Morality is central to all rational beings, whereby a moral action is one determined by reason, rather than our personal desires as suggested by Kant (1785) in contrast to Hume. (1738). Furthermore, Kant suggests that an action is moral only on account of its being reasoned, therefore the moral worth of an action is determined by its motives and not by its consequences. Exploring the works of Hume (1738) and Kant(1785) on morality and ethics, we will ask the question whether we should do what is morally right, even when you could profit by doing something wrong, and furthermore, we shall discuss morality as a type of game, yet something you cannot opt out of, as something Foot describes as 'inescapable'. (Foot 1972: 311).
An act will be deemed good depending on the motive or intention behind the act. He suggests that an action can be determined to be moral by using reason to question the intention or motive behind an act. He states that the universal law, “act only on the maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (Kant, 2005: 161). Furthermore, Kant argues that morality has a sense of duty attached to
Moral theory helps us determine what is right or wrong. It helps us to answer and respond the question, what makes an act right or wrong and how can we correct the conclusions about our morality. The practical goal of moral theory has to do with our desire to find the answer between right and wrong. For example, Descartes used rationalism to try to find the solid foundation for knowledge. He tries to find something that does not have any doubt or error to it.
Kant described two types of common commands given by reason: the hypothetical imperative, which dictates a given course of action to reach a specific end; and the categorical imperative, which dictates a course of action that must be followed because of its rightness and necessity. The categorical imperative is the basis of morality and was stated by Kant in these words: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will and general natural law." Therefore, before proceeding to act, we must decide what rule we need to follow if we were to act, whether we are willing for that rule to be followed by everyone all over. Kant believes that moral rules have no exceptions. It is wrong to kill in all situations, even those of self-defense.
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 ... ...
Lastly, it will be shown how "weighing and balancing" and "specification" are integral components in this model and were also practiced by Mill and Kant in their moral systems. Introduction This treatise is a contribution towards the understanding of why humankind cannot agree on the foundation of morality and why moral pluralism is the logical constitution of moral reality. The synergistic-reflective-equilibrium model is the model that will describe how persons can make moral decisions as pluralistic agents. If this model is correct, then it will not be a new discovery, rather, it will be a new description of how pluralistic agents do in fact make moral decisions. This synergistic-reflective-equilibrium description should then be useful not only in giving a fuller understanding of how moral decisions ought to be made, but also how moral philosophy can be united into a pluralistic collective whole.
“The representation of an objective principle, insofar as it is necessitating for a will, is called a command (of reason), and the formula of the command is called an imperative”(Kant, 24). In other words, an imperative is something that a will ought or shall do because the will is obligated to act in a way in which conforms to moral law. Imperatives can also be referred to as the supreme principle of morality. According to Kant, there are two types of imperatives: hypothetical and categorical. Hypothetical imperatives are actions that look for the best means to a goal, however, the goal might not necessarily be an end in itself.
Utilitarianism vs. Kantianism Ethics can be defined as "the conscious reflection on our moral beliefs with the aim of improving, extending or refining those beliefs in some way." (Dodds, Lecture 2) Kantian moral theory and Utilitarianism are two theories that attempt to answer the ethical nature of human beings. This paper will attempt to explain how and why Kantian moral theory and Utilitarianism differ as well as discuss why I believe Kant's theory provides a more plausible account of ethics. Immanuel Kant's deonotological ethical theory assesses if actions are moral based on the person's will or intention of acting. Kant's theory can be categorized as a deonotological because "actions are not assessed to be morally permissible on the basis of consequences they produce, but rather on the form of the agent's will in acting," (Dodds, Lecture 7) therefore his actions are based on duty and not consequential.
Kant also believes that an action is right or wrong based solely on the reason by which it was performed. However, a Utilitarian, like John Mill, would reject Kant’s reasoning of originating good characters out of actions alone, and instead argue that if an action has bad consequences, then the action was morally wrong. Kant believes that an action has moral worth only if it is done out of respect for our moral code. He names this moral action a ‘duty.’ Kant also believes that in determining the moral worth of an action, we need to look at the maxim by which it was performed. So, we need to look at one’s reason for doing an action to determine if it is a duty.
Therefore, Kant believes that duty is derived from the CI and that the CI is the fundamental method of morality. • The humanity formula is based on the idea of respect. Kant believes that with the other formulas the CI is perceived as intuition rather than the Universal Law formula. The humanity formula indicates that using others, as a means to our ends does not apply, this would be absurd in pursuing our goals. The humanity in us should be treated as an end in itself.