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Short Paper 1: Volkswagen And Morality. Starting In 2006,

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Short Paper 1: Volkswagen and Morality Starting in 2006, James Liang began design on the EA 189 diesel engine. The EA 189 was advertised as a clean and fuel efficient engine, which unfortunately was a lie as it was not even remotely close to being clean. To sell the EA 189 engine in the United States, the engine had to pass an emissions test. James Liang knew that the engine would not even come close to passing the test; therefore, he and his fellow conspirators developed a device, called the dynamometer, that allowed them to cheat the emissions tests by making the cars to appear more environmentally friendly than they really were. Liang eventually plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and a second count of…show more content…
An important aspect of a maxim is that exceptions to the maxim are not allowed. I should not steal is an example of a maxim. A categorical imperative is a universal principle which all humans should follow. Stealing is immoral and should never be done is an example of a categorical imperative. According to this categorical imperative, no human should steal, no matter what the circumstances might be. At first glance, Kant’s theory and rule utilitarianism appear to be very similar. Upon deeper evaluation, a couple key differences exist to differentiate the two moral theories. Rule utilitarianism allows for exceptions to the rule to be made, whereas Kant would say that there are no exceptions. A rule utilitarian can declare that stealing is wrong, however if his family is starving, and stealing some food will bring them more happiness than would hurt the shop owner, then stealing the food will be okay. Additionally, a rule utilitarian’s focus in on the overall happiness, whereas Kant’s emphasis is on the motivation for doing an action, and the method taken to get to the result. Looking at the Volkswagen case from a Kantian perspective, the actions that James Liang took were immoral. Someone following a Kantian ethics standpoint would have said that it is never okay to unnecessarily harm the environment. A second reason a Kantian probably would not do what Liang did is
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