Kantian Ethics: The Importance of One's Duty

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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. Kant stresses the importance of reason and rationality, because human beings are the only beings on earth that have this trait and he believes it should be used sufficiently in our decisions. In order to act morally, humans must use reason in their mental processes and freely choose to follow and fulfill moral principles, laws, and rules in order to be truly moral beings. To further express the moral worth of duty, duties are performed to fulfill and obey moral laws and when humans use free will to choose to do so. Kant also...

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...r act of duty needs to be performed in the current circumstance, to call the judgment moral. It is logical to understand the inconsistencies and rash effects of making an emotional or instinctual decision. Kant is also very clear when he distinguishes that even good, considerably noble actions may not be in fact moral, as well as actions that are good but with ill or wrong intentions may not be moral as well, because of the absence of the consideration of one’s duty in the decision-making process. Kant provides a very specific and consistent theory of morality, as well as providing arguments for every kind of situation presented to him. He finds no value in complexity, which is why it is easier for me to understand the simple, concise, and rational thought-process behind Kant and his theory.

Works Cited

Grassion, Kantian Ethics. Ch. 4. ‘Moral Reasoning’.
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