This is because the consequences of the utilitarian mentality can’t be applied in all situations due to the dangerous outcomes it can lead to. Kantian ethics is concerned about practical reason and motives rather than the consequences of the action. In most cases, the utilitarian will base their actions on what the best result is for the greatest number of people, while Kant argues that a goodwill “is good only through its willing” (Kant, 2008, p. 106). In fact, Kant argues that even “with the greatest effort it should yet achieve nothing, and only the good will should remain…yet would it, like a jewel, still shine by its own light as something which has its full value in itself. Its usefulness or fruitlessness can neither augment nor diminish this value” (Kant, 2008, p. 106).
Kant states that it is possible for all of us to possess moral knowledge; given that we construct value it is clearly plausible that we can know what is valuable. However, if value realism is correct, then our epistemic access to value is much more puzzling. In Hill’s view, Kant does find moral knowledge puzzling and holds that epistemology is compatible with realism. Kant appears to claim that
When we act, whether or not we reach our ends that we intend to pursue, what we control is the reason behind those actions not the consequences of those actions. Kant presents the categorical imperative to pursue and establish the meaning of morality. Of the different formulations of the Categorical Imperative, the second formulation is perhaps the most instinctively persuasive. However, in spite of its intuitive appeal, even the most basic elements of the second formulation are surprisingly unclear and even controversial. The objective of this paper is to offer a consistent account of these issues, while recognizing alternative interpretations that Kant talks about.
Because each person does not know what values and norms another person has, in order to keep oneself safe, it causes people to draw away from others. Another reason why I disagree with this theory is because it is self-contradictory by stating that two views can both be right. If it is true that nothing is right or wrong, then why believe this theory if there are no absolute truths? By stating that there are no objective truths, that is an objective
In other words, reason is not concerned with morality but with speculative truth such as those of mathematics and physics. Morality for him is based on sentiments, natural feeling, natural tendencies and passion. These are what move man to action and they determine the choice of action. Moral approval and disapproval are based not just on rationality but also on sentiments, feelings and emotions. We approve actions to be good because of its natural inclinations and also because it pleases us, and we disapprove actions to be evil because there are no natural inclinations and also because they displease us.
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
Although I do understand that it is very difficult to know the true motives of an individual making a decision, I think it is less subjective than it is deemed to be. I peculiarly favor Immanuel Kant’s School of thought in the Deontological wing of Ethics. Kant’s moral philosophy is “Do the right thing, Do it because it is the right thing to do”. Kant believed that we should act from a sense of moral duty and act with the correct motives, without any regard to the consequences of our action. He emphasized that the motives would be morally correct if they adhered to two rules.
However, the fact that determinists also believe that there is no such things as human responsibility makes it difficult for us to accept. The logic may be adequate in the theory, yet it goes against the human disposition to assign blame. The next step would be to deny regret since the individual had no choice in doing what he did. The theory seems to have put the 'human' out of 'human action', leaving humans as some sort of pawns of destiny. Moreover, our 'actions' might also lack our 'doing something' since they are just results of conditions and events (Solomon, 2002).
He explains critical engagement is good for tolerance because, one is simply not putting up with something, but is showing respect by criticizing it. “But they also can’t ignore it, for to ignore something that is of central importance to someone else is demeaning and disrespectful. The only way to show respect for a way of life of which we disapprove is through active critical engagement.” (Schwartz, 14) Schwartz advocates that critical engagement is beneficial tolerance, however, critical engagement is a two-way street and could cause potential harm. “Misrecognition shows not just a lack of due respect. It can inflict a grievous wound, saddling its victims
Utilitarianism makes ethical decisions based on the results that the action will cause. However, for the Kantian theory, it is believed that human reason is the only pure good, and they disregard the consequences. Kant discusses that the mentioned human reason should be devoid of the influence of desires or emotions. This opposes the Utilitarian view that ignores motives of an action as not important and approves the consequences. According to Kant, a purely good act is performed due to the person’s obligation to the categorical imperative.