Your Comments: Kant & Refugees | Summary and Q&A

August 18, 2017
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Your Comments: Kant & Refugees


Oli reflects on audience comments about Immanuel Kant and tackles questions about his philosophy on truth, lies, and moral duty.

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Key Insights

  • 🛝 Kant's philosophy is grounded in the categorical imperative, which dictates that we must not violate certain moral obligations, regardless of the actions or character of others.
  • ❤️‍🩹 The concept of using someone as a means to an end plays a crucial role in Kant's philosophy, and it influences how we should respond to the murderer's question.
  • ㊙️ Kant's perspective on disclosing secrets is nuanced, as he considers the nature of promises and their importance in moral decision-making.
  • 🗯️ Measuring progress in human rights is complex, as it involves assessing both the presence of institutions and their actual impact on protecting and promoting rights.
  • 🗯️ Progress can be misleading, as surface-level indicators may not necessarily reflect the substantive improvement in human rights situations.
  • 😷 The issuing of reports or statistics on diversity can be used as a false sign of progress, masking the actual lack of representation and equality within institutions.
  • 👻 Audience feedback and constructive criticism are valued by Oli, as they allow for growth, improvement, and a deeper understanding of complex topics.


hello everybody oli here it's been quite an eventful month on the channel we had a two-part series of something special and I went somewhere in the city and had an amazing time and then we had that really cool hangout with 140,000 subscribers that was loads of fun but this video is all about you and all the comments that you've been leaving so let'... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Kant's perspective on lying to a murderer at the door?

Kant argues that we must never violate the categorical imperative, even if the person we're interacting with has violated it themselves. The murderer's moral standing does not change our obligation to tell the truth.

Q: Can we refuse to help the murderer without lying?

If the murderer asks why we refuse to help them, Kant suggests that we have a duty to at least share the information that we know, without specifically revealing the hiding place of our friend. We still have a duty to be honest in a way that aligns with our moral obligations.

Q: Does Kant distinguish between lying and keeping secrets?

Kant's perspective depends on the context. If keeping a secret, like the location of our friend from the murderer, is necessary to fulfill our moral duty, then we should share that secret. However, if we have promised someone not to disclose information, Kant argues that we should keep that promise.

Q: How does Kant view the disclosure of birthday presents?

Kant's perspective on disclosing birthday presents depends on the motivations behind the question. If the person genuinely wants to know the presents, Kant suggests that we should tell them. However, if it is only meant to be a teasing question, we may not have a duty to disclose the information.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Oli discusses comments from his viewers about Immanuel Kant's philosophy on lying to a murderer. He explores the idea of the murderer being beyond the moral pale and whether Kant's system can accommodate this perspective.

  • He tackles questions about using someone as a means to an end and whether telling the truth to the murderer is necessary in fulfilling our own moral duty.

  • Oli delves into the topic of keeping secrets and promises, and how Kant's philosophy guides our moral obligations in these situations.

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