In his famous work “The Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals” Kant tries to develop a moral philosophy which depends on fundamental concepts of reason and tries to show that while making moral choices we should use reason. Kant, as an Enlightenment philosopher, places all his confidence in reason. In the first chapter, we generally recognized that an action is moral if and only if it is performed for the sake of duty. Duty commands itself as imperative. There are two types of imperatives as hypothetical and categorical.
One may expound it as necessary not merely to an uncertain, merely possible aim, but to an aim, that one can presuppose safely and a priori with every human being, because it belongs to his essence. Now one can call skill in the choice of means to his own greatest well-being prudence. In the narrowest sense. Thus the imperative that refers to the choice of means to one’s own happiness, i.e., the precept pf prudence, is always hypothetical; the action is commanded not absolutely but only as a means to another aim.” (Kant. Pg.24) These hypothetical imperatives are conditional and depend on desires rather than obligation.
They are: a case against suicide, a lying promise, developing one’s own talents, and helping others (G 4:430). I believe that Kant’s argument for the impermissibility of suicide to be especially strong. Kant says that a person who is contemplating committing suicide must ask of themself if that action is “consistent with the idea of humanity” (G 4:429). The idea here is that in choosing suicide, which is an autonomous choice, a person directs their humanity towards its own destruction. It is by allowing such violence against them that that person is showing disrespect towards their own rational nature.
Introduction: Kant’s Categorical Imperative and the Emptiness Charge in Kant’s Moral Philosophy Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy is mostly remembered for its central thesis, the Categorical Imperative (CI). According to Kant, rational beings experience the moral law as a Categorical Imperative. The Categorical Imperative commands universally and unconditionally, from which all duties are derived. Kant articulates the Categorical Imperative through several formulations. The most prominent formulations of the Categorical Imperative are known as the Formula of Universal Law (CI1), the Humanity Formulation (CI2) and the Kingdom of Ends Formulation (CI3).
By the end of this essay I would like to prove that O’Neill’s account of Kant’s moral theory is a much easier and appropriate way of looking at things. Being good, in others words moral, means what? Kant is that the only thing without qualification that is good is the act of having a good will. The good will is the will to do the right thing and everything else (ie. money, courage etc) can be used for good or evil.
It is suggestive of unselfishness, altruism, humanity, and promoting the good of others(9).The principle of beneficence is often simply stated as an obligation to act in ways that promote good. This can be expanded to include both the prevention and removal of harm as well as doing good. That is to say, we should act in ways that prevent harm, remove harm, and promote good. Beneficence is not simply the opposite of non-maleficence. Some would argue that while people always have a duty to do no harm, we don’t always have a duty to help.
"Act that you use humanity, whether in your person or in another, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means." This is the translation of Immanuel Kant 's second categorical imperative which was also known as 'Mere Means Principle ' or 'The Principle of Humanity '. This principle put forth by the great philosopher attempts to give us parameters on, when using people is justified and when it is not. Using other people for our personal benefit cannot be justified morally. Their desires, wishes and intentions also need to be taken into consideration and need to be given equal weight like ours.
Conclusion: -It is morally permissible to lie to a friend in order to preserve his/her happiness or well-being. Friendship is an integral part of our live, that fact is predetermined and undebatable. Where honesty stands only as a moral virtue, consideration of which is just a matter of your personal preference and level of your intelligence. Therefore friendship is a more important value than honesty. Intelligent relationships with other individuals is an essential criteria of any civilized society, so it’s important to understand what the accepted definition of friendship is, and what are its supporting virtues.
Support: We should bear in mind that a positive attitude can make our life more hopeful. Example: First and foremost, a positive attitude forces us to carry on our tasks. Each of us may have some problems or failures in our tasks, yet maintaining a positive thinking will help us to not only say no with ‘surrender’ but also improve our patience. In addition, a positive thinking can help us very much with staying away from anxiety as well as negative thinking, and it also builds up our confidence. Furthermore, Remez Sasson on his website states about ‘the power of positive thinking’ that “Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.” Support: When we make some mistakes or we are in trouble, it is very essential that we feel optimistic.