Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Kant and Morality
I like to believe that humans are, for the most part, inherently good. If given the choice of good or evil, most would choose to follow the good. However, “good” is subjective and depends on one’s personal experiences and environment. So what makes right actions right?
Kant judges morality on what he considers to be widely shared and accepted. He believed that individuals’ rational will forced them to follow these moral principles (categorical imperative). Whether an action is right or wrong depends on the duty it fulfills rather than the consequences it might bring about. Much of what Kant views as moral is abstract, because it relies heavily on intention.
I personally like the generality of Kant’s moral views. What is right to one person may not be right to another. I think there are things that most everyone would agree are good (joy, happiness, human enlightenment) and wrong (pain, sadness, human destruction) – but these things are still subjective. What we consider as right or wrong relies heavily on the situation at hand and the history behind it. It is important for us to recognize this when dealing with moral issues, and I feel that this what Kant was aiming for in his moral philosophy.