Metaphysics Of Morals And Immanuel Kant: The Idea Of Happiness

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Yet, what is ‘the end,’ the goal that Aquinas’ speaks about? Is it the same for everyone? In addition, how does this play into the idea of happiness? According to Aquinas, the word end has two meanings. One is the thing which we desire to attain, and the other is the mere attainment of the object of desire. In its first meaning, the end of man is that of the Uncreated Good, namely God who, in his absolute and infinite goodness, is able to satisfy the will of man. Yet, in its second meaning, the end of man is something which is created, residing within himself, through the attainment and enjoyment of the ultimate end. This is called happiness. In this, happiness is said to be the self-governing good of man, because is in happiness that he …show more content…
Thomas Aquinas’, and some that differ. In Kant’s Groundwork of Metaphysics of Morals, also talks about good will and happiness. As opposed to Aquinas, however, he believes that instinct is better used to attain happiness. According to Kant, without a good will one cannot even be worthy of happiness. What makes the good will is its efficacy in accomplishing some intended end. This will is something that is intrinsic to the human being and is naturally good, despite the fact that result of his willing may not always be perceived as good. Kant explains that the good will seems to be acting from duty, or from duty’s sake, when it chooses to follow what reason says it should to do as opposed to what the agent would rather feel like. This moral goodness, Kant says (as translated by Bennett), “can’t consist in anything but the thought of law in itself that only a rational being can have - with the will being moved to act by this thought and not by the hoped-for effect the action.” To achieve this moral worthiness is the absolute goal of life, states Kant. “In the absolute, and the ultimate foundation of morality”, he says, “is the good will, which gains moral credit from acting in accordance with duty for the sake of duty itself.” Here it can be inferred that Kant’s idea of morality that the human will wills to is more inclined to this idea of duty rather than for the ultimate end. Kant also questions how God is made as the moral model of man. Man cannot derive his concept of morality initially from examples, for he cannot judge whether something is fit to be an example of morality unless it has already been judged in accordance to the principles of

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