First of all, Kant 's second formulation of the categorical imperative specifies that "Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means. "(Kant) According to this point, people should help the hungry because of that they are humans. On the other hand, enforcing people to help the hungry make the situation opposition of the formula of Kant because there are always some who do not want to help them because of that they are human, but they help the hungry to not break the law. Thus, enforcing people to help the hungry does not make them treat the hungry as an end themselves. This point also embraces the Kant 's idea that motivation of action is more important than consequences.
In addition, he believes that “we just have to check that the act we have in mind will not use anyone as a mere means, and, if possible, that it will treat other persons as ends in themselves” (O’Neil, 2008, p. 113). This principle acts as a moral code implying that one should never treat a person merely as a means to an end. Overall, Kantian ethics focuses and recognizes the importance of the value of humanity. His categorical imperative ultimately leads to a “kingdom of ends,” in which norms that deny the value of humanity are not permitted. In my opinion, it would be difficult to disagree because most individuals value their own life.
There must be a categorical imperative that Kant states “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can concomitantly will that it should become a universal law.”. Kant claims his categorical imperative is the only principle of morality (the only categorical imperative), we are entitled to expect that it determine the principles of morality uniquely. Since, if it leaves multiple incompatible sets of maxims open (we will have no basis for choosing among them), then there being no other principles of morality on which to base the choice besides categorical imperative. Assume that a person who believes s/he is acting from duty as the universal law suggested, it is possible that this person believes ‘false’ universal moral law. CI actually an imperative cannot tell what is moral or not because it doesn't really tell us what actions to perform.
Therefore, it is believed that only actions derived from duty have moral values, and those descended from inclination should not be considered worth morally in any case. This theory differs considerably from Aristotle’s beliefs in Nichomachean Ethics when he argues that taking the right action by inclination is a proof of a moral character. Moreover, duty is necessary to create universal rules. One of these rules states that we should act upon pure intentions because moral rules cannot be excused, hence lying is always wrong. Unfortunately, there is an issue with pure reasoning- every experience is different.
Next it needs to fit in a world in where everyone supports and acts on the maxim. Finally, it needs to be asked if the goal of the maxim can be achieved by everyone. If the answer to the last question is yes, then the maxim is universalizable" (165). Using the example of the reckless archer who unintentionally skewers their neighbor, the maxim of the archer was not to inflict pain or potentially murder their neighbor and instead was to practice archery in order to improve their technique. This maxim is an example of a goal that can be supported and effectively achieved in the world (165).
One’s sense of duty reflects the mindset one has. For some, duty is important and for others it’s not. For Marcus, duty is what one needs to do in life, like how he ruled as Emperor of Rome during his lifetime even though it wasn’t what he wanted to do. Marcus also says that this sense of duty aligns with being a virtuous person because one would be doing what is good for the whole society by playing their role in life. This means that one wouldn’t have time to take part in worldly pleasures because they aren’t useful.
Immanuel Kant introduces the concept of the Categorical Imperative in his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals as the supreme principle of morality. The supreme principle of morality, posits Kant, is a moral law that is universal, unconditional, and from where we can derive all morality; hence, it must be adequate to inform all moral conduct (G 4:417). In formulating the categorical imperative, Kant develops the Formula of Humanity, which is as follows; “so act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means” (G 4:429). The Formula of Humanity, then, is a candidate for the formulation of the supreme principle of morality. The Formula of Humanity
Similarly, these ideas were expressed earlier in this chapter through the misinterpretation and changing in the Kantian ideology regarding morally upstanding citizens. The true definition of Kant 's categorical imperative states that a person should "act as if the principle of your actions were the same as that of the legislator or of the law of the land" (Arendt, 136). But, Eichmann interpreted Kant 's categorical imperative to read "act in such a way that the Führer, if he knew your action, would approve it" (Arendt, 136). Firstly, this change in the interpretation illustrates how the Führer 's word was law, which allowed for Hitler to change the moral code of the Third Reich. Therefore, people, like Eichmann, believed they were morally upstanding citizens, because they acted in the way that the Führer would approve.
Volkswagen supports projects that promote culture and art, education, science, health and sport. They believe that as a company with global operations they have a duty of responsibility towards the global society that cannot be fulfilled simply by applying charity. In short, Volkswagen’s code of ethics does help the company in meeting the company’s social responsibility. It’s about making life better for everyone, not just a few. From individuals to communities, environment to enterprise.
Q.2 How and why does Rachels modify Kants categorical imperative? Are there any problems with this modification? Immanuel Kant uses the categorical imperative as a means of living. Imperative meaning a command and categorical meaning a necessary in itself with reference to nothing else , defines it as something which is mandatory to do or follow in all situations. An example would be if a thief broke into your house and demanded you to tell him where your most prized jewels are, acoording to kant and the categorical imperative, you must tell the thief the truth, you cannot lie as it breaks the moral rule “thou shalt not lie.” Even though you wish to keep the jewels, it is your moral responsibility to tell the truth at all times due to this rule.