An example of the application of the CI states: A man wishes to deceive someone in order to get what he wants. This man is acting on a maxim that says, “In order to get what I want, I will deceive.” Under the CI, one must consider a world in which everyone acts on this maxim, by willing this maxim to become universal law. In a world where everyone deceives in order to get what they want, it would be impossible to deceive anyone. Since everyone is lying ...
... middle of paper ...
... to state, “one can deceive in order to get what one wants," acting out of this generalized maxim will prove to be morally incorrect and the CI would lead to the wrong conclusion. Therefore, because the CI may lead to the morally wrong conclusion, the CI proves itself to be a useless principle unless supplemented by the idea of generalization; but without a formal method describing how to generalize a maxim, the CI may lead to contradictory results, and thus, it cannot be used to determine whether an action is morally correct. Where the application of the CI leads to opposite conclusions from the same situation, there is a contradiction, and thus, the CI cannot be true. Therefore, Mill’s criticism is fair, for if one cannot decide whether an action is right or wrong under all circumstances, than the CI is an incomplete theory that cannot be applied in any situation.
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