philosophy

Extra Credit Short Assignment [Cranick Case]

Consider the case of fire at Gene Cranick’s home in Obion County, Tennessee.
In rural Obion County, homeowners must pay $75 annual fee in order to have fire protection services from the nearby city of South Fulton (enrollment is optional). Cranick did not pay his annual $75 fee for the fire protection services. When Cranick’s house caught fire, and he couldn’t contain the blaze with his garden hoses, he called 911. During the emergency call, he offered to pay all the expenses related to the Fire Department’s defense of his home, but the South Fulton firefighters refused to do anything.

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The firefighters did, however, come out when Cranick’s neighbor — who had paid the fee — called 911, because he was worried that the fire might spread to his property. Once the firefighters arrived, they stood by and watched Cranick’s home burn; they sprang into action only when the fire reached the neighbor’s property.
“I hadn’t paid my $75 and that’s what they want, $75, and they don’t care how much it burned down.” “I thought they’d come out and put it out, even if you hadn’t paid your $75, but I was wrong.”

The argument that the South Fulton Fire Department could offer to Cranick may be this:
Premise 1: In Obion County, all homeowners who want to have fire protection need to
pay $75 annual fee to the South Fulton Fire Department.
Premise 2: Gene Cranick is a homeowner in Obion County.
Premise 3: Cranick did not pay his $75 annual fee for fire protection.
Conclusion: Therefore, the South Fulton Fire Department was right not to provide their fire
protection services to Cranick.

INSTRUCTIONS [Please do both (a) and (b)]

a) Use Kant’s and Utilitarian principles and formulate a counter argument to that of South Fulton Fire Department, showing that the South Fulton Fire Department had done wrong by not helping Cranick (challenge the argument regardless of what you really think about this situation). You want to show in your argument that the Fulton Fire Department had violated Kant’s/Utilitarian principles by refusing to help Cranick

Please present your argument in the semi-formal structure; that is, in the similar structure you see above: The argument that the South Fulton Fire Department could offer to Cranick (Premise, Premise, …, Conclusion. You may use as many premises as you need).

b) After you present your argument in the semi-formal structure, please explain the reasoning of your argument, in the ordinary English writing; you want to tell why you (or someone) could claim, on the Kantian and Utilitarian bases, that the South Fulton Fire Department had done wrong by not helping Cranick in that situation (write two paragraphs only).

*Provide reasons to support the view that the firefighters should have put the fire out.

*Consider that Cranick offered to pay all the expenses related to the Fire Department’s defense of his home.

*Please do not introduce any additional facts to the Cranick Case.
*Your work should not be longer than 1 page (part (b) should be double spaced).
*In your work appeal primarily to Kant’s Formula of the End-in-Itself and Categorical Imperative; use the Utilitarian Principle of the Greatest Goo

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