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.
eds. Gerald Graff, James Phelan. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 382- 404.
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.
I examine the claim that Utilitarianism treats actions as just in cases where common sense holds that they are unjust. For this purpose, I described the guiding lines of the doctrine as John Stuart Mill defined them and presented the objection against it. I show that Utilitarians might refute the objection by proving that common sense morality itself allows the increase of evil. Utilitarianism is a moral doctrine that sees ‘utility’ in benefit, which is described as ‘pleasure’. It is based upon “the greater happiness” principle, according to which the best action is the one that maximizes happiness.
yet, individual perception of the world by people prevents the possibility of an all-encompassing universal code of ethics. I believe along with Kant that we should develop a friendship and code to help our fellow man. We all have a duty to treat others the way we want to be treated. (Golden Rule) The one thing I disagree with is that we should not be punished for doing good deeds to those even though we might find ourselves backed into a corner when dealing with these individual problems. Overall dealing with Kant’s theory everyone should be truthful and abide by the universal code.
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.
Kant’s deontological ethics is grounded on concepts of duty, the categorical imperative, and good will. Similarly, Arendt utilizes Kant’s categorical imperative and idea of duty to share her account of Adolf Eichmann’s trial. She recognizes that even though Eichmann attempted to live according to a Kantian definition of duty, his behavior did not fit Kant’s moral precepts. Mill, contrastingly, holds a teleological philosophy and uses the concept of consequentialism and utilitarianism to argue against Kant’s morality. In any case, the three philosophers bring thoughtful ethical philosophical concepts which provide new ways to analyze moral conflicts.
Boston, MA: Bedford / St. Martins, 2008. 474-77. Print. Shea, Renée Hausmann., Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Dissin. Aufses.