First of all I want to state the Kantian and the Utilitarian views butt heads onthis issue. The Kantian view is nonconsequential, that is as a matter ofprinciple with the consequences be damned. The Utilitarian view is consequentialwith the results given as much consideration as possible. I will attempt toexplain what I mean through some examples.
Some school systems hand out condomsfree of charge to their students. The Utilitarian view would be that this is agood thing. They would state that by doing so they are stopping unwantedpregnancies that in turn could cost society. This program would help stop thespreading of diseases such as HIV, AIDS and syphilis. This also would lesson theburden on society. Kantian view would not be in favor of this program because itis considering the outcome of what might happen if the program were not inplace. They might feel it is the parents decision to make because it is theirjob to act in good will of their family and not the school systems. Anothertopic under much debate would be assisted suicide.
The Kantian view is totallyopposed to this. It is just wrong to kill someone. One cannot kill anotherperson out of good will. If you were to apply this to the Universal Law it wouldnot hold true and there for it is wrong. On the other hand, the Utilitarian viewwould be open to this concept. How could we allow one to suffer knowing they aregoing to die in the end anyway? Would it be wrong to stop the suffering? How canone seek the greatest amount of happiness if they are suffering and arebasically condemned to die? By assisting this individual we are also helping outhis family by limiting their grief. We are also helping out society by freeingup a bed in the hospital for those individuals that could be healed and go on tolead a happy life.
It could also save money if the person does not haveinsurance. The last example I want to use is the needle exchange program. Thisis where drug users can exchange dirty needles for clean ones.
This program alsostops the spreading of diseases such as HIV and AIDS. The Utilitarian would alsostate that is lessons the burden on society. Drug users are also associated tocrime and when they come into exchange needles help may be provided to get themoff drugs and there fore lesson the crime rate and bring more happiness tosociety. The Kantian view would not be in favor of this program because it isconsidering the consequences of what would happen if community doesnt help.They would state that drug use is not good will and not at all duty.
If a druguser is breaking the law by using drugs and needles they should be punished.This punishment is not to be a deterrent but rather what is right because onebreaks the law. I Think the Utilitarian view is better than the Kantian viewbecause it does consider the outcomes of the event.
Though I am not wholly soldon their concept. The Kantian view does not address the problem it just condemnsit. In the world today we all know what happens when a person breaks the law andso do the criminals yet; they still break the law. When someone is addicted to adrug it is out of their control to help themselves and society as a whole shouldstep in and help. Their does come a time when you can help only so much and itis up to the individual to correct their own wrong but not in all circumstances.I think the best approach would be a happy medium between both views.