Explain Kantian Ethics

804 Words4 Pages
Explain Kant’s theory of ethics In Kant’s theory of ethics, there are a few fundamental principles. The Categorical imperatives, the idea of duty and ‘good will’. Kant’s ethics are deontological, which means that they are concerned with the morality of duty. Kants theory states that the means justifies the end, not the other way around. The intentions or motives for an action must be just in order for the action to be just. Kantian ethics are also absolute, therefore the morality of an action has nothing to do in the circumstances which it occurred in. Kant’s theory is therefore prohibitive as actions are either right or wrong in whatever situation they happen in, and as such, the punishment must be the same for all occurrences of that particular action. Therefore, by saying lying is wrong, even if you lie to a thug who has asked you to tell him which direction person X went so that they could kill them; to Kant it would still be wrong, because lying can never be justified. Kant also believed in humans’ innate moral duty. Kant’s primary point was his theory that all of us have moral duty and that our conscience is what tells us when we go against this, through being guilty or shameful. Therefore, an action which can be classed as good or moral is one which fulfils this sense of duty. Kant also believed that reason was the way to reach realisation and that we can find out moral duty by thinking objectively. In addition, Kant said that we should not be inclined to do things and that we should think about things and try and apply his ethical theory before carrying them out, therefore, we should not do things because of our emotions. As well as this, there is the idea that it is not part of our duty to do what we are unable to do, or what is impossible for us to do and that moral statements prescribe to us what we should do, to ought to do something implies
Open Document