Kant adds to this point by saying the laws we base our actions upon must be self-imposed. They cannot be imposed by outside sources because then, our actions would just be based on natural necessity; we would simply be reacting to external causes. To see how Kant’s statement translates into saying an autonomous will is bound by moral law, we must first understand what morality is, and how one achieves it. Kant believes that morality is an a priori concept, or one that is independent of any experiences of the world. Morality stems from the idea of the ‘good will’, which Kant argues is the only thing truly ‘good’ in the world.
The categorical imperative is based on the single notion that one should act only on maxims that can reasonably and without contradiction be made a universal law. As such, it does not consider the details of circumstance and holds true universally, because it relies solely on a priori concepts. I will further explain Kant’s formulations of this imperative momentarily. Now that we have just seen the first type of imperative,... ... middle of paper ... ...aw. Kant rewrites this concept of universalizing maxims to determine duty in a second formulation that, while tests actions differently, he believes leads to the same moral conclusions.
Therefore, the morality of a maxim is determined by its functioning as a universal law, applicable as a general rule to every rational agent. Since a moral will must be so in virtue of its form alone, the will must be capable of a purely formal determination; that is, it must be possible for a man to act in a certain way for the sole reason that willing in this way is prescribed by a universal law, no matter what the empirical results will be. A will to which moral considerations apply must be, in the strictest sense, a free will, one that can function independently of the laws of natural causality. The concept of morality, therefore, has to be explained in terms of a universal moral law, and the ability to will in obedience to such a law leads us to postulate the freedom. The freedom which Kant is talking about, is not only a negative freedom consisting in the absence of constraint by empirical causes, it is also a positive freedom which consists in the ability to make acts of will in accordance with the moral law, for no other reason than that they are in accordance with it.
It is more plausible because even if the consequences of performing an action are not necessarily the best, the agent is still obligated to perform the action because it is there duty to do so. Therefore, ethically and morally they are doing the right thing. In conclusion, this paper has discussed two main theories regarding the ethical behavior of human beings. Kantianism is a theory based on duties, maxims, willing and the categorical imperative. Also, it focuses on the motivation of actions, has clear and distinct set of universal rules, and is morally logical.
In fact, parts of the theory even say that it is one's moral duty to act on these universalizable maxims, and that people should only act on those maxims that can be universalized. The stability of Kant's theory rests not only on the fact that it is completely objective-- every action is definitely either morally permissible or not-- but also on the fact that the theory is non-consequentialist. Kant truly does not look to the consequences of an action to see whether the action is morally permissible, but rather to the morality of the action itself. Kant assumes that universal morality is inherent in being, thus avoiding complications in trying to determine which actions lead to better consequences. However, Kant does not speak of perfect and imperfect moral duties, those duties that respectively do or do not involve qualifications as to the particulars of the situation at hand, thus complicating the issue.
Therefore, actions are only moral if the action could be described as a universal law, known as a categorical imperative. A maxim according to Kant is to act in a way that we would will the action to be a universal law, as opposed to the hypothetical imperative which demands that we act to achieve a certain ends. (Kant in Signer 1994). Therefore, we to act morally good, we sho... ... middle of paper ... ...nature and is a game we play, yet it has its own rules that we must abide by if we are to exist in a society. So why do what's morally right?
Natural law theory is a legal theory that recognizes law and morality as deeply connected, if not one and the same. Natural law theorists believe that human laws are defined by morality, and not by an authority figure. Humans are guided by human nature and the term natural law is derived from the belief that human morality comes from nature. From a natural law perspective, legal systems have a function which is to secure justice. Moreover, according to the natural law theory, a law that does not provide justice is not considered a law at all.
Rationalism, which is, bound Kant doctrine says that human beings are made of their knowledge. Indeed, for Kant, human beings should rely on their reason for acquiring knowledge. They should not believe in their intuitions, feelings and senses. I will start by citing Kant in order to explain his principle of morality. “There is no possibility of thinking of anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be regarded as good without qualification, except a good will”(kant, 393).
Desire or feelings cause action. Because reason alone can never cause action, morality is rooted in our feelings. Virtue arises from acting on a desire to help others. Hume's moral theory is therefore a virtue-centered morality rather than the natural-law morality, which saw morality as coming from God. Kant's notion of morality arose from his notion of a moral law; a law applicable to all people at all times, that imposes absolute duties on us.