• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Kant and the Categorical Imperative

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. Compare Utilitarianism With Kant's Theory of The Categorical Imperative And Explain Which You Think ...

    For example, if in one instance, it is morally correct to break the law, chaos would occur should everyone do so - even if in all their individual cases, breaking the law is morally correct. Also, pleasure is a subjective idea - what some class as pleasure, others class as

  2. Explain Kant's Categorical Imperative.

    a universal scale is unacceptable, then it is morally wrong in each case. However, to say that everyone should be free to choose this option is not to make it a universal law, just a universal option, which is a very different thing.

  1. The use of the Categorical Imperative makes no room for compassionate treatment of women ...

    The key issue in this discussion is whether or not the foetus is a human or not, and whether it has the status that comes with being human or not. If it is a human, then abortion is definitely not allowed.

  2. People should always do their duty. Explain how Kant understood this concept.

    We should disregard emotion and stick to our duty, which in this case is to tell the truth. This is a potential weakness in Kant's theory. Furthermore, it is also important that good will is applied in way that means actions should not be selfish.

  1. A. Explain what Kant meant by the categorical argument. B. Asses Kant's claims critically ...

    Happiness is not intrinsically good because even being worth of happiness Kant says, requires that one possess a good will. The good will is the only unconditional good. Goodness cannot come from acting on impulse. It can only come from doing an action in a certain way.

  2. Kant and the categorical imperative

    Kant never believed in breaking the rules even if by doing so, someone would benefit. For example, to tell your sister that she looks good in a dress - which does not in fact suit her - just to make her feel better about herself, would be lying, however good the motive behind it.

  1. Explain what Kant meant by the Categorical Imperative.

    To have a good will is to do ones duty. To do ones duty is to do the right thing. The categorical imperative helps us to determine which actions are obligatory and which are forbidden. It tells us what we ought to do, "All in imperatives command either hypothetically or categorically...

  2. `Always tell the truth and Always keep your promises' Kant's Categorical Imperative.

    of motive depends upon the free and rational commitment to a universal moral law which is binding on everyone. Laws are expressed as commands or imperatives and, for Kant, there are two kinds of imperative: categorical and hypothetical. 1. A categorical imperative is a command which is absolute and unconditional; it must be obeyed for its own sake.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work