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. After excising our freedom and good will then duty is left to follow, as duty is what makes the good will good. It is important that duty can be done for its own sake , our motives need to be pure. To act morally is to do one's duty, and one's duty is to obey the moral law. Kant
The moral argument poses the question: "Where does our conscience, our sense of morality come from, if not from God?" It also asserts that if we accept the existence of objective moral laws we must accept the existence of who ever gives the laws. This is the observable fact that human beings sometimes appear to act from a sense of moral duty in which there is no self-interest or thought for the consequences of that act. (In an attempt to achieve Sumon Bonum)- The greatest of all rewards. Kant drew an important distinction between hypothetical and categorical imperatives.
Meta ethics tries to make sense of the terms and concepts used in ethical theories. Some people believe that ethical language is extremely meaningful as they argue it is essential to be able to define terms such as “good” and “bad” before we can even begin to discuss ethical theories. However others disagree with this and argue that moral statements are subjective so cannot be meaningful as they cannot be described as either true or false. Those who hold cognitive theories about ethical language would argue that ethical statements are meaningful as they are about facts and can therefore be proved true or false. Ethical Naturalism is a cognitive theory of Meta ethics which holds the belief that ethical statements are the same as non ethical ones, so can be verified or falsified in the same way.
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
The absolutist's view is that some statements are "objectively true," that is, true independent of whether anybody recognizes their truth. Objectivism is another name for absolutism. The general relativist denies that are any objectively true statements; general relativism is the view that statements are true only from a point of view (individual, community, or culture). As with scepticism and dogmatism, many people are relativists only about some areas. You might be a relativist regarding ethical matters--saying that moral correctness is merely in the mind of the individual, or maybe the dominant group in the society, but remain an absolutist about mathematics, saying that 1+1=2 regardless of whether you or I or anybody else thinks so.
2. The main conflict between Utilitarian and Kantian moral reasoning relates to the question of what makes a right action right. Utilitarians believe that “the ends do justify the means,” therefore, the act is good if it
There cannot be a wrong unless there is something that is right to compare it to. In the Law of Human Nature, C.S Lewis sets forth the foundational ideas regarding right and wrong. The most basic yet most important concept is that without the knowledge of what is right; humans cannot make the claim that something is wrong. By pointing out that one’s idea is not correct one is inadvertently admitting that he believes in a standard of right and wrong. C.S Lewis points out that all humans have a tendency to quarrel.
ETHICAL EGOISM ¿Should we believe that ethical egoism is the right theory to follow? Before answering this question we must define what ethical egoism is. This theory establishes the fact that each person ought to pursue his or her own self-interest. It is the famous “morality of selfishness.” But how do we know this is the concept we must apply when deciding between helping others and looking only for us. First of all, we must make a differentiation between Ethical egoism and Physiological Egoism.
Moore would say we can see these self evident truths when, in an argument, we are reduced to “it’s just wrong,” they require no further explanation, proof or justification. This seems a fairly logical conclusion, in order to justify what we do we look at it in basic terms, but such a process could not take place indefinitely without coming to a base truth which could not be broken down further. It’s the classic “it just is” situation in an argument, where the statement cannot be further simplified nor justified. The problem however is agreeing on what these basic moral truths are. Moore and WD Ross a fellow intuitionist agreed that pleasure, knowledge and virtue are all intrinsically good, and pain, ignorance and vice are intrinsically bad.
Categorical Imperative vs. Utility Kant’s categorical imperative gives precedence to morality over happiness. It is the absolute command of moral law and a duty bound action, void of any other purpose or condition, good in itself—proposing what one ought to do. It commands that a particular course of action is required, regardless of any willed end. It is the fulfillment of one’s duty to necessary truths that gives an act moral worth, regardless of its consequences. The basic formulation of the categorical imperative states: “Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law”.