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.
Superson’s goal is to defeat the skeptic and does not believe self-interest is sufficient enough to do so. I understand the approach Superson is making about self-interest but I don’t think she is looking at all aspects of the topic. I think people will always act in self-interested ways regardless of the circumstances; people act according to their dispositions, not by force, unless they are being coerced of course. It is human nature to instinctively maximize our personal utility. We act in ways that we see fit, whether or not an act is considered moral is completely dependent upon the individual.
Kant’s Ethical Theory Strengths Weaknesses Not consequentialist – Kant easily shows the fatal flaw of Utilitarianism – a bad act can have good consequences. Kant’s theory doesn’t make this mistake. Consequences – There are some occasions when consequences are so severe that many think it is better to break a rule than allow awful things to happen. Universal – Kant’s theory provides moral laws that hold universally, regardless of culture or individual situations. Inflexible – You should be able to break an unhelpful rule if the individual circumstances warrant it.
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.
It is necessary for the two terms ‘Absolutist’ and ‘Relativist’ to be defined with morality before I start. Absolutism means any theory, in which there are rules that are unchanging and universal, in other words fixed moral rules. Relativism means any theory in which each person can decide what is right and wrong for them, there are no universal moral rules. From this we can already see that both absolute and Relative hold complete different views of how a person should act to situations. Absolutism are laws that come with fixed moral rules.
According to Kant, right actions are not done by following inclinations, impulses or obeying the principle of greatest happiness but are done simply and purely from the sense of duty. Kessler says that some ethical truths and norms are appropriate to everyone in the society, and therefore, people should always act morally irrespective of the outcome for their morals. In deontology ethics, actions are done for the sake of duty. The intrinsic moral feature determines the rightness or wrongness of the act taken by individuals. The duty should always be done by taking the right.
Off the Precipice into the Gorge: Why Utilitarianism Can’t Save Us Introduction In his article, “A Critique of Utilitarianism” Bernard Williams is concerned that consequentialism has found plausibility in people’s minds due to a misunderstanding of and negative reaction to non-consequentialist theories.  Though he does not offer an alternative ethical theory, Williams successfully takes on the project of exploring how utilitarianism and those who uncritically embrace it have accepted an unworkable standard for defining right actions. Williams offers a unique and penetrating thesis: to define right action only by reference to whether it produces a good “state of affairs” necessitates a fundamental clash between an agent’s moral character and that allegedly right action.  In its attempt to compensate and maintain viability as a moral theory, utilitarianism smuggles into its calculus the agent’s non-utilitarian-based moral feelings. 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.
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.
I will now present my argument that cultural relativism is not a valid moral theory. Firstly because some things are wrong – regardless of cultural or moral differences. Secondly, because of the diversity between cultures does not prove there is nothing that is shared universally. To defend this claim we will look at Mill’s principle of utility and Immanuel Kant’s theory of “The Golden Rule”. In 1963 British Philosopher John Stuart Mill’s work on the principle of utility; defends the utilitarian standard of the best outcome for everyone “good of all”.
For example, in the case of lying, a deontologist would argue that lying is always wrong, doesn’t matter even if it holds any potential to creating a greater good. While the consequentialist would say that to lie is a wrong thing to do because it would cause negative outcomes as a result, however lying could still be allowed, knowing that it would lead to the creation of a greater good. While as for a virtue-ethicist would care less on just about lying, but focus more on what does the decision say about his/her own traits and character. So here are several features that make the theory of virtue ethics distinctive compared to the other