This is good when considering euthanasia because there is bound to be a lot of emotion involved when trying to decide whether it’s wrong or right to go forward with euthanasia for the person itself or family member having to choose. Kantian ethics gives a set rules which is easy to follow and deicide if it’s right or not. On the other hand others could say that to make an action a categorical imperative it has to be universal, in other words apply to everyone in all situations, if they are not universal able they contradict the rules of nature. Euthanasia is ‘killing someone’. The maxim ‘killing someone is not by any means universal because this could lead to the whole human race being wiped out which of course will contradict laws
Kant believed that everybody had an innate moral awareness, “two things fill my mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe... the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me”. He believed that this was given to us by God and worked out by us using reason. However, many disagree about the origin of our moral awareness; a far more popular idea given the evidence is that we assimilate our moral compass through our culture and genetic makeup. Freud believed that it can be explained by socialisation and that our conscience is the product of our unconscious mind or ‘superego’. Freud explained that the mind was divided into three areas; the ‘ID’ where our base instincts are such as desire and appetite, the ‘Ego’ a part of our mind that is shaped by external influences and the ‘Superego’ a part of the ego that is shaped by the influences that have affected our development such as parents and teachers.
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. Kant reasoned that the morality of an action lies solely in the cause and not in the effect; that is, in order to call an action morally good or bad, one must first analyze the motives for carrying out said action, making sure the action itself is from duty and not just coinciding with it. He also gave the groundwork for understanding how to determine if an action is morally good or bad by use of what he calls the “categorical imperative”, where you take a principle in a given situation (such as lying) and imagine a world where every person lied all the time. That would raise a contradiction and paradox in itself, because in order for lies to exist, there must be the existence of truth; this contradiction, Kant claims, is the reason why it cannot, under any circumstances, be morally permissible. However, the
John Mehlhaff Phil 1720-01 Writing assignment #1 9/9/11 Utilitarianism and Kant While analyzing the books definition of utilitarianism and Kant’s duty ethics it became clear that there are similarities and differences between the two views. According to the book utilitarianism maintains that everyone should perform the act or follow the moral that which will bring about the greatest good (or happiness) for each person involved. The book states that Kant believed that it is possible by reasoning alone to set up valid absolute moral rules that have the same force as indisputable mathematical truths. These views both share the idea that we, as humans, should try to bring good into the world and be as moral as possible. The difference is that utilitarianism states that no matter what a person should never stray from the moral that will bring the greatest good.
Taking into account the sensuous nature of human beings, Kant states that it is very difficult for a man to be righteous without hope. Immortality guarantees this hope and ensures that there is a place sufficient for the reckoning of happiness in proportion to worthiness to be happy. The postulate of freedom is given a special position among the other two postulates. Freedom is an apriori that we do not understand but we know it as the condition of the moral law which we do know. It is because of freedom that God and Immortality gain objective reality and legitimacy and subjective necessity.
Comparison of Thoreau and Nietzsche’s differences of philosophies regarding nonviolence In King’s lecture, Thoreau and Nietzsche were regarded as representatives from different positions. King considered Thoreau as a supporter of the standpoint that the internal value should have transcended the external, or the technological improvements of human would benefit nothing. On the other hand, he took Nietzsche as an opponent to “all-embracing and unconditional love for all men”. More than King’s evaluation to them, their philosophies with regard to nonviolence also differ a lot. Their basic altitudes towards the democracy and nonviolence conflict with each other.
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.
Comparison between deontological and utilitarian ethics Deontological ethics Deontology is a normative theory attributed to Immanuel Kant, which focuses on the concept of the duty. It is concerned on fulfilling what is believed to be a moral duty without considering its impact to other people. It takes the stand that the duty defines the right actions regardless of the consequences. The hold of deontological ethics is that doing right is what conform the moral laws. 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.
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.
Introduction Whether reason or emotion is equally necessary in justifying moral decisions is a highly controversial topic. In order to come to a conclusion I am going to analyse and evaluate two important approaches from Immanuel Kant and Jeremy Bentham. I will partially focus on these two important figures, as one presents good will as the only thing that is capable of producing morally justified decisions, if that will conforms to practical reasoning. The other one states that a moral decision is a decision that increases the "Greatest Pleasure for the Greatest Number of People” thereby focusing on the importance of an emotional state of happiness for making morally justified decisions. In order to come to a conclusion of whether Kant's or Bentham's idea of reason and emotion in moral decisions are justified, I will focus on the building blocks on which their theories are built.