According to Kantian ethics, people should use rationalized thinking in order to determine the right action regardless of the bad consequences this action might have; we are responsible for working out the steps to decide what a moral action is. The only moral action is one that can be universalized, simply meaning that everyone can follow the same course of action. He called this principle a formulated maxim, Maxims should be the guide for our moral action, that can be a... ... middle of paper ... ...ll be happy; though often these theories will overlook the minorities whose rights may be infringed upon. Unlike utilitarianism, Kant’s general principle will always apply unconditionally. Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics propose two different ideas on morality of an action.
Utilitarianism’s advocacy of happiness by any means is what concerns me about the theory. I believe that happiness is a great thing, but a thing that can only really come from inside an individual. In contrast, Deontology emphasizes a duty to respect other’s autonomy. I take this to mean that people are their own advocates—Deontology promotes fairness, justice, and equal opportunity at happiness rather than guaranteeing happiness itself. It isn’t society’s duty to ensure everyone’s happiness, but rather to ensure that all people are given the opportunity to be happy.
According to formula two of Kant’s argument, good will is guided by reason. We should follow our own good will in order to gain talents to then help others. Our own good will cannot come from a gut feeling, we should consider our own obligations that Kant has set for us in order to reach our own happiness. We should act to use humanity by not using other people in order to get their means because that is immortal. It is our ability to make our own choices and be rational with the intention of creating good will.
Secondly, there is a difference between moral virtues and intellectual virtues and lastly, leading a good life is a state of character. Personally and widely accepted, happiness is believed to be a true defining factor on leading a well intentioned, rational, and satisfactory life. However, it is important to note the ways in which one achieves their happiness, through the people and experiences to reach that state of being. In consequence, Aristotle’s focus on happiness presents a more arguable notion of “good character” and “rational.” John Stuart Mill believes in a utilitarian society where people are seen as “things.” Moreover, in utilitarianism the focus of the goal is “forward-looking”, in looking at the consequences but not the ini... ... middle of paper ... ...g the other consequences and harms of the decision made. In conclusion, Aristotle’s elucidation of happiness is based on a ground of ethics because happiness to him is coveted for happiness alone.
Morality as a whole tries to create a distinction between right and wrong, good and bad. Making decisions should arguably always be aimed towards good. Under the philosophical doctrine of Utilitarianism, philosophers like Bentham and Mill recognize that human kind should make their lives useful and good through bringing about happiness or pleasure. The idea of the “Greatest Happiness Principle was introduced by Bentham, who was a Utilitarian predecessor to Mill. According to Mill, human lives should abide by the “Greatest Happiness Principle.” This principle states that actions are good as they tend to promote happiness; and bad as they promote the reverse of happiness, therefore humans should make a conscious choice of action that will lead
J.S. Mill’s principle of utility is explained as actions are right as they tend to gain happiness, and wrong as they tend to reduce happiness. Mill defines happiness as, “pleasure and the absence of happiness is pain.” He argues that pleasure can differ in quality and quantity, and that more complex pleasures are ranked higher. Mills also places people’s achievements of goals, such as a virtuous living, should be counted as part of their happiness. When Mill states that the principle of utility is the “First Principle” of morality he is ranking the principle of utility highest because that in order to know what the boundaries of morality are, it is necessary to know how actions should be accounted.
Mills responds to this objection by explaining how secondary moral reasoning and the fundamental principle of morality are taken into account when deciding what promotes the most overall happiness. After explaining his argument, I believe Mill succeeds in responding to the objection, he explains why it shouldn’t be a problem when weighing the best possible outcome by using the secondary moral rule as the first principle. According to Mill, there are several elements to the principle of utility. First, it allows people to choose the action that promotes the most happiness. As stated, Mill believes that an action is right if it promotes happiness and an action is wrong if it promotes pain.
One good way to think about is that this theory is a form of consequentialism. The right action is understood basically in terms of consequences produced. The utilitarian view is one thought to maximize the overall good; that good being the good of others as well as the good of ones self. Utilitarianism is also not partial. Everybody 's happiness counts the same.
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. In a sense, rational beings are defined by our concept of freedom. As humans, we look at the world through the perspective of humans; what we know about the world is from observations and experiences. Therefore, we cannot know what the world is truly like. This may sound disheartening, and Kant admits that freedom is merely a concept we apply to ourselves as rational beings, and thus is something we can never be sure about.
It entails that as long as a person acts in a moral way then the consequences of the actions do not matter. “For Kant, doing the right thing is not a matter of one’s character or disposition or circumstance – all of which are or might be beyond one’s control. Instead, it is the matter of duty, acting out of respect for the moral law.” (Stangroom, J. & Garvey, J. 2005, p.79) Moral Laws are a system of guidelines for controlling human behaviour; like society laws.