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Kant's Categorical Imperative - Essay Example

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Kant's Categorical Imperative

His argument is that the intention behind an act is what makes the action moral rather the consequences of the act. He also suggests that a person’s action as a result of his goodwill is a moral action. Kant’s moral theory emphasizes more on the duty rather than the consequences of an action. This property makes scholars to term Kantian ethics as deontological (Kant, p.56). Deontological ethics claim that some actions are intrinsically wrong while others are intrinsically right. According to Kant, this concept is an order that requires the obedience of the subordinates to it as if it is a moral duty. The subordinate’s obedience to the duty is a requirement that does not regard individual desires. This enables the creation of an unconditional society with the basis of reason and free will. The function of categorical imperatives is to act as a test for the principles of our actions and check whether they are moral or not. The principle behind these categorical imperatives is the principle of fair play (Kant, p.84). The idea of fair play means that a person cannot make an exception for himself for his own personal gains. According to Kant, humans can act according to the categorical imperative by taking three forms of action. The philosopher argues that humans should act only according to the adages which they can will to be universal laws. This implies that humans should act in ways that are universally acceptable (Kant, p.112). He also suggests that humans should treat humanity as an end to itself and never merely as a means to their ends. This implies that humans should perceive their race as having the ability to accomplish many different issues. They should not treat humans as a means to satisfying their needs but rather as a means through which they can achieve their targets (Kant, p.23). Finally, the philosopher suggests that humans should act as though they are members in the kingdom of ends in which they are subject and sovereign at the same time. This implies that humans should obey the regulations and practices that govern their respective societies. This will ensure that the peaceful sharing of resources among the members of a society becomes a reality. The author argues that only human beings can follow the laws of their own choosing. This means that only humans are capable of acting rationally. They are the only creatures in the universe who are free and therefore capable of being rational and moral. The act of being rational means acting with a purpose in mind (Kant, p.241). I tend to disagree with the perceptions of the author since his theory suggests that a human being has moral obligations. This is not the case in reality since humans have the freedom to do what they want but face regulations from the law. Humans have the ability to reason between doing what is right and doing the opposite. The act of being free endows humans with unconditional ethics and dignity. The performance of immoral actions is self defeating and logically inconsistent. This is because the individuals cannot will that these immoral actions be made legal throughout the universe (Kant, p.115). This will consequently make promises to come to an abrupt end. It is also logically inconsistent that a person will prefer actions that do not serve his or her highest goals in life (Kant, p.77). Since the philosopher Kant is wrong about centrality of the categorical imperative to an ethical life, the future of morality will be unethical ...Show more

Summary

Kant’s Categorical Imperative Categorical imperative is a term that originates from a philosopher in Germany by the name of Immanuel Kant. It is a term he uses to assign to anything he considers to be unconditional, essential, and a complete moral procedure…
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Kants Categorical Imperative essay example
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