Defending Kant's Theory of Goodwill and Morality

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Table of contents

  1. Goodwill, Moral Worth and Duty
  2. Categorical and Hypothetical Imperatives
  3. Kant's Concept of Enlightenment

Deontological ethical theories state that the morality of an action is predicated on whether the action is wrong or right through considering a set of rules instead of results of the action. In such theories, the action itself is important than its consequences. Immanuel Kant believed in understanding the real nature of morality by placing his focus on the act of happiness. He suggested that something good must be good in itself or intrinsically good and be good without qualification, which means that additional of that action will not make a situation worse ethically. The theory uses the basis of what is wrong and what is right. In Kant's point of view, humans are free and rational subjects who should be given an appropriate chance to practice their being.

Goodwill, Moral Worth and Duty

Immanuel Kant argues that a consequence of an action cannot be used to determine whether a person has goodwill. Kant's theory suggests that the motive of people for carrying out actions should be used to judge whether the action is wrong or right rather than consequences of the action. There are possibilities of getting a consequence for a desire, which was motivated to harm an innocent person. However, the theory seems to create a conflict between a reason and a desire. One may think that it is odd to translate human desire directly into reason. Kant has explained the tension between self-interest and morality by stating that a well-motivated action can also cause a bad consequence. People should act due to the clear moral motives. When a person does a good thing because it is right to do it, then their actions add value to the world through moral goodness.

Kant suggested that things, which are good without qualification, are the 'goodwill.' According to him, what makes a person good is the making of decision-based on moral laws. The major argument is that Kantian theory does not provide enough information on what people should do because the moral law is a non-contradiction principle. It is difficult to apply the theory as a supreme principle of morality. Kant explained that the moral worth of action must lie on the expected results but the motives borrowed from the action (Kant 528). In Kant's ethical theory, “goodwill' is valued without qualification or limitation. Maintaining and possessing a commitment to moral principles is a condition by which everything is worth having. For instance, intelligence and pleasure are worth having in conditions that they do not necessitate giving up central moral convictions.

Kant suggests that a person is motivated by the duty if the action bares respects for the moral laws. According to Kant, there is always something bad that cannot protect itself easily, and it easily becomes seduced. Such acts require more action and the availability of knowledge. People respect the moral law because they have a duty of doing so. A good action is the one, which is done because an individual has a duty of doing it. For instance, the state establishes the responsibilities of the citizenis and administers them with legal power. Now, if something is done because of duty, then duty is made from the respect of the codes. Being a duty-bound is respecting the laws and conserving morality.

The 'action from duty' conformity seems to be morally despicable. The respect for the set laws is not valuable because the motive of conforming to some laws can be due to respect. People have to play an essential part in the maintenance of law and social order due to fear of punishment or loss of reputation toward existing laws. People only respect such laws to the degree that will not violate principles, laws, and values that are highly valued. Immanuel Kant's theory argues that 'acting from duty' the results is not forsaken, and if one thinks that they may bring trouble to other people, then such action should be avoided (Kant 529). He suggested that it is evil for someone to deviate from the principle of duty and should work within the available laws of duty, which are motivated by the outcome except those who are required by the duty itself.

Kant supported the acknowledgment of moral laws as a source of moral requirements. He suggested that moral laws are high authorities that allow people to experience some feelings. Individuals have respect for the moral laws, although they do not move by it and sometimes break the moral canons that they consider as authoritative. Reasoning moral is based on the scrutiny of the unique force of moral considerations for reasons for carrying out different actions. The force of moral requirements cannot be ignored, no matter how the consequences collaborate against other considerations. The act of humanity to be co-legislators contradicts the claim of universe priori and must partly depend on humans who do not always exist (Kant 532). According to Kant, the basic moral actions should maintain their reason force under any circumstances, and they are valid universally for matters of serving the will as its principle (529). One should not act until the individual confirm that the maxim will become a universal law.

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In Kant's ethical theory, universal law is an essential requirement for a reason for morality. People should never act except when they will that their maxim would become a universal law. So, whatever is said on basic morals, only the universal laws can be a content of the condition that has a reason-giving force of morality. Kant holds the same principle that motivates the goodwill as the fundamental morality's principle.

Categorical and Hypothetical Imperatives

Kant's theory suggests that the main code of moral duties is categorically crucial. The moral duty is authoritative since it is addressed to subjects that can follow it but might choose not. It is categorical because it applies to individuals because it possesses rational will without reference to ends that people might either have or not. Additionally, it applies to us in conditions that we had adopted some goals for ourselves.

In Kant's arguments, the theory has some 'oughts' other than the normal duties. The oughts are based on the kinds of principles. One principle is hypothetical imperative, which is a command applied in the goodness of having a rational will. The argument is the application of ethics should be in explanation of the real-world challenges. The 'oughts' represented by Kant requires people to exercise the will in a given way that they have antecedently willed for a given end (Kant 136). Indeed, a hypothetical imperative is an authority under a conditional form, but not all commands are hypothetical imperatives according to the theory.

For the theory, end willingness contains more than desiring. It involves active choosing instead of finding someone with a passive desire for action. Moreover, there is nothing irrational like just failing to will what an individual desires. An imperative that applies to us is the virtue of desiring. Virtues cannot be taught in a real sense, and naturally, individuals are either virtuous or not. Immanuel Kant suggested that the result we get might be the opposite of our will, and people might also receive results that they might not have willed. It shows that the results might be different from the expectations of the person who did the action.

The distinction between the two kinds of hypothetical imperatives helps in the identification of what individuals' might have willed and what they might not have willed. For instance, problematic hypothetical imperatives are the possible ends that people might will or might not will. All the non-moral ends are problematic. The hypothetical imperative applies to us because an individual did them to meet their happiness (Kant 538). Kant's ethical theory addressed the presence of normative forces in ethics by presenting the prudential and moral of rational as important demands for a will. The presence of prudence makes humanity stronger rather than the normative forces. Evaluation of prudential and moral is the first evaluation of the will of expressed actions.

Kant's Concept of Enlightenment

Kant suggested that one should be in a position of treating people as ends in themselves. It means that individuals should do to people what they would want to be done to them. The major argument is the possibility of passing various tests and whether the information provided on considering people as an end, is enough. Immanuel Kant suggested that what makes someone a moral being is because they are rational and free creatures. Treating people as an end involves the respect that people are free of rational choices, which may be different from what they wished to be their best choices.

People are required between what is wrong and what is right by them. Kant discussed that human 'immaturity' was the time when people did not fully believe in themselves, but they truly believed in the moral rules presented by the church, tradition, religion, and authorities. The shortcomings of human reasoning and maintenance all the requirements of the moral laws make something else to be in charge of moral authority. According to Kant (530), even wisdom skill requires some involvement of science to learn the durability of its precepts. The understanding is a powerful counterweight if the commands of the duty represent the highest respect for increasing the level of satisfaction.

According to Kant, morality is not something that comes from anywhere, but the rational being should impose them on themselves. Reasoning itself is a categorical imperative. Kant (530) outlines that entire satisfaction is the main source of happiness. The precepts of reason issues, which did not promise inclination and failed to be neutralized by the command, are not accepted to according to the requirements of the moral law.

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