Of the nonconsequentialist theories, I found Kant’s Duty Ethics to be the most logical. According to the textbook, “Ethics: Theory and Practice,” Kant believed that the only existing good was, in fact, goodwill; goodwill is defined as acting by moral rules, laws, and values, no matter the outcome or self-interest. Also, actions with the result of increased happiness or demise could not be tended to, if the action is not one that all others would agree to (Thiroux & Krasemann, Pg. 51, 2015). Kent’s requirements of moral truth were actions thereof logical consent and that actions must be universalizable. Two self-intended questions go in the tune of decision making. The first, “Can I rationally will the everyone act as I propose to act?” The second, “Does my action respect the goals of human beings rather than merely using them for my purposes?” If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” then the action cannot be done. Kant’s theory, an example of deontological moral theory, identifies that rightness and wrongness are not measured by the consequence, but rather whether an action fulfills will.
Kent’s logic came from the idea, if moral rules were indisputable and morally binding to all individuals, the world would be seen in a much clearer light (Thiroux & Krasemann, Pg. 52, 2015). Categorical imperative ethics, as illustrated by Kant, is the moral obligation of circumstances to determine what actions are necessary, not the purpose or individual’s gain or loss of the action. A practical imperative is illustrated by Kant as humanity treating one another just, always, and not just to obtain individual goals for personal advantage. Kantianism is straightforward, concatenated on reasoning and accessibility. The theory is not motive driven, consequence influenced, or religiously measured, it simply places rules that apply to everyone, without bias, and dictate the need to respect human life (Thiroux & Krasemann, Pg. 52, 2015).
Although a rational way of considering ethical living, Kantianism also came to critics and inconsistencies. Kant concluded some rules would become inconsistent if they were made universal but did not state which laws he would categorize as inconsistent. One inconsistency noted the idea if a promise being kept would result in the death or injury of another, is it unethical to keep the promise at the cost of another or is it unethical to break the promise. After all, Kant’s law states, “no matter the consequences” (Thiroux & Krasemann, Pg. 52, 2015). Kant, in the development of his ethical theories, did not identify how to morally choose the right path when the action is conflicted. To that end, many also argued that Kant’s ethics were driven by obligations and rights measured by justice, but neglected other moral categories such as virtues, good character, and human life (Thiroux & Krasemann, Pg. 53, 2015).
Thiroux, J. R., & Krasemann, K. W. (2015). Ethics: theory and practice. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323130162/cfi/6/10!/4/12/4/4/2/2/2@0:77.7https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323130162/cfi/6/10!/4/12/4/4/2/2/2@0:77.7.
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