In this essay, I will show that Immanuel Kant is wrong to think that the only good without limitation is the good will. My first step in defending this thesis will be to review Kant’s argument about how the good will is intrinsically good. I will then try to undermine his view by showing it supports implausible claims. For example, the premise of Kant’s claim is that good will is unconditioned. However, the good will may depend on outside factors to bring about good in a person.
Instead of focusing on consequences, deontological ethics focus on duties and obligation: things we ought to do regardless of the consequences. While utilitarian ethics focuses on producing the greatest happiness for the greatest number, deontological ethics focuses on what makes us worthy of happiness. For Kant, as for the Stocis and other who emphasize duty, we are worthy of happiness only when we do our duty. As Kant explained, morality “is not properly the doctrine of how we are to make ourselves happy but of how we are to become worthy of happiness.” For Kant, morality is not a “doctrine of happiness” or set of instructions on how to become happy. Rather, morality is the “rational condition of happiness”
JUSTICE IN NICOMACHEAN ETHICS: Aristotle observed in book V of the nicomachean ethics that the word justice is has a double meaning as: “Justice can mean either lawfulness or fairness, since injustice is lawlessness and unfairness. The laws encourage people to behave virtuously, so the just person, who by definition is lawful, will necessarily be virtuous. Virtue differs from justice because it deals with one’s moral state, while justice deals with one’s relations with others. Universal justice is that state of a person who is generally lawful and fair. Particular justice deals with the “divisible” goods of honor, money, and safety, where one person’s gain of such goods results in a corresponding loss by someone else.” TYPES OF JUSTICE: Following are the three main types of justice in accordance with Aristotle: Distributive justice (This deals with the distribution of burden) Compensatory justice (This deals in the matter of compensating persons for wrong doing) Retributive justice (This involves the
There is a noticeable concern that virtue ethics leaves us hostage to luck. This is commonly referred to as ‘Moral Luck’. Morality is concerned about the responsibility and relevance of praise or blame. Nevertheless, only actions performed under conscious choice are praised or blamed. The assumption that a ‘good’ person should be formed from one mould is challenged by Friedrich Nietzsche.
Utilitarianism is a normative moral theory based on consequentialism-its fundamental idea is that “do what produces the best consequence”. In more detail the theory dictates that actions are only right if they promote happiness and produce the greatest amount of happiness; “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.”(Mill 1863) http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill2.htm Utilitarianism states that pleasure and happiness are intrinsically valuable and that pain and suffering are intrinsically invaluable and that every action that has value should either promote happiness or impede suffering. This emphasis on happiness or pleasure as a guide to making moral decisions, makes it a type of hedonism known as Hedonistic Utilitarianism and thus it can be criticized in a similar way to hedonism. (Luke Mastin,2008http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_utilitarianism.html.
Consequentialism refers to the principle that “an act’s rightness or wrongness should be judged by its consequences.”10 This guided us during decision-making that we should choose an action which can maximize good consequences. 1 Utilitarianism, which represents the most well-known form of consequentialism, stated that we should make our choices with the one produces the maximum pleasure for the largest number of people.2 This theory has long been subject to criticism for failing to do the moral rightness. In this essay, I shall discuss three main criticisms of consequentialist approach to decision making addressed in class and how we can respond to tthem. 1) Failure to respect individuals’ rights As per Bernard Williams, “Utilitarianism fails to respect the fundamental integrity of a person”.3 As long as the majority are satisfied, minorities can be abused. As discussed in the frictional example of ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’, by living in a Omelas society where utilitarianism prevails, our wellbeing is said to be built on the misery of others.4 However, every coin has two sides.
If we follow this line of thinking there must be a superordinate good that all actions ultimately seek. Aristotle sums this up writing, “Suppose, then, that the things achievable by action have some end that we wish for because of itself… Clearly, this end will be good, that is to say, the best good” (1094a 18-22). Moreover, the existence of a superordinate good does beg the question, of what exactly this good is; the next premise of Aristotle’s argument addresses this very question. As put by Aristotle, “Now happiness, more than anything else, seems complete without qualification. For we always choose it because of itself’ (1097a 37-1097b
From following both of these we arrive at an imperative and it is categorical. Kant also discussed the importance of perfect and imperfect duties in relation to good morality between humans. He suggested that although we have ‘moral leeway’ in how or when we perform imperfect duties, we must ensure that we always succeed in carrying out perfect duties: ‘they must be done’ as negative duties are ‘more stringent’ than positive duties (Kamm,
Mill also defends the unprovability the utilitarian axiom. But also argues saying that, because we want happiness fact, this is the greatest good; and if it is for everyone, it will be for everyone. Sidgwick goes one step further by stating that the principle of utility is known by intuition; Moore also end up claiming the intuitive evidence for utilitarianism. However, and consequently, as was happened with the conception of the good in general, here empiricism has come to reject the intuitive evidence for it as dangerous sign of an arbitrary dogmatism, as they say, is one of private and subjective criteria. Thus, more recent utilitarian defend his doctrine from a position or non-cognitive justification, not rational.
This is supposed to allow us to determine which action has the most benefits or lower total costs and is therefore moral. On the other hand, under the rule utilitarianism, we look at individual acts to see whether they produce more pleasure than the alternatives. If the actions produce more pleasure or have lower costs, then they are the moral types of actions. Rule utilitarianism’s basic strategy is to limit utilitarian analysis to the evaluation of moral rules. Theorists came up with the rule utilitarianism as a response to different concerns critics had about utilitarianism.
The ultimate goal of this theory is to bring happiness to those involved and to also prevent evil and unhappiness within the group (Bentham, 39). The same goes for an individual. Whatever option would bring that person the greatest pleasure would be the right choice and all other options would be wrong because they would be bringing them pain. Bentham states that when you consider an individual or a group then you can determine the value of the pleasure or pain felt in a situation through evaluating its intensity, duration, certainty/ uncertainty, propinquity/ remoteness, fecundity, and purity (41). This means that you can determine the amount of pleasure or pain a person will feel depending on how greatly it scores on these
In his brief essay, “On a Supposed Right to Lie from Altruistic Motives”, Immanuel Kant emphasizes how essential it is to be truthful and how our duty to be truthful outweighs any other duties we have to ourselves to ourselves or to humanity. Altruistic can be described as a genuinely moral act. People who are altruistic take action for the benefit of others and deem other people’s interests more important than their own interests. Kant believes that people should always do what is right, no matter what the outcome holds. I affirm that Kant believes praising truthfulness above all other duties because he believes it is morally wrong to hurt the dignity of others.
John Stuart Mill is a utilitarian. He believes that all sentient creators are psychologically hedonistic; that we naturally seek out pleasures and avoid pains (Pg. 88). As a utilitarian, he focuses on ethical hedonism, the idea that we ought to maximize our happiness. To Mill, the right actions to take are those that promote happiness, the wrong actions to take are those that promote pain (Pg.
This alludes to the notion that as beings designated personhood, we have dignity and self-worth that is intrinsic (Sandel, p. 98). Therefore, for Kant, it is tantamount that people are inherently valued, and that values can determine the validity of an act. Thus, the use of derogatory, exclusionary, binary, and phallocentric language is a manifestation of valuing people incorrectly and negating their dignity. It is the morally correct way to value a person when the intentions are authentic. As people who have dignity and view and define ourselves are moral, we must stop using these forms of language simply because it doesn’t respect the dignity of others.