Immanuel Kant And Deontological Ethics Essay

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In the case of morals, philosophers are usually separated into one of two categories, those who consider actions ethical or not ethical based on their motives, and those who consider an action ethical or not ethical based on the consequences of these actions. Immanuel Kant is a deontologist as opposed to consequentialists, making him an advocate for the former category. Kant is of the opinion that we are held responsible for our actions because we possess the ability to consider and explain the things we do, so any moral judgment should be based on our reasons for doing things. We should of course always contemplate the consequences of our actions, but they are not entirely at the mercy of our reason. Reason is only accountable for the …show more content…
The defining feature of deontological ethics is that it decides whether an action is moral or immoral without considering anything else. For example, Kant argues that lying is never under any circumstances acceptable, no matter what the situation, as we cannot will for lying to be a universal maxim. Whereas the consequentialist view is of the opposite opinion that it is our consequences that hold moral value, not our actions. Concequentialists believe in the theory of “the greater good” and therefore aim to make the most people the most happy they can in society, Because of this, they take the view that telling a lie in some instances is acceptable if it goes on to produce good consequences later on. This seems like an ideal theory if we could actually pre determine the outcome of our actions, but we have little or no control in the real world over how our actions turn out. Kantians argue that although we don't have control over the outcome of our actions, or the effect they will have, the only thing we do possess full control over is our motives behind the action. Thus our free will can only decide on our motives, meaning morality that is focused on the consequences of a situation is not concerned with autonomy of

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