The Pros And Cons Of Kant's Categorical Imperative

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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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