Explain the Theory of Duty in Kantian Ethics

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Explain the theory of duty in Kantian Ethics (25 marks) Kantian ethics is an absolutist theory as Kant claimed what is morally ‘good’ is constant and unchanging. Because of this, it can be a universal concept applied in different societies and cultures with the idea that an action should only be performed for duty’s sake. His approach was deontological because the idea of right or wrong was based on the action rather than the consequence, he believed that this was the only rational basis for morality and could be proven objectively, independent from emotion and opinion. As humans we have the innate ability to reason, something which we gained prior to any sensory experience in this world. This is an idea which is absolute and according to Kant, the way we decide the morality of an action. Kantian ethics explains that for something to be good, the only true motivation behind it would be Good Will, with desire or instinct considered and the only purpose being to fulfil your duty and act morally. These moral principles are thought to be categorical imperatives which everyone should abide by even if they are of no benefit to them, There are three principles of the categorical imperative, the first being the universal law. It was believed that you should only act on a maxim, which is a personal law or rule. If you would not want the rule to be universalised, you should not be completing the action. For example, if you were to lie, you are condoning lying universally so there will be no truth told by anyone, causing disruptions and disagreements. This is an absolutist stance because there are no exceptions to the rule. The Principle of humanity as an end not as a means is the second imperative. The action a person completes should not use another human to achieve a goal, this is because humans have intrinsic value and we have the innate ability to be rational and
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