Essay about Kant 's Views On Lying

Essay about Kant 's Views On Lying

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Immanuel Kant is steadfast in his belief that before anyone can do anything absolutely moral, they must reason what would occur if every person on Earth did this exact thing, or as he puts it, “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, 30). This philosophy seems sound, but is actually inherently flawed, as when it comes into conflict with his opinions on lying, it makes both points to be somewhat impossible to live by. It also does not account for different people operating in different situations all over the world, instead opting for some sort of absolute, infallible morality. This casts ethics in a disturbingly black and white manner, completely ignoring complicated and extreme situations.
Kant’s opinions on lying are strict, one can never lie if he strives to be morally just, as lying is always an unjust action. Kant proves this by coupling it with the universal law, as one “can indeed will the lie but can not at all will a universal law to lie” (Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, 15). He reasons this in an intellectual way, which leans heavily on the law of universalizability, as “by such a law there would really be no promises at all” (Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, 15). He therefore reasons that this maxim “would necessarily destroy itself just as soon as it was made a universal law” (Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, 15). Kant has therefore proved conclusively that lying is always wrong, but has only done so if his opinions on universal law remain stable.
Now, if these opinions on lying are married in practice with Kant’s idea of universalizability, they become problem...


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...on supposed to act in accordance with the universal law, and accurately follow Kantian philosophy? Although Kant insists that his opinions are sacrosanct, he offers no insight on what to do during extremes, rendering his opinions slightly broken, and therefore open to argument.
Kant has many ideas on ethics that he considers to be irrefutable, with absolutely no room for change. This renders his philosophies impossible to live by, as when taken into accordance with his philosophy on lies, or when extreme situations occur, his philosophies fall apart. This casts his philosophical ideas into doubt, and makes many of Kant’s claims questionable. This is especially true in those extreme situations in which his opinions on morality simply do not work, proving that he does not have a full grasp on how moral situations work, and therefore his philosophy in general is flawed.

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