Therefore, actions are inherently moral or immoral, regardless of the beliefs and goals of the individual, society or culture that engages in the action. The theory holds that morals are inherent in the law of the universe, the nature of humanity, the will of god, or some other fundamental source. Thus, the theory recognizes objective facts about morality: moral claims are either true or false for everyone. One such relative theorist, Hobbes, argues for morality as a solution for practical problems. Morality, in his system, is a vehicle to move from state of nature into law of nature, and is a move mandated by self-interest.
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.
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.
The difference is that utilitarianism states that no matter what a person should never stray from the moral that will bring the greatest good. Kant justifies that under certain circumstances one could stray from the moral as long as the truths are logically consistent and universalizable. Utilitarianism is broken down into two categories; act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. The act utilitarian believes that one cannot establish rules in advance to cover all situations, actions and people because they are all different. The rule utilitarian believes that there are enough human motives and situations to justify setting up rules that apply to all humans and situations.
If you act out of your own desire or for your own means, you are not doing the right thing. To know what is right and what is wrong, Kant devised something called the Categorical Imperative. The Categorical Imperative is a command or act that is truly independent of one’s own desires or ends. In other words, it is a perfect rule that everyone should follow. To check if a maxim (meaning the intention of your action, or your principle of action) can be a Categorical Imperative, a CI test was made.
Critique of Kant’s Indiscriminant Use of the “Categorical Imperative” In terms of the discussion of morals, it all comes down to whether one believes the “good” in a morally good action lies in the cause or the effect of the action. For philosopher Immanuel Kant, the answer lies in the cause, or the initial motive of the action, rather than the consequences that arise from it. However, one cannot rely on his system of morals, as the more they get grounded into real life situations, the harder it is to justify certain actions. If one were to accept a higher and definite system of moral law that applies to any and all rational beings, it cannot be morally permissible for people to only consider the beginning motives of an action with blatant disregard for the potentially horrifying consequences that may follow. In “Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals” by Immanuel Kant, a general framework is laid out for this idea that the discussion of metaphysics in philosophy has been led astray; that even the common man has a better understanding than most philosophers.
David Hume and Immanuel Kant on Morality When discussing the morality of ethics there are many different schools of thought by which we can attempt to justify why we think or do things the way we do; why we value the things we value; and what makes our actions right or wrong. In this essay I will address the flaws in the assumptions of Immanuel Kant’s theories on morality by reason, using David Hume’s beliefs on morality by feelings and material from the Subjectivist school of thought. The Kantian view on morality places extreme emphasis on reason rather than what we desire as humans. In other words, people act in accordance to what is their duty, not by how they feel or what they personally believe to be right. This is in direct violation with David Hume’s stance on morality.
An analysis of Kant’s ethics of duty and freedom as a response to all previous ethical theories proves the characteristics of the Kantian ethics and the most significant contrast to utilitarianism, according to Kant, is the ethics of duty in which normative judgments are made on the basis of the character of the action rather than its consequences. According to the Kantian ethics, people have the duty to act in certain ways even if it does not produce the best results. “The ethics of duty is rooted in Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative ‘Act only on that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law,’ which in turn is rooted in the belief that humans are rational beings capable of self-determination and self-governance. Every responsible person is therefore entitled to dignity and respect.” (Budd and Scoville, 2005, p 9). Thus, the views of Kant, who is the most important supporter in history of deontological ethics or the study of duty, insist that the single feature that gives an action moral value is the motive that is behind the action.
For a conscientious observer, this double standard should seriously cause him to question the ability of a consequentialist perspective to prescribe satisfactory moral understanding and guidance. By accommodating an agent’s moral feelings only when they are in accord with utility is indicative of a deeper failure to recognize that such feelings are often expressions of the agent’s own projects and commitments. Thus, to achieve an objective standard of right action, utilitarianism ultimately sacrifices the agent’s integrity by making right action irrelevant to those projects and commitments. The first part of my exposition focuses on what Williams sees as the reason for the popularity of consequentialist ethical theories, which is rooted in an illicit jump from thinking about moral kinds of actions to thinking about moral degrees of outcomes. The rest of my exposition explains how this jump directly leads to the
In the philosophical view of determinism with respect to free will, it focuses more on the circumstances surrounding the agent instead of just the individual agent. A strength to determinism is that there is a cause for everything, therefore nothing is left to chance and that there is always a reason to be traced back to. On the other hand, the same theory states that agents are not responsible for their own actions because previous events dictated their behavior, and that is considered by many to be a weakness of determinism. Critics of determinism claim that having a universal view of determinism will lead to moral irresponsibility and moral decay (Nichols and Knobe 664). Compatibilism, also referred to as soft determinism, is “the view that all events, including human actions, are caused.