Essay on The Is Good Or Good?

Essay on The Is Good Or Good?

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The one thing in the world that is considered good without conditions is good will itself. This is due to the fact that many qualities are considered good and yet those same traits can turn malicious and harmful. For example, intelligence can be seen as a positive trait with good intentions, however if you use that intelligence for the wrong reasons, examples being the plethora of dictators in history including Stalin, Hitler etc, then that “good” quality becomes a quality with bad intentions. Good will is intrinsically good even if the results brought about are not as intended because “good will is good for how it wills” (Kant, Page 5). There are two purposes to be considered, one being the unconditional purpose of producing a good will and the conditional purpose of being happy. “Of these requires the cultivation of reason, which at least in this life in many ways limits and can indeed almost eliminate the goal of happiness” (Kant, Page 7). Kant, unlike Aristotle, believes that moral behavior does not mean the guarantee of obtaining happiness rather that good will is essential to earning happiness. Kant continues his writing by stating that good will is present in the concept of duty and it is his goal is to show the difference between doing something for duty and doing it for other reasons. Kant believes the fact that those who successfully exercise their will in overcoming a temptation are morally more praiseworthy than those who are not tempted at all because they do the right thing out of habit or desire. This ties into the concept of the sense of duty and which action deserves moral credit.

The reasoning behind people’s actions can be rooted in either hypothetical imperatives, where good is done as a means to a...


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...e outcomes of either situation are the same, being no one shoplifts, the decision made to not shoplift comes through two completely different means. One involves an internal struggle where reasoning with the law is included as well as sense of duty being present, while the other is never tempted so they should not receive moral credit for something they did not internally struggle with and would not have done regardless due to natural circumstances. This is how Kant believes morality comes about, a person must be faced with or challenged with a decision. The challenge must be to make a morally good choice despite natural alignment or desire; they must employ rational and decide against the morally wrong action simply because it is wrong with no other external variables influencing the decision such as the fear of being caught or punished for the morally wrong action.

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