’ thought goes to the fact that there is not a way on which we can apprehend a fundamental, or supreme good. The same applies with evil. In that way, to make decisions the person most rely on those “small” number of goods and evils and reflect upon their choices.
Ross states that there are two kinds of duties. The prima facie duties, and the actual duties. Prima facie principles represent actual duties. To him, these conditional duties act on behalf of a certain corpus of duties, or when an action demands an action out of duty (Ross 20). In this sense, prima facie duties refer to the morally significant duties in a person’s life, such as keeping a promise. In that case, its position as a duty reflects on the moral of the person, and which are those intrinsical values the person might have. In that light, if a person fails to conduct an action that would be morally fulfilling to it, it would go against morality.
That is why prima facie duties are a sort of responsibilities that draw on what a person considers moral, and what the person does not. In the same way, besides prima facie duties, Ross believes another set of duties called actual duties. These actual duties, as Ross has stated them, are duties of choice that are performed whether the person feels it a duty or not. In that way, whether the individual considers itself morally bound to do something, it can be regarded as an actual function, and the action would be made based on that principle.
What would the philosophers say about the use of steroids? The most obvious differences between Ross and Kant’s thought is that the first trusts in a sort of moral intuitionism to be able to respond to moral duties. On the other hand, Kant aims to find a way all those principles are subsumed in an actual principal that acts as a control room to see if are applicable, or even thinkable. In that way, we can think that in a situation such as the use of steroids in baseball, both men would disagree. Now, the question is, why would they?
The question might be slightly anachronic, given the fact that both men were born in a time where such devices did not exist. However, taking it as an academic question the answer would be that to Kant, taking an unjust advantage over the members of the other team would be morally incorrect. Given the fact that it would be taking the other members of the team as means to an end, and not as ends themselves.
Also, it is important to note that that if the action of taking steroids were regarded as a universal clause, every player would do it, meaning that the game as it is now, would not exist, thus, destroying it. Ross, on the other hand, would regard it as something that goes against the spirit of the game, and how a person could play a game where another person has an unjust advantage. He would say that these individuals are morally flawed, and they should not play since they are not respecting the prima facie duties that express that fidelity to the norms is a part of morals.
Summary and Explanation of Natural Ethics. Kantian ethics is a natural rights ethics; based on the belief that there is something superior that although does not guide our actions, give us a sort of “right path”. That is the categorical imperative, a device that shows us how our actions can be regarded as something morally acceptable, regardless of the place we are. On the other hand, Rossian ethics is based on duties. In this case, the place we are, and what we do, take a pivotal role since there are obligations that must be fulfilled as they are morally acceptable, and shall be accepted.
Although moral duty-based ethics is not universal, they have a sense of universality. Which means that it is important for the people of a given place to have a set of acceptable customs so the people can abide by those morally acceptable rules, and perform their duties accordingly. In that light, natural ethics can be grounded in principles such as the goodness of all the individuals in the world.
Welfare and liberty rights. The distinction between welfare rights and liberty rights is rather new. Liberty and welfare rights often collide, because the second tends to impose duties to the first. Welfare rights are rights based on responsibility, and on the assumption that something greater has to guarantee people what is fair to them. Welfare rights are aimed to ensure that people are receiving the maximum amount of benefits from the state, or government. These rights have been established by the countries as a way to distribute the country’s riches and create a horizontal society where inequity is not as rampant as it was in the past.
On the other hand, liberty rights are based on libertarianism, and they refer to the rights individuals have to acquire; and exchange their holdings and possessions in the way they see fit. Liberty rights consider that the protection of individual rights is the primary role of the state, and to protect people’s property and wishes should be the main concern of the government. That way, some unethical actions can be made, and remain ethical. That is why, seen from the liberty rights perspective, taking steroids is not an offense if the rules do not forbid it. However, as the rights are meant to protect people, and rules in that respect were made, the action is unacceptable.
Which role do rights play? In this case, rights do play a role in the subject in hand. Following the interest model would mean that it is a labor of the person in question to determine which actions are moral, and which do not, as Ross would think. In the same way, interest theory considers that the function of rights aid the right holder’s interests (Wenar). However, doing an action against the morals as a way to assert the person’s rights would be as despicable as breaking a rule, or bypassing a law. That is why, both welfare, and liberty rights should be used together to prevent inequity.
Works Cited
Johnson, R. “Kant’s Moral Philosophy.” Stanford University. Stanford University, 23 Feb. 2004. Web. 30 May 2015.
Kant, I., and A.W Wood. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. New Haven: Yale UP, 2002. Print.
Kelly, E. The Basics of Western Philosophy. Wesport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2004. Print.
Ross, W. D. The Right and the Good. Oxford: Clarendon, 1930. Print.
Skelton, A. “William David Ross.” Stanford University. Stanford University, 2010. Web. 30 May 2015.
Wenar, L. “Rights.” Stanford University. Stanford University, 2005. Web. 30 May 2015.

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