Ethics and the search for a good moral foundation first drew me into the world of philosophy. It is agreed that the two most important Ethical views are from the world’s two most renowned ethical philosophers Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. In this paper, I will explore be analyzing Mill’s Greatest Happiness Principle and Kant’s Categorical Imperative. In particular, I want to discuss which principle provides a better guideline for making moral decisions. And which for practical purposes ought to be taught to individuals. 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." When proceeding …show more content…
Is good really good without any qualification? Good doesn’t always result in good outcomes but can cause misery instead. For example, if I am trying to help people by going around campus and pulling cigarettes from people’s mouths and I get restraining order or beaten up etc. Another example is what if you are lying for the right reasons. For example, say you are hiding Jews in your basement and Nazis come looking for them. Would you lie to the Nazis? As Hume states, “first we need a desire or an inclination to do something, then we look to reason to fulfill it.” Hume’s objection to Kant’s principle is that reason doesn’t discover moral rules but morality stems from a feeling or sentiment. And even if we choose to follow Kant’s view that reason does discover morality is reason enough to motivate individuals to follow our
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I will also explain why I believe Kant’s theory is the most appropriate theory when answering moral questions in general. I believe that, although difficult, President Truman made the correct decision in deploying the atomic bomb on Japan. My opinion falls in line with Mill’s moral theory of Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist moral theory that focuses on the use of maximizing one’s utility for the best consequences for the
Many classical philosophers have given their voice to the nature of human life and what entails its climax. The very nature of human beings has been investigated, broadly, to establish a comprehensive understanding often pegged on morality. Yet, such thoughts have prompted diverse viewpoints with accompanying grounds or reasons. Happiness is an unending topic of discussion in philosophy. This paper explores the similarities and differences in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism to coin a position in whether or not happiness is the ultimate end that human society aspires to acquire.
This particular dilemma reiterates the notion of the Derivation of Duties that Kant discusses in his Categorical Imperative ethical approach. Kant explains that people have to learn to distinguish between perfect and imperfect duties. An example of a perfect duty would be that we should never commit murder under the circumstance, while an example of a imperfect duty be that we are required to treat all living beings with kindness and respect. The FWS are at a crossroads when it comes to satisfying both duties equally. Why should the barred owl be wiped out just to give the spotted owl better chance to thrive?
There are many different ways anyone can determine whether their actions are more towards the evil side than good. People might not recognize that they are hurting other individuals more than helping them. From the book, ‘Uncharted Territory’ created by Jim Burke, David Brooks wrote ‘The Humility Code’ based on morals he believed in. David Brooks moral code number 7 states, “If you make disciplined, caring choices, you are slowly engraving certain tendencies into your mind.
The Golden Rule Many philosophers have views on Ethics. The moral approaches of Kant, Mill, Aristotle, and Held are all vastly different. “Kant’s principle of morality is based on his belief that the means justifies the end” (O’Neil, Onora). Mill believes in Utilitarianism, believing that “one should act in a way that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people” (Mill, John, 118).
Thesis Statement: Origin of Morality Outline A.Universal Ethics 1.Karl Barth, The Command of God 2.Thomas Aquinas, The Natural Law 3.Thomas Hobbes, Natural Law and Natural Right 4.Immanuel Kant, The Categorical Imperative B.Morality and Practical Reason 1.Practical Reason a.Practical Reason and Practical Reasons C.Evolution of Morality 1.What makes Moral Creatures Moral 2.Explaining the Nature of Moral Judgments F. Answering Questions 1. What is the origin of Morality: Religion or Philosophy? 2. What does religion say about morality?
How do moral decisions differ from other kinds of decision? In general, how does a moral x differ from a non-moral x, whatever x may be? In this article, I examine an exegetical controversy regarding Kant 's theory of Morality which centers on this well-known topic. My enquiry will provide a fresh point of moral decision for the nature of the moral value.
Introduction The Inherent Value of a Good Will Kant’s moral philosophy is an a priori theory, which presents itself as absolutely necessary. He writes that an a posteriori method can provide an account of the “is” – a factual description of what we actually do – but cannot provide an account of the “ought” – a command we must follow in any given situation. Kant draws a distinction between conditional goods and unconditional goods. Conditional goods depend on the existence of another fact for their goodness, while unconditional goods hold independently of other facts. Money and happiness are two examples of conditional goods, which Kant provides.
“What does it feel like to be moral?” Kant and the Subjective Vitality of the Moral Law Obeying the categorical imperative, by definition, requires a person to abstract from their conscious inclinations, acting from a higher kind of motivation that is not oriented toward personal gain. What kind of conscious mental state, precisely, is denoted by Kant’s references to this kind of motivation, however, is not immediately obvious. It certainly cannot be a mere desire for the end toward which an action prescribed by the moral law is geared – this would place the action right back into the sphere of inclinations. Nor, I will argue, can it be a desire to obey the categorical imperative as such – at least, not in the conventional sense of “desire”
Throughout time, it is said that happiness and having good character are the goals of ones life. This was especially true for Aristotle around the Renaissance period as well as John Stuart Mill in the 17th century. Equally these philosophers have similar views of happiness and character morality with very distinct ideals of what it is that constitutes happiness and the relation of character to morality. To Mill and Aristotle, they both agree humans are the only species capable of moral reason, and to thus have a higher capacity for happiness than oher animals. This parallels John Stuart Mills belief that a “beast’s pleasures do not satisfy a human being’s concept of happiness.
I agree with Kant 's notion that the maxim is very important step before starting any action. Humans need to focus more to get the perfect results. I think the process of thinking represents the first step of maxim if an individual seeks for doing something. Moreover, I believe that the maxim does not have a specific structure because people have a desire to achieve the positive outcomes without assign a clear way for doing that. This is what Kant explains it as "irrational" actions during the text.
Throughout history many great philosophers have attempted to unravel the origins of virtues by developing moral theories of their own. This document is designed to provide the reader with an overview of some of the more popular theories concerning morals. Three of the most popular moral theories are… Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism. Though Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism differ in many ways, they also share similar fundamentals. Utilitarianism is a highly acclaimed theory that is morally based on consequentialism.
In the Introduction of his book, Utilitarianism, Mill remarks that it is rare that moral thinkers do not provide a list of a priori principles or offer a guiding first principle or an area of common ground. In Utilitarianism, Mill’s view is that right actions are the intention of promoting happiness while wrong actions are the products of the reverse of happiness. Happiness
To begin with, Mill establishes the principle of utility focuses on man as a progressive being (Ch 1, p 11). He borrows from Wilhelm Humboldt, stating that man must permanently move towards the development of his faculties, which itself is dependent on freedom and individuality (Ch 3, p 2). Mill argues this must manifest in a diversity of living experience, as he says "persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow"(Ch 3, p 11). From these ideas, the importance of variety of lifestyles, and the liberty to pursue, such becomes evident, and from this, it can be argued that suicide can be considered one of such diverse varieties of choices to pursue. Second, the harm principle represents an important interpretation of the lines drawn between the liberties of people and their impacts on others.