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civilians who have not necessarily stopped being members of the kingdom of ends, i.e. they have

not done anything to lose their status as an end in itself (e.g. murdering). It must be asked "what if

everyonesacrificed ten thousand lives?" "We must be able to will that a maxim of our action

become universal law, this is the canon for morally estimating any of our actions" (Kant, 1993,

pg. 32).

I find it ironic that the United State's most famous document says: "We hold these truths to

be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain

unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This, like

Kant's moral philosophy of "universal maxims," proclaims that man has intrinsic absolute value.

Yet, so quickly are we ready to disregard this declaration as our cost benefit analysis dictates. We

abolished slavery on the principle of absolute value of man. Why should we disregard this maxim

now? Do we suspend the unalienable rights to life whenever it would be most prudent? The United

States must ask itself whether it wishes to make a maxim of placing value on human life. We must

remember that by lowering the value of life of others, we at the same time lower our own value.

Bygiving human life a value like that of an orange, we become immoral as no rational being

would put a price tag on man. (Imagine yourself at the super market: PRICE CHECK ON BRIAN!

Paper of plastic?) Governments and institutions are composed of a completely different dynamic

than that of the individual which leaves me still curious as to whether they obey the same moral

laws as the individual. If they can't, must we abandon government in place of an anarchy of moral


Besides the actuality that the United States government does not give human lifeabsolute

value, the United States government is also basing its decision to use missiles in a crowded city on

the possible threat that Iraq may use chemical, biological,or nuclear weapons in the near future.

This is a dangerous assumption. It is equally possible that we could launch cruise missiles at Iraq

andkill ten thousand innocent civilians and later find out that Iraq never did intend to make or use

any weapons of mass destruction. Ten thousand lives could have been lost over a hypothetical

situation. What would have occurred would have been a slaughter without any benefits for saving

more lives. The hypothetical scenario that the government's cost/benefit analysis is founded on

may even cause more harm to be done in the long term (e.g. terrorist retribution, Iraqi outrage and

revenge, and sanction from the international community). It is far better to institute a new solution

to renew UN inspections. Sacrificing ten thousand lives is not the same as killing Adolf Hitler or