Contrastingl Kantian Ethics: Moral Principles That Affect My Decisions

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Ethics are moral principles that affect my decisions. It originated from the Greek work ethos meaning custom, habit, character or disposition. The concept of ethic is derived from our philosophies, social, cultural and religious beliefs. Furthermore, “it dictates acceptable moral standards for what is right and wrong, good or evil, justifiable, permissible, unjustifiable in terms of our human rights, obligations, fairness and benefits to society.” (MacKinnon , pg. 1). Moreover, Kant’s deontological ethics places emphasis on my obligation, duties, and rights but never on the consequences of my actions. It explains that my acts are right or wrong only in themselves, but despite the consequences, I must act accordingly. On the other hand, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mills’ Utilitarianism epitomizes the consequences of my actions which is to perform “the greatest good for the greatest number of people,” meaning that whatever thing I do, I must produce the most happiness for the most amount of people. (MacKinnon , pg. 177).
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Kant’s deontology is based on the principles of morality know as categorical imperative from the concept of moral duties to be an end in and of itself and ought not to be used as a means in itself. According to Kant, my obligations and duties are considered morally justified only when my duties are done with the right intentions. Kant says the reasons for this is because our actions are based on rational and autonomous goodwill which justifies the universal moral law or maxim. Therefore, I must act on those maxims or principles which could at the same time be will to become a universal law. For example, If I make a false promise in to reap financial gains and everyone else makes a false promise to get whatever they want, it becomes self-contradictory and no one would take a promise seriously, therefore the promises itself now becomes

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