In Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant lays out three propositions about duty. The first is the will is a morally good action if it is done in accordance from duty, as opposed to an action done in accordance with duty. The second proposition is that actions are judged by the "maxim" or principle that was the motivation behind the action. If someone undertakes an action with the only motivation being that of a sense of duty, they are followin... ... middle of paper ... ...viously that you will be more probable to engage and look to engage in more actions that will give you this appeal and instant gratification. This is not an ideal situation because placing a slight neglect to a duty or obligation that you might not find appeal in defeats the purpose of completing all of the obligations set for us to go through with.
If the world did not have goodwill, then one may argue that no good can exist. Because people would not be willing to do good things unless for their own purposes. Harrison claims that,“A Kantian follower would say that the maxims are important because it gives us all a foundation for the differences between being morally good or bad”. If one can do an action in some sort that can be put into a universal maxim. Therefore, you are acting ethically.
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.
Kant states that moral worth is the value of a good will in dutiful action. Dutiful actions done “from duty” have moral worth while dutiful actions that are merely “according to duty” have no moral
Kant argues that human reasoning is limited in its ability to provide an example of true morality. In his essay, he states that what humans perceive as good morals does not necessarily fit the conditions of what can be categorized as universal law of morality. Kant believes that people must hold morality not solely as an idea or set of exceptions but as an absolute idea (Kant 408). This absolute idea should be free of human rationalization in order to create a pure example. He believes this to be the case because within this form of rationalizing what is good from what is wrong there are often cases that stray away from true virtue such as human behavior.
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.
Must we then decide among them not simply on the basis of their adequacy to explain and justify moral judgments but on the basis of simple preference, i.e. because we "like" one better than another? We are more likely to believe a moral theory that says that most of our moral beliefs are correct, then one that says that most of our moral beliefs are inconsistent. Of course no theory will make them all come out true. We have to balance the question of our philosophical grounds for believing that the moral theory is in fact true — that it corresponds to the demands that actually exist for us in reality — rather than merely being an accurate codification of what we happen to believe.
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.
Also, it focuses on the motivation of actions, has clear and distinct set of universal rules, and is morally logical. On the other hand, Utilitarianism is based on the concept that we ought to do whatever produces the greatest overall utility and this will be the morally right action. Furthermore, it relies on the consequences of an action, has no set universal laws as each action is assessed on an individual basis, and morality is based on the results of the assessment. Because of these reasons, I believe that Kantianism is the more ethically plausible theory of the two.
Hypothetical imperatives are actions that look for the best means to a goal, however, the goal might not necessarily be an end in itself. On the other hand, the categorical imperative is an objectively necessary means to an end in itself, and the action to obtain the end, must have moral worth. If we as rational agents, have any morality at all Kant says, it takes the form of rational, categorical imperatives (commands of reason) and is found a priori excluding all interests and desires. These commands of reason are proven by the Universal Law Formula, which when applied, is a method for determining the morality of actions. How is this formula applied though?