Kant's Theory Of Lying Essay

1557 Words 7 Pages
To make a promise is to engage in verbal behaviour which involves bestowing one’s word to execute a future action; if one has no intention of keeping to their word, this is to deceive, - deception is a form of lying – something we chastise and place a negative valence upon. Within this essay I will critically analyse Kant’s idea that lying is intrinsically morally wrong; the truth, being an imperative, and to be dishonest, he considered, is a violation of the Categorical Imperative 1. I will explore Kant’s argument through his deontological moral theories found within Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals beginning with the moral norm - the “Categorical Imperative”, the “synthetic a priori position” 2, and its Formulations of Universal Law, End in Itself, Autonomy, and The Kingdom of Ends. I will then go on to assess Mill, Hegel and Schopenhauer’s critical approach to Kant, followed by my opinion as to whether his argument is compelling, or if I believe there are flaws within his line of reasoning. …show more content…
Reason, is a constant at all moments, therefore morality too, ought to be universal. Consequently, an action can only be considered moral if it could will to be a universal law. Kant’s First Formula within the Categorical Imperative is Autonomy or Universal law “I ought never to act in such a way that I could not also will that my maxim should be a universal law”(402). If we can prescribe (“will”) that no only I, but everyone else too, should act similarly in the circumstances.3 It’s not possible to will my maxim as a universal law if I can’t will the consequences of everybody following it. Thus, through a Kantian lens if we make a promise we have no intention of keeping, we must think to ourselves whether we’d find it acceptable for everyone else to do the

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