All decisions we make are guided by an influenced belief or a maxim. A maxim is an individual rule that we use in our negotiations to steer our conduct. Maxims contain our principles and intentions; they point toward our general character. A solid and well intentioned maxim is universalizable. The precise significance of universalizability is contentious, but the most widespread interpretation is that the categorical imperative asks whether the maxim of your action could become one that everyone could act upon in similar circumstances. An irrational maxim is self-defeating, as it cannot be consistently willed with its intended goal; in other words, it cannot provide a rational guide for human action since it cannot in principle serve as the rule for all persons. Of course’ this in and of itself is highly debated as what can be applied to all people is a far cry from hat should be applied to all people. A rational maxim would be one which made sense for any rational person to obey in similar circumstances. It is our obligation as people worthy of dignity to administer our own actions by rational maxims.
Same sex marriage rights in the United States
My universal maxim would be for the allowance of gay people to participate in our democratic process of marriage. This issue is very critical in today’s modern debate and could be easily argued for and against on moral, religious and ethical grounds. It should be noted that Kant’s views were created along time ago and although Kant was alive in a very different time, many people believe he was in fact, a homosexual, so his teaching could have been based on his own social shame or his own fear of exposure, but that could be an entire paper by itself. So let us explo...
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...terosexual marriage being outlawed when both parties can not reproduce. If the thought of heterosexual marriage being outlawed doesn’t seem right, then what would make it right for homosexuals? Kant is in a sense also a hard line Universalist because he stands by this: we are human and should be treated fairly by one another. I have come to the conclusion that Kant would also say that we should not outlaw same sex marriage.
Brunfield, J. (2011). Purchase professor applies Kant’s philosophy to abortion, same-sex marriage debates. Pelham Patch, Retrieved from http://pelham.patch.com/articles/purchase-professor-applies-kants-philosophy-to-abortion-same-sex-marriage-debates
Kant, Immanuel. (1998). Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals. Cambridge University Press, 1998. pg 53. Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universalizability"
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