Immanuel Kant and Unwanted Pregnancy Name Subject Teacher Date Immanuel Kant and Unwanted Pregnancy The Life-Changing Decision A few years back, one of my neighbors, whom I would just call Michelle, had an unwanted pregnancy. It was something that resulted from her relationship with her boyfriend of only a few months…
I heard from other neighbors that she was so confused whether to have the baby aborted or not, for she was still in university at that time. Michelle’s father was just an ordinary office worker and her mother was a plain housewife and a mother of four small children. I did not know exactly how she struggled with her decision to save the baby and to take care of him. Nevertheless, she told me one day that although having to take care of the baby was something that dramatically affected the family financial situation in a negative way, she just felt that it was not the right thing to do if she had decided to have it aborted. The Nature of the Belief and the Beliefs and Values behind Such Decision Michelle’s family is a Catholic family and perhaps it is because of this that made her decide not to have the baby aborted. Catholics are Christians and thus believe in the sanctity of life and its greater value than money or other circumstances. According to Michelle, although her family knew that with the baby the financial situation will just grow from bad to worse, they helped her make a decision by telling her that regardless of the circumstances, the baby had to live for life was sacred. Her family believed this without any reason or any explanation. They simply just believed it. Immanuel Kant’s Theory According to 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, “The moral law commands as a law of freedom through motives wholly independent of nature and of its harmony with our faculty of desire” (Chaffee, 2011). This means that morality is not something that is natural or innate in someone, and that it is not synonymous to instinct. Therefore, no one is by nature a moral person and that no one is morally good if only he acts according to his nature and his instincts. The idea is that, as a law of freedom, the law of morality is a system by which morality is determined through one’s freedom to make a decision. In short, morality is only determined by one’s motives. Moreover, “Not being nature’s cause, [one’s] will cannot by its own strength bring nature” (Chaffee, 2011). This means that when one makes a decision or exercises his own will, then he cannot possibly express his nature at the same time. Nature and will are therefore not synonymous. But in this concept of morality, where does the idea of happiness come in? According to Kant, “The ‘highest good’ entails the idea of people being happy in direct proportion to their moral goodness” (Chaffee, 2011). This means that when one is moral or when one willfully makes a moral decision, then he must necessarily be happy. Kant, however, does not say whether it is moral goodness that brings about happiness, or vice versa. All he says is that the happiness of people being happy is in “direct proportion” to their moral goodness (Chaffee, 2011). This therefore means that any morally good person must necessarily be happy, and any happy person must necessarily be morally good. In short, there is an exclusive and mutual interdependence between happiness and moral goodness, and that Kant seems to be saying that the existence of each one depends on each other. However, according to Kant, “Because a direct correlation between happiness and moral goodness does not occur in this life, reason demands that we assume that this correlation will occur in the next life” (Chaffee, 2011) ...
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