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.
70). In other words, we will not be held accountable for actions out of our reach, only our ability and willingness to act in a good way—our ultimate duty. He believes this characteristic possesses unconditional value (value in and of itself, or on its own) and as such deserves to be exercised under all possible circumstances (Shafer-Landau, pg. 70-75). He goes as far as to say that actions will posses moral worth only if they are a result of our good will, similar to that which we intend to achieve(Shafer-Landau, pg.
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.
(Foot 1972: 311). Morality and its standards are often assumed to be 'intrinsically' motivating, and this is how they regulate society's behaviour. (Prinz in Batson 2011:41). Yet Batson suggests rather than intrinsically motivating, we conform to the principles to avoid social and self-rewards, where we are viewed as morally good. Morality for Kant is determined by whether certain moral actions could be turned into a universal maxim.
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.
All imperatives can command either hypothetically o... ... middle of paper ... ...g as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it”(19). Kant’s requirement that the law of behavior you set for yourself be universal implies that you act toward others in the way that you would want them to act toward you. The same idea is plain in Mill’s definition, every person is free when it comes to their own actions and so must abstain from impeding another persons with your behaviors. Both Kant and Mill seem to mandate that in your actions as a free individual we do not harm others. This ethical thread that runs through both these theories bears hints of the golden rule that one should treat others, as he himself would want to be treated.
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.
The freedom which Kant is talking about, is not only a negative freedom consisting in the absence of constraint by empirical causes, it is also a positive freedom which consists in the ability to make acts of will in accordance with the moral law, for no other reason than that they are in accordance with it. Freedom, in this sense, corresponds to Autonomy of the will and its absence ( any situation in which the will is determined by external causes ) is called Heteronomy. In obeying the moral law for the sake of the law alone, the will is autonomous because it is obeying a law which it imposes on itself. ... ... middle of paper ... ...e person, as Reason, as belonging to the intellectual world, is not affected by the laws of Determinism: he is free. This is Kant's proof of Freedom.
Instead, one should do it for the sake of the moral law itself. One might think that a good will is easy to obtain since all one has to do is just do it for the moral law in itself and nothing else. However, in order to do this, one must have complete freedom. By this, Kant does not mean freedom to do anything we want, or freedom from oppression, or anything like that. On the other hand, Kant implies that we need to have ... ... middle of paper ... ... at the same time, he asks us to follow his laws and principles.
Such an action is good in itself, not just as a means of achieving some other purpose. Because Kant believes all people poses rational will, the categorical imperative applies to everyone, guiding him or her to act in the same way regardless of his or her circumstances or bias. It disregards the consequences of an action and only judges moral or immoral based on the intentions. Such an imperative is “Do not lie,” which Kant believes is a maxim that holds true in all cases. 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.