Kant on bad parking behavior

Reading a piece about Kant by Robert Gressis at The Electric Agora. It starts with rude parking behavior, and goes on to discuss Utilitarianism versus Kantian deontology.

Because I know Kant better than I know Utilitarianism, and because I think Utilitarianism is significantly easier to apply than Kantian deontology, I’ll explain why Kant thinks such bad parking is not just irritating but out-and-out immoral, and why Kant thinks that bad parkers are not just rude but out-and-out evil.

To oversimplify: on Kant’s view, morality is about universalizability. At least from the moral point of view, everyone is not only of great value, but also of equal value. Consequently, morality is not only about treating other people well, but also about not treating yourself or your in-group as though they’re deserving of more rights or privileges than others.

That’s a biggy. Everyone should pay more attention to that.

It’s hard work, you know, because it’s just how things are: everyone knows only her own point of view from the inside. We can work hard to imagine other people’s points of view, and to empathize with their sorrows, but we can’t share the actual points of view and sorrows. We imagine other people’s and we feel our own, so naturally our lust for the last piece of chocolate is stronger than our awareness of someone else’s lust for the same piece of chocolate.

So anyway, respect the dibs on a parking space.

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