Essay the ground of morality. He rejects this
Essay One:Immanuel Kant was a deontologists from Germany in the eithteenth century.
He believed that the only test of whether a decision is right or wrong is whether it could be applied to everyone. Would it be all right for everyone to do what you are doing? If not, your decision is wrong. It would be wrong, for example, to make a promise with the intention of breaking it because if everyone did that, no one would believe anyone’s promises.
In ethics, Kant tried to show that doing one’s duty consisted in following only those principles that one would accept as applying equally to all. Kant objects most of all to the principle that one’s own happiness can be the ground of morality. He rejects this possibility because well-being is not always proportionate to virtuous behavior. By this I mean that one mans well being is not always universal to all. Most significantly, Kant renounces happiness as the principle of morality because it obliterates the specific difference between virtue and vices. Universality is the form of a moral law whereby all rational beings are subject to the same condition as the basis of morality. Kant argues that there can be principles for action that do not admit of exceptions, and that this occurs through practical reason.
In other words, the possibility for morality does not hinge on the empirical world, but rather is a feature of the nature of the entity that is the ground for morality. Since all rational beings have reason, the good rational being is one who obeys a universal moral law. This is to act according to an objective standard which is independent of personal desires and ends.
According to Kant, the moral law appears as a command to humans because they do not have a will that is invariably determined by practical reason. Although the will of an imperfect rational being has the capacity to act according to rational principles, its reason does not have full control over the inclinations. Kant does think that happiness partly constitutes the highest good, but only when it is in proportion to morality. He asserts that the highest good is a combination of happiness and morality. Aristotle is not concerned, as is Kant, that the goal of happiness will ultimately corrupt human innocence, and hence that this goal precludes a sense of moral development. Perhaps their difference is best summarized in stating that, for Kant, one ought to be deserving of happiness rather than motivated to be happy. The significance of the principle of autonomy lies in the suggestion that it can be the supreme principle of morality.
Kant argues that this can be shown by an analysis of the concepts of morality. Therefore, moral actions are thought to be exhibited only through this principle. Kant is not saying, however, that only morally good actions are free actions. Kants view on morality and happiness, I believe are adequate for everybody.
Kant believes that every man and woman are entitled to happiness, but without harming others. Everybody is obligated to creating a better world. Society in general needs to help each other and then themselves. Mills view of do what feels good is not adequate for anyone.
Every action must be done in a ethical matter, no matter the circumstance.Essay Two:Kant believes that, reason thinks of all cognition as belonging to a unified and organized system. Reason is our faculty of making inferences and of identifying the grounds behind every truth. It allows us to move from the particular and contingent to the global and universal. Each cause, and each cause’s cause, and each additional ascending cause must itself have a cause. Reason generates this hierarchy that combines to provide the mind with a conception of a whole system of nature. Kant believes that it is part of the function of reason to strive for a complete, determinate understanding of the natural world.
But our analysis of theoretical reason has made it clear that we can never have knowledge of the totality of things because we cannot have the requisite sensations of the totality, hence one of the necessary conditions of knowledge is not met. Reason’s structure pushes us to accept certain ideas of reason that allow completion of its striving for unity. Kant argues that the proper function of reason is to produce the highest good which cannot be the Aristotelian or Mills highest good, i.
e., happiness. In fact, the cultivation of reason to produce the highest good can reduce happiness to less than nothing. This statement reveals the crux of the issue. For Kant the highest good is one which is unconditional; the highest good is something that cannot be conditioned by the moment. What is the duty that motivates our actions and to give them moral value? Kant distinguishes two kinds of law produced by reason.
Given some end we wish to achieve, reason can provide a hypothetical imperative, or rule of action for achieving that end. A hypothetical imperative says that if you wish to buy a new car, then you must determine what sort of cars are available for purchase. Conceiving of a means to achieve some desired end is by far the most common employment of reason. But Kant has shown that the acceptable conception of the moral law cannot be merely hypothetical.
Our actions cannot be moral on the ground of some conditional purpose or goal. Morality requires an unconditional statement of one’s duty. And in fact, reason produces an absolute statement of moral action. The moral imperative is unconditional; that is, its imperative force is not tempered by the conditional if I want to achieve some end, then do X. It simply states, do X. Kant believes that reason dictates a categorical imperative for moral action.1 Reason is related to the categorical imperative(C.
I) on several levels, but only four are really important. Reason is related to the C.I.
through the universal law formulation and the respect for persons. The categorical imperative is also related to reason by what Kant calls autoonmy and kingdom of ends. The universal law formulation can be broken down into three parts: the formulation of the maxim, the universalize of the maxim, and to for contradiction. The formulation of the maxim is then broken down into three parts: find the objective, find the means, and find relevant the circumstance. The second way reason is related to the C.I. is through the respect for persons.
Kant believes that every soul must be respected, and every soul must be free of oppression. This freedom coincides with the idea of autonomy and authority. Kant believes that every man should have freedom and self governing. Kants idea of autonomy states that humans can be self governed to the idea of universal actions. Ones actions are motivated for all rational beings.
This contrast to Mills heteronomy. It states that reason is ruled by desire, not good will. Kants final argument states that humans must act as universal beings of rational actions inaccordance with everybody else in thier community. The humans of society must act as an autonomous way.
The categorical imperative is related to reason on several levels.I believe that Kant is right on the idea that reason plays a vital role in mans moral agents. As Mill believes that mans end is happiness, Kant believes that happiness is not the end but a possible by product of good moral actions. Kant believes that desirable actions are not always moral acts, as Mill believes. Society must act in ways that are acceptable to everyone. There must be a consistency in every mans actions.