This essay will explain that I am in agreement with Kant’s theory of action to be moral when it is carried out from duty. First, what Kant means when he explains that an action is moral, it is when you actively use reason to choose and determine how to act in a given situation; what makes the action moral is the fact that you use reason based on your thoughts of what is right and no one else’s, nor subjected into any emotional appeal or instinct. To go along with that definition, Kant defines duty as an action that is freely chosen and genuine to satisfy a moral law, which, if this is true to the person, is thus acted out and motivated by a good will. Based on this understanding of “duty” and “moral laws,” I will then argue the oppositions of making decisions with emotions versus using rationality, the value of intentions behind a performed action, and Now that I have laid out the Kantian definitions of “duty” and “moral actions,” I can further discuss Kant’s view in ethics more specifically. Kant expresses ethics differently than utilitarianism, as he displaces the importance of emotions in decision-making; however, he does mention the presence of emotions and feelings without disregarding their existence.
From this idea of “a priori” concepts, Kant begins his thesis with the notion that the only thing in the world that is a qualified good is the “good will”, even if its efforts bring about a not necessarily good result. A “good will” is good because of the willing that is involved. Two main implications arise with this idea of the “good will”. The first implication is moral actions cannot have impure motivations. There are many impure motivations but Kant tends to focus mainly on the motives of the pursuit of happiness and self-preservation.
We set out on a maxim to achieve the best possible outcome, which brings Kant to his next argument that “good will appears to constitute the indispensable condition even of being worthy of happiness” (Kant 18). Good will is the only concept that is morally good without any requirement. Good will can result in the happiness that Aristotle believes in. It is our duty by the Category Imperative that we promote
I happen to agree with Kant’s idea here. I think that no matter what the consequences are, performing the right action is always the right thing to do. Overall I think that Kant has better arguments because they are directed at the individual, not at society in whole. I also agree that the moral worth of actions is determined by the motivating principal of the action, not by the consequences, like John Mill. So I am a deontologist, for the most part.
The categorical imperative on the other hand is unconditioned and thus entirely a priori. It refers to actions that are not dependent on anything but are necessary in and of itself. We can only achieve good will and thus morality by isolating our motives and desires and acting out of the sake of duty. To aid... ... middle of paper ... ...t freedom is the basis of a rational being’s will. Since we know that the universal principle of morality is derived from a rational being’s will due to the Formula of Autonomy, we can therefore conclude freedom is the basis for the universal principle of morality.
Ultimately, the action that leads to the most good is the right ethical action. Basically, no act is simply right or wrong, but rather it depends on the happiness that comes out doing that act. (Caleb, Utilitarianism critiques). In utilitarianism, "the end justifies the means. " Utilitarianism is not as much focused on the individual motivations and obligations, but is more so focused on the outcomes.
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.
The moral debates continued to see good as merely that which gives happiness or pleasure. "…it was assumed that what we ought to do is always a function of what it would be good to bring about: action can only be right because it produces good (J.B. Schneewind 'Modern Moral Philosophy'). It was the breaking away from this idea that was perhaps the most important aspect of the works of both Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and David Hume (1711-1776). Hume's moral theory arose out of his belief that reason alone can never cause action. Desire or feelings cause action.
This theory judges the morality of an action based on the actions adherence to a set of rules. It is explained as an action is morally right if it is required by duty, and should not conflict with any other action required by another duty. By doing our duty we do what is valuable, this theory focuses on the structure of moral judgment. One should act regardless of your own aims or self-interest. Kant formalism is based on deontology and are united and their opposition to purely oppose the consequentiality moral thinking; some even hold that a morally wrong may have entirely good consequences, and a morally right on entirely bad consequences (Frankena, 1973.
Kantian Morality Central to Kant’s morality theory is his claim that: “It is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will” (Cottingham, 2008: 507). When a person engages, according to this tenet, in a noble action due the fact that its driving force is an ingrained personal characteristic, such deed would, according to Kant, not qualify as it having a moral motive. He regards such deeds as being driven by a person’s inclination to do such a deed. When a deed, according to Kant, is however engaged in irrespective of the performer’s inclinations or desires, but rather due to the driving force behind such action being the sense of duty, only then, according to him, can it be regarded as a morally noble motive. He regards such an act being conducted due to “good will” and regards such actions as the sole moral motive due to the fact that it is driven by the motive of duty as opposed to the motive of action which is driven by “will” (Study Guide PLS3705, 2014:77).