Kant's Theory Strengths And Weaknesses

1255 Words 6 Pages
Moral philosophy tries to explain the difference between right and wrong so that people can make good decisions. However, finding out what makes an action right is not so easy. For this reason, several different theories have evolved while trying to explain this issue. One of those theories is deontology, or duty-defined morality. Probably the most famous and influential spokesman of this theory is Immanuel Kant. His ideas, especially in contrast to utilitarianism, give a compelling explanation of why rights violations are wrong. However, in this paper I am going to argue that despite the impact Kant’s theory has made, there are still some weaknesses that should be noted. To begin with, in his “Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of …show more content…
First, this theory puts too much emphasis on rationality ignoring the role of feelings. It is difficult to imagine how Kant’s theory could be applied in real life since people are emotional beings and thus reason alone is rarely enough to motivate their actions. For instance, it is unlikely that a robber who repeatedly commits the crimes would care much about being immoral even if he or she knows that stealing is wrong. This suggests that something else is needed in addition to reason to encourage moral behavior. Moreover, if a person were determined to end his or her life, the duty to preserve it, which, according to Kantian ethics, is a must, would hardly stop the person from actually committing a suicide. However, if he or she starts thinking about how much pain that action would bring to others, the feelings of affection could change his or her mind and thus motivate one to refuse to commit suicide. For Kant, this would not be a moral thing to do, as the decision not to kill oneself would be based on inclination and not on duty. Yet, in my opinion, this makes Kant’s idea contradictory since the most important thing should not be the means but the result, which in this situation is preserving …show more content…
Yet, despite its influence, Kantian ethics seems to have several weaknesses. First, since people are emotional beings, reason and rationality is usually not enough to motivate them act morally. Another weakness is that Kant’s categorical imperative allows for much mistreatment of animals that should not be considered morally right. Therefore, although Kantian ethics provides many strong arguments, one should always critically evaluate the ideas that are presented, especially when it deals with such a subtle and controversial issue as

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