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Human Freedom As The Basis Of Morality.

1258 words - 5 pages

According to Kant, feeling of obligation is a moral feeling, a respect for the moral law. It has no external source and it is not imposed. The notion of obligation comes from us as rational, free beings. Human reason and freedom can only be source of moral law that is universal and binds everybody. Feeling of obligation cannot come from our knowledge-oriented experience because principles that directs the will in our relationships with objects are subjective ones and therefore a universal moral law cannot come form them. Second, it cannot come from basic principles such as cogito because these ideas stay above human reason and cannot be known and represented. Thirdly, because moral law can only come form us as rational, free human beings, we decide what we ought to do and we are not imposed what we must do.Feeling of obligation cannot be derived from our experiences with objects because in our relationships with objects we use our subjective maxims and it cannot be raised to a moral universal law. Moral law determines our will and reason is the ground for determining our will. Moral law is finding out what among our wills can serve as a universal principle for our moral action. Will is always conditioned by objects and nature around us. When we will something and transfer it into action, the principle that determines our will is only valid for us. Kant calls these kinds of principles maxims. There is no consensus among maxims. We always start with maxims whenever we will something. However, a moral law must be valid for everyone. Thus, we should be able to translate our subjective maxim into an objective law and make it valid for everyone. Kant expresses this idea in these words: "So act that the maxim of your will always hold at the same time as the principle giving universal law". There are practical principles for wills whose determining ground are objects. Our experiences with these objects are based on pleasure or pain we get from these objects. In that case, will is based on something external and is determined by an object, which is expected to give satisfaction. That kind of will is based on self-love. While turning this will into action, we place ourselves higher than others caring about our own satisfaction. However, what people seek from the experiences with these objects, their expectations are different from each other. Thus, such principles, which presuppose an object, cannot be universally binding. If morality is based on such principle, it would differ among people and wills of people would contradict. Thus, knowledge-oriented experience cannot be a basis for our feeling of obligation. According to Kant, to gain knowledge we have to start with an object and knowledge cannot occur without experience. However, as long as we make our decisions in the realm of experiences, we cannot raise our maxim to a moral law. The only thing holds the maxim to pure will, a universal law regardless of natural laws or what inclination we have is the...

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