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Explain the difference between a hypothetical and categorical imperative - Do you think that the categorical imperative, as presented by Kant, provides a sufficient guide to what is right or wrong?

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Explain the difference between a hypothetical and categorical imperative. Do you think that the categorical imperative, as presented by Kant, provides a sufficient guide to what is right or wrong? A categorical imperative is an absolute and universal moral obligation. One of the most famous is Kant's categorical imperative because it is through him that the phrase is widely known. According to Kant, "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will, that it become a universal law." Another variation, which he used, was "Act only on a principle all rational agents could act on." Most religious moral systems comprise categorical imperatives. In Kant's philosophy, it denotes an absolute, unconditional requirement that allows no exceptions, and is both required and justified as an end in itself, not as a means to some other end; the opposite of a hypothetical imperative. ...read more.


From studying the Categorical imperative presented by Kant I have been able to see that Kant's views on immorality occurs when the Categorical imperative is not followed: when a person attempts to set a different standard for themselves then for the rest of humanity. Once Kant has derived his categorical imperative he applies it to a number of examples. The second example is that of an unfaithful promise. Kant applies his imperative to a person who is short of money who intends to ask for a loan, promising to repay it, but with no intention of doing so. When Kant applies the categorical imperative to this situation he discovers that it leads to a contradiction, for if breaking promises were to become universal then no person would ever agree to a promise and promises would disappear. Kant connects rationality with morality, and sees contradictory behaviour as immoral. ...read more.


The categorical imperative sometimes seems to give false negatives in terms of what is permitted behaviour. For example, I cannot will that everyone in the world should eat in my favourite restaurant. Perhaps this sort of problem can be avoided by being careful in the use of relative terms like my. In this case, it is possible to will that everyone should eat in their favourite restaurant. This and other information has helped me to determine that Kant does not in my opinion fulfill a sufficient catagorical imperative on what's right or wrong, as I believe that Kant's views on distinguishing between right and wrong is incorect through my way of thinking, I recognise and understand Kant's idea's, but I disagree that there should be a principle of distuinguishing between right and wrong through Kant's Catagorical imperatives, as I see his catagorical imperatives as not influenceing my decision on what is right or wrong, but instead confusing me greatly and deludeing my view. Christian Theology Sam McManus ...read more.

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