The action of duty must exclude the influence of inclination so it may only be influenced by the objectivity of the law and therefore subjectively respected by us as good. Kant then goes on to confront the claim that moral worth is linked to agreeable condition and the promotion of happiness by stating that the moral worth of an action lies in the principle and not the effect of the action. Kant claimed that agreeable conditions and happiness can be brought about by too many other causes that do not require human rationality, and that human rationality is the only place where the “supreme and unconditional good” (P.2) can
With god/s grounding the moral the foundation of the moral becomes arbitrary because it would only be good because god says its so. Also calling god good would not make any sense since he decided what good is or isn't, so how could he be good unless the moral was grounding him? If piety was a certain care of the god’s we could look to do always what is Pious and in return we would be worshiping/caring for the god/s if they exists. If the God’s are looking to something the “moral,piety” then if you act pious in your actions through life you will be in a way worshiping the god’s, because you are honoring what they already honer. The problem with this idea is when people think god grounds the moral
The concept of virtue ethics by the philosopher Aristotle looks at how we should not look at the right and wrong actions we do by following guidelines, but look at us as human beings becoming virtuous people, through doing virtuous things. The statement of the weaknesses of virtue ethics outweighing the strengths is to an extent true, in particular when you look at the limitations of virtue ethics when claiming the doctrine of mean. Firstly by looking at the aim if virtue ethics we can gain an insight to the whole concept, Aristotle claimed that in life our aim is to reach fulfilment of happiness, which he called eudemonia. To achieve eudemonia you have to practice virtues and achieve these virtues, through education, emulation and experience. So we learn the virtue by copying someone who is a role model or mentor to confirm our virtue is right and finally practice and experience said virtue.
Kant wanted to put good will at the very centre of ethics in which he formed the equation GOOD WILL + DUTY = A MORAL ACTION. Good will is the motive that produces our determination to be good people and our practical reason helps us get there ‘good will, then, like a jewel, will shine by its own light, a thing which has its whole value in itself’. Kant’s moral theory looks at evidence and tells you what ought to be done. Reason is universal. However to act morally then we must be capable of exercising freedom or the autonomy of the will .The opposite of this is what Kant did not believe in and this is heteronomy and that is something is right because its satisfies some desire, emotion, goal or obligation.
Bentham believed humans were motivated by two things pleasure and pain which was a moral fact with pleasure being the sole good and pain the sole bad. Secondly there was the principle of utility which is the idea that an act is right or wrong based on its usefulness. Bentham said “an act is right if it causes the greatest good for the greatest number”. This is a teleological theory. Finally there is the hedonic calculus.
Kant argues that any action cannot be moral unless the motives are moral. For each of these philosophies, the question of living the "good life" is an intricate part of the belief system. For the Utilitarians, living a life that benefited as many people as possible, in essence, a life that caused the greatest widespread good results would be considered a life of virtue. For Kant, the only moral action is one that is done entirely because of obligation. He also makes the distinction between motives, saying that an action can be "in accord with duty" and still be immoral.
• The only moral rule of agapeistic love – thinking of other before yourself and acting in accordance to that – encourages people to act in regards to the well-being of others than themselves. Surely this makes society a better place? Weaknesses: • Excludes a majority of universal truths. • The idea of love being an absolute moral principle defeats the major point of situation ethics. Situation ethics is a branch of relativism which argues that there are no moral absolutes, so therefore saying that love is the only moral rule is self-contradictory.
Closely observed, their theories could be manipulated to support immoral behavior, or combined to present a more objective basis for determining morality. Kant believed that morality of an action is good when it is based on good intentions, regardless of the outcome. Mill, on the other hand, believed that because we cannot be sure of a person’s intentions, morality can only be measured in the consequences of the action. Based on these contradicting theories, I will attempt to note theoretical similarities between Kant and Mill. Categorical Imperative vs. Utility Kant’s categorical imperative gives precedence to morality over happiness.
Deontology, as espoused by Immanuel Kant, would argue against the morality of lying from a moral absolutism standpoint. Lying is wrong no matter what, and any good that comes from it is discounted by the evil of lying. Utilitarianism, as espoused by John Stuart Mill, would consider lying to be acceptable as long as a greater good for society at large to come from it. A virtue ethicist such as Aristotle would look less at the act of lying but more at the decision to tell a lie and what that says about the person in question as a moral being. A person that lies to protect someone’s feelings or pride isn’t
He said morality was innate; a part of us (a priori), and it was our moral duty to carry it out for good, which must lead to God. Accordingly Kant says good actions should be universalisable and free, so basically when making our ethical decisions we should ask ourselves a simple question "What if everybody did that?" if the answer is no, then the categorical imperative tells us that the action is wrong. So if I cheated on my AS-level exam to pass and be successful in the future, this would be my maxim, however I would not want others to do the same and therefore this action would be wrong according to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. My cheating pre-supposes that most people do not cheat even though they have the same reasons to cheat as I have.