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My fundamental question here, is does Kant's categorical imperative only make sense when considering ethics among people with similar levels of power? It seems Kant's argument assumes that all people are of equal importance and power. This is often not the case and for instance how would Kant's reasoning apply to animal ethics? I've outlined two examples below to add clarity to my perspective.

Suppose you are the only King in the land and you have access to supreme force over the peasants, so there is no chance they can ever revolt and change the order of society. Given that it is impossible for all peasants to perform the actions that you are able to, does this mean that you may do whatever you choose to your subordinates and you will always be acting in a morally appropriate way?

A similar example is the power people have over animals. Because animals do not have the power to act on and affect people in the same way people do to them, is this why animals aren't included in Kant's categorical imperative?

My fundamental question here, is does Kant's categorical imperative only make sense when considering ethics among people with similar levels of power? I've outlined two examples below to add clarity to my perspective.

Suppose you are the only King in the land and you have access to supreme force over the peasants, so there is no chance they can ever revolt and change the order of society. Given that it is impossible for all peasants to perform the actions that you are able to, does this mean that you may do whatever you choose to your subordinates and you will always be acting in a morally appropriate way?

A similar example is the power people have over animals. Because animals do not have the power to act on and affect people in the same way people do to them, is this why animals aren't included in Kant's categorical imperative?

My fundamental question here, is does Kant's categorical imperative only make sense when considering ethics among people with similar levels of power? It seems Kant's argument assumes that all people are of equal importance and power. This is often not the case and for instance how would Kant's reasoning apply to animal ethics? I've outlined two examples below to add clarity to my perspective.

Suppose you are the only King in the land and you have access to supreme force over the peasants, so there is no chance they can ever revolt and change the order of society. Given that it is impossible for all peasants to perform the actions that you are able to, does this mean that you may do whatever you choose to your subordinates and you will always be acting in a morally appropriate way?

A similar example is the power people have over animals. Because animals do not have the power to act on and affect people in the same way people do to them, is this why animals aren't included in Kant's categorical imperative?

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Categorical Imperatives and Imbalances of Power

My fundamental question here, is does Kant's categorical imperative only make sense when considering ethics among people with similar levels of power? I've outlined two examples below to add clarity to my perspective.

Suppose you are the only King in the land and you have access to supreme force over the peasants, so there is no chance they can ever revolt and change the order of society. Given that it is impossible for all peasants to perform the actions that you are able to, does this mean that you may do whatever you choose to your subordinates and you will always be acting in a morally appropriate way?

A similar example is the power people have over animals. Because animals do not have the power to act on and affect people in the same way people do to them, is this why animals aren't included in Kant's categorical imperative?