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.
Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory. This identifies it within a framework of regarding the morality of an action being guided by the consequences it produces. The normative morality of utilitarianism places its locus of the rightfulness of an action being that which produces the most happiness and the least of pain. The action of wrongfulness is that which is adverse, produces a higher result of pain and less of happiness. This is the standard central foundation of this theory.
Polus believes doing whatever is good for oneself is what matters. He does not understand or really accept this claim that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit injustice because he believes justice is relative. Polus claims that he believes justice depends on the individual person and what is beneficial for oneself. However, Socrates denounces this idea that only good matters this in his scene of brutal murder when Socrates says “and if it seems good to me that one of them must have his head smashed, it shall straightway be smashed” (469d5). Polus denounces this instance, saying it is different.
In everyday life we make decisions, which in some way affect those around us, but should those decisions benefit us as an individual, or should they benefit the “greater good”? Utilitarianism, based on utility, states that we should, in fact, act for the greater good of the greater majority, rather than what we consider to be best for ourselves. The ethical theory of Utilitarianism was proposed by John Stuart Mills from a qualitative hedonistic view which states that there is only “one foundational good” (Burnor and Raley). Because Utilitarianism states that there is only one right moral standard, it falls under the view of Objectivism, in which there is only one universal moral standard. According to Utilitarianism, Popular Relativism
Consequentialists are a group of philosophers who asses whether an act is right or wrong based on the consequences of the action. There are different types of consequentialism including: ethical egoism, act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism. These three branches of consequentialism will be discussed later in this paper. A supererogatory act is something that is good but is not obligatory; these acts involve rendering aid to others that go above moral requirement. Consequentialists claim that there are no supererogatory acts; an act either produces the most pleasure and is therefore morally good, or it brings about pain and is morally bad.
There are two types of utilitarianism: Act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act Utilitarianism is a belief in which, an individual’s actions are moral as long as the actions produce the greatest outcome possible. Rule utilitarianism is a belief in which, an action is morally right, as long as it justified in accordance to a particular law. Utilitarianism is less complicated to understand (compared to other moral theories) because it consists of “doing whatever produces the best consequences” (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Virtue Ethics). Mill viewed the greatest happiness principle as the cornerstone of morals, he
One of these philosophers is Kant, another one is Aristotle. For Kant, our moral decisions depend on some duties and we ought to act as required by our choices but for Aristotle, if our decisions aim at some goods, they are absolutely ethical. In my opinion, Aristotelian arguments for moral decision
The other theory is Deontology, Immanuel Kant a German philosopher; he develops a theory that the only thing that has intrinsically value is a good will. In this theory an action only can be good if it is maxim and if you can universalize it. This have 2 distinct issues the intentions that are worthy of praise or blame and the actions that can be good or bad. (Fundamentals of Ethics, 162) Kant says: “what has intrinsic value? Act only on universalizable maxims.
As a Kantian, the ultimate goal is to focus on our maxims and not on how much pain or pleasure the act could possibly produce. So as a result, Kant would argue that Jim should not kill the Indian man, even if it would save the other Indian men. The reason why is because Kant does not believe in using people as mere means, it wouldn’t be considered a conceivable maxim, and it would be betraying a perfect duty. The definition of deontology is having the belief that you do what’s right because you have a moral duty. For Kant, his ethics are grounded on reason and pure reason alone.
His choice to “take one’s route analytically from common cognition to the determination of its supreme principle” suggests a causality (Kant 4:392): “common cognition” guides the rational agent to the categorical imperative (the “supreme principle”), which allows the agent the ability to create moral legislation. Yet, Kant’s language here, describing his method of inquiry, is far from supportive of an entirely constructivist view of morality. His movement from “common cognition” to the “determination of its supreme principle” is rhetorical, not philosophical. The possessive pronoun “its” in the phrase “the determination of its supreme principle” suggests that, rather than common cognition being the guiding force of the supreme principle of morality, it is the principle which guides cognition. Hence, the supremacy of this principle over cognition and rationality contradicts the constructivist position that reason is the cause of