Kant's Moral Theory

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Many great minds in the history of the world tried to find the “birth” of morality; its development and its own place in the world. People provided tons of theories and lots of conjectures and still have not come to exact theory about the origin of moral ideas. However, there are some theories which are close to the truth and are based on Immanuel Kant’s “Categorical Imperative”, Edward Osborn Wilson’s “The Biological Basis of Morality” and on Andres Luco’s work “The Definition of Morality: Threading the Needle”. Their theories differ from each other, however, in some places they share the same position on morality. This paper closely examines their theories from a various perspectives and answers to the question of where the origin of moral…show more content…
Every human being has his own dignity and a free will to do whatever a human being wants. Considering that Kant says “Every man has a rightful claim to respect from his fellow men, and he is also bound to show respect to every other man in return.” (J. W. Ellington, 1983, p.462). In other words, this quote leads us to the golden rule of ethics which is “treat others as you want treat yourself”. Thereby, the free will of one man should not touch the dignity of another man. Thus, Kant considers free will as the main source of morality. Additionally, Kant insists on universal duties that human beings should follow. So this is called Categorical Imperative which is based on such principle as never treat anyone merely as a means to an end. Rather, treat everyone as an end in…show more content…
According to E.O. Wilson human beings have moral instincts that lie even in criminals and Wilson provides example of Prisoners’ Dilemma where two prisoners have various options, but eventually they choose option to cooperate with each other. Wilson says “Criminal gangs have turned this principle of calculation into an ethical precept: Never rat on another member; always be a stand-up guy.” (1998, p.118). In other words, it means that moral sense the same as language is an inborn thing in human beings and human nature tends to be moral. Furthermore, I believe that human beings are born with the moral sense in order to survive and provide stability in society. Certainly, some people behave more or less morally, however, that happens not only because of the nature of humans but because of nurture and subsequent influence on people’s nature. Following that, it would be a mistake to presume that religion and God to be the origin of moral ideas, because humans themselves invented an image of God and the rules that people should
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