Ethical Dilemmas In Kant's 'Categorical Imperative'

Good Essays
This paper will discuss morality and how it applies to solving ethical dilemmas based on four philosophers and their theories from the textbook, “Exploring Ethics”. Philosophers Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Aristotle, and Virginia Held each have a different approach which I will outline in the next few paragraphs and then provide my opinion on which I find most effective. According to Immanuel Kant’s “Categorical Imperative”, is the moral worth of our actions. It is Kant’s belief that we should act without expecting recognition. “… the moral worth of an action is to be judged not by its consequences, but by the nature of the maxim or principle that motivated the action” (98). Correct maxims, are those that can be made universal law, …show more content…
It is important to have a set of rules like Kant’s, to help guide us through difficult situations. Rules are what help regulate the actions of society as a whole. If everyone were allowed to do their own thing without being held accountable for our actions, society would crumble. We should assess each dilemma with the mindset that the outcome of our decisions should be one that we would hope would apply to others as well. Realistically, the outcome of a decision, especially with the expectation that there are no exceptions to this rule, is going to be subjective. I think that in general, we all strive to live our lives in a way that brings us the most happiness, though our definitions of happiness are different. I think it’s safe to say that no one wants to welcome things that cause us pain but the truth is that pain is inevitable, it is a part of life, and without pain we cannot learn and grow. There are valuable lessons in success and failure. It is what we take away from our experiences that shape our morality. Our individual virtue is something that we should all be concerned with. Exhibiting sound moral and intellectual judgment, like Aristotle’s definition, is paramount to being successful members of society. We are expected to take what we have learned in our youth and apply it to our adult life. Finding our own “happy medium”, for lack of a better term, is how we mold our individual character. Cultivating relationships with others, like Held proposes, is what ensures we are living a full life. Being open emotionally ensures that the impact that we have on others is significant, yet it is imperative that we don’t become ruled by our emotions. Keeping a level head in stressful situations means that we are making informed, rational and

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Having confidence help us to live the life without conflict. If we are positive and avoid the negative attitude from our mind, we feel ourselves more confidence than while thinking negatively. The way of avoiding the negative attitude is thinking about our strength and our capacity that we can do, our accomplishment and our success story that we have achieved so far. We have to give the value for our hard work and have to learn to respect ourselves. Procrastination is an enemy of the positive thinking, rather just keeping in mind let’s practice in our real life talking with the people about positive thinking and its impact on everyday life.…

    • 736 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Self-Belief

    • 733 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Having Self-Belief will help you achieve what you want out of life by giving you the motivation you need to keep pursuing your goals at all costs. Having Self-belief and believing in yourself is all about listening to that inner-voice that tells you that you are capable of accomplishing a particular task. Even when the people around us have their doubts that we may not be capable for whatever reason, self-belief is all about backing yourself 100% regardless of what other people may say or think. LET YOUR HATERS BE YOUR MOTIVATORS The best thing you can do for yourself when people around you are doubting your abilities or they are being negative as to what they think you are able to achieve, is to use this negativity as motivation to achieve your…

    • 733 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He says, “The greatest happiness principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness” (Mill 52). Mill’s utilitarian ethical theory rely majorly on the self-interest rather performing an act as a duty. An ethical theory should have a reason justified for performing a specific act. The ability of an act to yield maximum happiness should not be used to determine whether the act is moral or immoral. It involves assessing what the people perceive to be moral and taking actions which will produce insignificant consequences on the people other than the individual performing the act.…

    • 1177 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hard Work Research Paper

    • 1749 Words
    • 7 Pages

    We are all responsible for our own destinies and should not let others determine our course in life. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be too optimistic. Optimism is important when it creates a sense of possibility that leads you to act, but it is destructive when it leads to the conclusion that things will work out the way they were meant to no matter what. Being optimistic about a situation will inspire you to take action, but being optimistic to a point that you believe action is unnecessary is only hurting yourself. Convincing yourself that everything will work out may alleviate stress, however, it takes away your freedom to act upon your circumstances.…

    • 1749 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Autonomy is also a big part, because if someone is being taken advantage of, then they are not going to be happy. So, autonomy is a big key, so that we feel like a whole person, and not like one who is being torn apart. Friendship is needed every day whether it be with someone who lives far away. Friendship is made on the goodwill and honesty of people, and if we are not socializing it makes life insufferable. Therefore, leading an unhappy life, until happiness is found some other way.…

    • 1050 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Disobedience In Society

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Only through examination may we live a life of meaning and purpose as proposed by Socrates: “[an] unexamined life is not worth living.”. If a person can reflect and differentiate the relative strengths of their various moral beliefs, they may then recognize their willingness to compromise each of their beliefs. When an individual appears to find their examined moral code in contention with the laws, they have a duty to be discerning when choosing to prioritize the society’s beliefs or their own. In this choice, each person must weigh their moral integrity above a blind adherence to society, living an examined life. Society are formed for the “mutual preservation of [citizen’s] lives, liberties and estate.”.…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I would say this theory is great in explaining the person you should strive to be in your life. Your life and who you are and become is based off of your actions and what is truly the right action. But that is where the critics are right in how the theory falls through. No one can say what the right action is and how to exactly acquire the virtues you need for success. I do however feel that there is room to respond to the critics and provide more information on the theory itself.…

    • 866 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Therefore, the categorical imperative is considered the right thing to do because the action commanded by it is led by reason rather than desire. Due to its nature, the CI is not subjectively binding and it does not simply apply to one individual. Returning to the original definition of the categorical imperative, one must also consider the apodictic principle. This principle describes how the action is attained and bound by…

    • 1228 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The only genuinely good actions are the actions done exclusively out of respect for the moral rules. Kantian theory is an example of a deontological theory, meaning that the rightfulness or wrongfulness of actions does not depend on the results of the action, but instead, depends on the motives behind the action itself. This deontological approach relates to the supreme principle of morality that Kant referred to as the ‘Categorical…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    For centuries, philosophers have applied sets of normative principles in effort to distinguish if an action is morally right or wrong. The purpose of normative ethics is to help guide society on how humans ought to act. These theories provide justifiable and reliable outcomes to determine if an action is moral or immoral. Two principles that play a significant role in normative ethics are consequentialism and Kantianism. When faced with a moral dilemma, these theories may agree or conflict with one another.…

    • 1103 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics