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Kant and the Categorical Imperative

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Kant and the Categorical Imperative a) Duty should be done simply because it is duty. Explain how Kant analysed this concept. Kant aimed to create a theory of ethics that relied not on emotion but reason and could be universally applied and not obscured by religion or person experience. To do this he created two fundamental rules of ethics; that if an action can be universalised and have good effects then it is moral, and that the morality of an action cannot be based on the consequences of an outcome. The best example to use and one that Kant used himself is lying. Kant analysed the concept of lying based on these rules. If the action of lying was universalised so that everybody did it then it would have a bad effect as no one could trust what anyone was saying, therefore it is immoral and must not be done. Some people argue that the consequences of lying justifies the action of lying; that the end justifies the means. For example if to save someone's life you must tell a lie then is acceptable to lie. ...read more.


Kant stated that a person who commits moral act or follows a moral law because they use reason to come to conclusion that that the act or law is more moral than someone committing an act or following a law because they gain pleasure or to please God. He believed that if something was your moral duty and you must do it regardless of whether you want to or what the consequences are. b) 'Categorical Imperatives allow no room for compassion in the treatment of women wanting abortions'. Discuss The categorical imperative is the idea that one should 'Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law'- Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason. Only actions which can be universalt applied (expected to be done by everyone) and have a good effect are moral and it is our duty to carry out theses moral duties regardless of circumstances or outcome. 'Categorical Imperatives allow no room for compassion in the treatment of women wanting abortions' is absolutely correct, for many reasons. ...read more.


The implications of this principle are that any activity that denies the individual dignity of a human being in order to achieve its end is undeniably wrong. The idea of abortion and the termination of human life are contradictory to the absolute fundamental points of the categorical imperative- that human life is priceless, and that humans should never be treated as a means to an end, as they are an end in themselves. The action of an abortion is denying a human life of all dignity, value, and is certainly treating humanity as a means to the end of a childless life. Kant, and the categorical imperative therefore show absolutely no room for compassion in the treatment of women wanting abortions, as, even though, for example, the mother may not be a suitable parent, or the child's quality of life may be poor, under no circumstances, according to the principles of the categorical imperative, can compassion be allowed for women wishing to murder another human, denying them their worth, and using them as a means to an end. Dr. Culbard Emily Oelrich Ethics 12RTR 1 ...read more.

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