Categorical Imperatives are rules you absolutely have to follow, which does not include your religious outlook, your desires, and or moral obligations. There are two famous rules/laws that we can identify and use in this case. The first one is “Act such that the maximum (principal) of your action can be willed to become universal law.” What Kant is saying here is we should only take action that can be
The implication of this being that in order for an action to be moral why it is done must be able to be why it is done by anyone, anywhere, at any time. A clear example of this imperative comes when one considers lying. If one lies and presumes that lie to be moral, that lie must then be able to be made the universal law. If lying were the universal law one could not lie as lying relies on truth-telling as universal law to serve its function. In his second formulation, Kant states "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."
“Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”. This idea had been around for a long time through many teachings of religion. The phrase has evolved from “ Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” to “treat others the way you want to be treated”. Although Kant believed that people should think logically rather than religiously, Kant believed that religion had a good foundation for societies. One of the ten commandment reads “thou shalt not steal”.
Kantians believe that the rightness or wrongness of an action does not depend on the consequences, but on whether they fulfill a duty. They must act in a way that will produce the greatest overall amount of good in the world. In this view there is no obligation to give money to a homeless person, but it is the right thing to do. Kant’s supreme moral principle is the categorical imperative. The categorical imperative is a moral law that is unconditional for all agents because of intrinsic value.
Two Interpretations Deontology (Immanuel Kant) Critique Deontology means the study or duty or obligation. Kant believed that we "are morally obligated to act in accordance with a certain set of principles and rules regardless of outcome" (sevenpillarsinstitute.org). This led to what we know as the Categorical Imperative: "Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that will it should become a universal law" (csus.edu). A lot of time this is compared to the Golden rule, "treat everyone the way you want to be treated".
Kant: Obviously I don’t expect individuals to follow these ethical rules to a tee. In fact, it is very difficult for us humans to follow these. However, in an ideal world, we’d only act such that we’d hope others act towards us, and this theory would produce moral laws that we can use all the time. Lynch:
I hope to convince the reader that Kant’s Categorical Imperative is the better way to live a morally conscious life and more practical to follow as well. First I will briefly describe both Kant’s and Mill’s principles. Then I will go on to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both. Finally, I hope to provide a counterargument for some of Kant’s Categorical Imperatives downfalls. Kant states the Categorical Imperative as: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will and general natural law."
In this essay I will explore Kant’s absolute view of the human moral. Kant uses examples to explain what it means to be moral, and if that moral behavior is universal. Kant argues that in order for an action to be considered good, all its intentions must be good as well. We undertake tasks because we think they will serve as a moral duty. Kant argues that a moral law that is almost innate in all of us holds us all—there is an unwritten code that most of us try and follow.
For the second way our maxim can fail, contradiction of the will, Kant relates to the example of helping others. Even if a maxim can be conceived of as a universal law, if it brings our will to conflict with itself, it is considered morally unacceptable. It is reasonably likely to universalize the maxim ‘not to help others in need’. Although the world certainly would not be a amiable place, Kant does not assert that an action is wrong just because, if everyone did it, the consequences would be unfavourable. He tests whether we could will a particular maxim to be universal law, not whether we’d like the results.
Kant expresses his belief that there is a hypothetical and categorical imperative. Hypothetical imperatives are rules of skill, and are usually framed in the sense of cause and effect. For instance, if you want something then you need to take whatever actions are necessary to get it. Let’s say that you want an apple from a tree. If you want to get an apple from a tree you have to to the tree, figure out a way to get to the apple and pick it off.
The categorical imperative is a central concept of the Kantian ethic according to Kant, all the morality of the human being must be able to be reduced to a single fundamental commandment, born of reason, not of divine authority, from which all the others can be deduced Human obligations. He defined the concept of categorical imperative as any proposition that declares action (or inaction) as necessary. In his opinion, the previous moral maxims were based on hypothetical imperatives, so they were not obliged to comply in any situation and from any moral, religious or ideological approach. According to Kant, the only thing that is good, always and in every situation, is goodwill. And to say that a person acts by goodwill is tantamount to saying
The distinction between right and wrong has been a matter of discussion for centuries, whether expressed through philosophical essays, social organisation or artistic creation. Deontological ethics is a philosophical theory which dissects acts into right and wrong on the basis of the adherence of an act to a specific rule. One of the many formulations of deontology is Kantianism, a view introduced by Immanuel Kant, which argues that the basis for morality are motives for one’s action rather than the consequences of it and searches a justification for one’s duty to behave in a certain manner. One of the critiques or counter positions of Kant’s ethics is Sartrean existentialism as it denies the possibility of an absolute moral system and focuses on the individual morality rather than social one and bases on one’s commitment to his chosen values. Yet drawing parallels between the two positions is far from impossible, despite Sartre’s strong opposition to Kantian moral theory.
The final ethical theory is Kant’s deontology. Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who admire the stoics for their dedication to performing their duties and playing their part. He based his theory on duties, obligations, and rights. Its main focus is that everyone has an inherited right. It highlights the importance of respecting a person autonomy.
Deontology is contrasted with teology, which maintains that the rightness or wrongness of acts depends solely on ends or consequences. For deontologists, moral law is not defined by consequences, unlike that of egoism and utilitarian theory; instead, moral law is an end itself. There are four levels of deontological theory namely, basic-principle deontology, general-principle deontology, rule deontology and act deontology. Basic-principle deontology deals with logical priority to basic, fundamental, or ultimate principles. One known proponent of such level is Immanuel Kant, who gave rise to some of the most influential philosophy in Western history.