Essay on A Rational Basis For Morality

1374 Words Nov 19th, 2016 6 Pages
“Nothing can be conceived in the world, or even out of it which can be called good without qualification, except a good will”.(261) In the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant defines the good will (duty/ universal law)as a rational basis for morality that would be correct for all people at all times and in all circumstances.(260) Kant saw that the good will contrasted with good fortune or what many people believed to be happiness/good character (ex Aristotle’s virtues). He asserted that these pleasures had a high risk to become” extremely bad and mischievous if the will which is to make use of them...is not good." (loyne.edu) Kant believed that morality was matter of reason and that the moral worth of person depended on their intentions not the “contingencies of fate”(261) Through the use practical reasoning and the application of the categorical imperative one can become worthy of achieving happiness.
The categorical imperative was the idea to act according to the maxim, by which you can at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.(video 1) It was also described as “act so as to treat people always as an ends in themselves never as mere means”.(video 1) This was a “ formal restatement of the of the concept that many people knew as the Golden Rule-(do unto others, what you would have them to unto you or to love thy neighbor as you love thy self – universal love). Kant believed that there was two types of love practical and…

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