Kant argued that the Categorical Imperative (CI) was the test for morally permissible actions. The CI states: I must act in such a way that I can will that my maxim should become a universal law. Maxims which fail to pass the CI do so because they lead to a contradiction or impossibility. Kant believes this imperative stems from the rationality of the will itself, and thus it is necessary regardless of the particular ends of an individual; the CI is an innate constituent of being a rational individual. As a result, failure ... ... middle of paper ... ...d in the discussion of promise keeping and beneficence, identifiable logical or practical contradictions arise when attempting to universalize morally impermissible maxims (according to the CI).
Immanuel Kant's Theory Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) discussed many ethical systems and reasoning’s some were based on a belief that the reason is the final authority for morality. In Kant’s eyes, reason is directly correlated with morals and ideals. Actions of any sort, he believed, must be undertaken from a sense of duty dictated by reason, and no action performed for appropriateness or solely in obedience to law or custom can be regarded as moral. A moral act is an act done for the "right" reasons. Kant would argue that to make a promise for the wrong reason is not moral you might as well not make the promise.
In answering, he makes a distinction between prudence and duty, saying that although it may be prudent to make a false promise because of the tangible benefit it provides to the person making the promise, it is not in accordance with duty. Kant details how a universal law of this nature would conflict with the Categorical Imperative by saying that “I immediately become aware that I can indeed will the lie but can not at all will a universal law to lie. For by such a law there would really be no promises at all… Therefore, my maxim would necessarily destroy itself…”(15). Again, Kant’s theory seems to be distinct from utilitarianism because it concerns the logical possibility of a maxim being made universal, rather than the outcome of an
Lying is simply an act of not telling the truth, and this definition of lying will be used in future sections of this paper. There are three groups of lies t... ... middle of paper ... ...f utilitarian calculus might indicate that there is something wrong with utilitarianism, since a morally correct action can sometimes go against our conscience, and Mill has called conscience the foundation of morality. This is interesting, because it raises the question of whether we will ever have a moral theory that works in all cases. I believe that human nature is too complex for any consistent moral theory to be written down on a few pages. Perhaps a philosopher might come to do that someday.
“justified true belief,” as much as possible. Therefore, we have obligation to justify our beliefs epistemically in order to achieve such goal and form our beliefs based on evidence. And since Luke fails to justify the existence on the Force with any proof, he is guilty to track the Death Star by using the Force. Opposite to Clifford, Joseph Long points out that sometimes it is morally acceptable to form a belief even though we lack enough evidence. And Luke is exactly in one of those situations.
His solution is that people should be guided by the moral law, which can be discovered by pure reason alone, and which says that any action should be judged by whether or not it could serve as a principle in a universal law. However, I argue that Kant’s proposed ethical system fails in two ways. First, it lacks the compelling power that Kant thinks it has. Second, if the moral law is accessible via reason alone, then different cultures should not come up with the radically different ethical systems that they have come up with over history. Kant wants to establish an true basis for ethics.
Deontology can be looked at as a generally flexible moral theory that allows for self-interpretation but like all others theories studied thus far, there are arguments one can make against its reasoning. One objection to deontological moral theory is that the theory yields only absolutes and cannot always justify its standpoints. Actions are either classified as right or wrong with no allowance for a gray area. Furthermore, the strict guidelines tend to conflict with commonly accepted actions. For example, lying is always considered morally wrong--even a “white lie.” Therefore, one must not lie even if it does more good.
Telling a lie to the murderer to send him astray would save a life, and consequently would be a moral action. Utilitarianism would take into account the future repercussions caused by the lie, but the analysis of an action still lies in the foreseen or predicted consequences rather than on the action’s intrinsic moral value. Morality then, would be judged on a case by case basis. Kant’s perspective refutes this by saying morality loses its value as a universal quality. Although situations change, the basis for acting (morality) must stay the same and actions are moral or immoral, regardless of any immediate consequences.
Kant's Categorical Imperative Deontology is the ethical view that some actions are morally forbidden or permitted regardless of consequences. One of the most influential deontological philosophers in history is Immanuel Kant who developed the idea of the Categorical Imperative. Kant believed that the only thing of intrinsic moral worth is a good will. Kant says in his work Morality and Rationality “The good will is not good because of what it affects or accomplishes or because of it’s adequacy to achieve some proposed end; it is good only because of it’s willing, i.e., it is good of itself”. A maxim is the generalized rule that characterizes the motives for a person’s actions.
In the present paper, I will expose Kant’s moral precepts and the importance of duty in his Deontological principles. Then, I will evaluate Arendt’s report on Adolf Eichmann to analyze the ways in which his actions were in accordance to or against Kant’s moral philosophy. I will conclude my discussion with an evaluation of Mill’s approach to morality in order to examine the differences between his teleological philosophy and Kant’s ethical principles. Kant’s moral philosophy is based on the categorical imperative (CI), good will, and duty. According to the CI, it is an absolute necessity, a command that humans should accord with universalizable maxims to treat people as ends in themselves and exercise their will without any concerns ab... ... middle of paper ... ...