Intentions vs. Consequence
In Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals Kant parleys about goodwill, duty, and the categorical imperative. When Kant states “the true vocations of reason must be to produce a will that is good, not perhaps as a means to other purposes, but good in itself, for which reason was absolutely necessary. This will need not, because of this, be the sole and complete good, but it must still be the highest good and the condition of every other, even of all demands for happiness”, implies that goodwill is what makes you good as a person. You have to want to mean good and use reason to figure out what to do with goodwill (desire). Then Kant states “we shall set before ourselves the concept of duty, which contains that of a good will though under certain subjective limitations and hindrances”, informs us that duty is a goodwill subjected to rational principles (way of thinking) which is one of Kant’s three propositions. Proposition two is no consequences no emotions and three is duty. Duty is the necessity of acting out of respect for the law.
The basis for morality is the concept of choice. Choice is the ability to offer your own law to your will. When you follow the demands of some necessity, desire, or situation, you are in a state of “heteronomy”, your will is determined by something outside of yourself. When you follow the categorical imperative and chose maxims that could be universal laws, you are in a state of "autonomy", and you use reason to determine your own law for yourself. When Kant elaborates about the categorical imperative he said “there is, therefore, only a single categorical imperative and it is this: act only in accordance, with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law”, in other words, to evaluate the moral acceptability of a maxim, ask whether everyone could act on it, or whether it could be willed as a universal law. If the...