Immanuel Kant's Theory Essay

769 words - 3 pages

Immanuel Kant's Theory

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) discussed many ethical systems and reasoning’s some were based on a belief that the reason is the final authority for morality. In Kant’s eyes, reason is directly correlated with morals and ideals. Actions of any sort, he believed, must be undertaken from a sense of duty dictated by reason, and no action performed for appropriateness or solely in obedience to law or custom can be regarded as moral. A moral act is an act done for the "right" reasons. Kant would argue that to make a promise for the wrong reason is not moral you might as well not make the promise. You must follow a certain code in order to find truth behind your actions. Kant believed that you should treat everyone with value, dignity, and respect.
Our reasoning ability will always allow us to know what our duty is. Kant described two types of common commands given by reason: the hypothetical imperative, which dictates a given course of action to reach a specific end; and the categorical imperative, which dictates a course of action that must be followed because of its rightness and necessity. The categorical imperative is the basis of morality and was stated by Kant in these words: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will and general natural law." Therefore, before proceeding to act, we must decide what rule we need to follow if we were to act, whether we are willing for that rule to be followed by everyone all over. Kant believes that moral rules have no exceptions. It is wrong to kill in all situations, even those of self-defense. This belief comes from the Universal Law theory. Since we would never want murder to become a universal law, then it has to be not moral at all. Kant believes killing could never be universal, therefore it is wrong in each and every situation. There are never any extenuating circumstances, such as self-defense. I believe Kant is right in making certain moral and ethical codes exempt from being a universal law because there shouldn’t be different rules for different laws. The rules and laws should apply to every situation.
An act is either wrong or right, based on his universality law. For example, giving money to a...

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