Essay On Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill

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Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill demonstrate two contrasting moral theories. The philosophers have very different ideas about ethics and happiness. Immanuel Kant, author of “Duty and Reason”, believed in the morality of the good will and duty. According to Kant, happiness is an emotion unable to be controlled while motive is controllable; therefore, duty is the most important aspect of leading a moral life. Conversely, John Stuart Mill, who wrote, “The Greatest Happiness Principle”, is well known as a utilitarian, who stress the greatest happiness for the greatest amount. While they may have disagreed about what makes an action ethical, Kant and Mill are both extremely significant philosophers. Further acknowledgement of the contrasting …show more content…
He argues that the amount of suffering and happiness is what indicates the morality of an action and thus strongly believes that end results of an action are what help decide a moral action. He claims that an act is good or right insofar as it brings the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest amount of people. By happiness he means pleasure and joy and the lack of pain or suffering. From his point of view, the happiness derived from an action doesn 't even have to be that person 's own. Rather, as long as it makes more people happy than unhappy, it is morally right. It creates an unjust court for the innocent who could be accused by a greater number. The nature of morality of an act for Mill is its consequence which applies only for the greater number. According to Mill, people are still able to be moral even if the moral path doesn 't make them happy because of internal penalty. These rules ensure a person fulfills his or her utilitarian duty, which is ensuring decisions made about actions that cause the least amount of suffering for the fewer amount of people. These penalties are generally demonstrated in a person as guilt or other forms of mentally internal pain. For Mill and utilitarianism, sanctions are inevitable if you don 't abide by the philosophy 's rules. As guilt is often a painful enough reason not to do something, a person does not choose happiness over …show more content…
For instance, a child was drowning and you were passing by, it is generally agreed within society that you are obligated to do whatever you can to save that child. This becomes a moral issue when risk is taken into consideration. Both Kant and Mill agree that if you cannot swim and your attempt to save the child would end in increased suffering, then you are morally obligated to not jump into the water. The morality of the issue comes into play when, hypothetically speaking, you do have the ability to swim and thus, theoretically the ability to save the child but you both end up drowning anyway. Kant believes it 's the intention that dictates morality. He would argue that although your actions may cause more suffering in the end, your intentions were good and that is what mattered. Furthermore, he would support this because it supports his theory of the categorical imperative. Hypothetically, your maxim could be something along the lines of, "If an individual they have the ability to save a life, he or she should at least try because it 's his or her duty." This is a maxim that can be universalized. Additionally, it acknowledges that the drowning child is an end and deserves to be saved. On the other hand, if you were only saving this child because of an advantage then you are treating the child as a means to an end, which

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