Kantian Morality Essay

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Kantian Morality

     Kant's theory of morality seems to function as the most feasible in

determining one's duty in a moral situation. The basis for his theory is

perhaps the most noble of any-- acting morally because doing so is morally

right. His ideas, no matter how occasionally vague or overly rigid, work

easily and efficiently in most situations. Some exceptions do exist, but the

strength of those exceptions may be somewhat diminished by looking at the

way the actual situations are presented and the way in which they are

handled. But despite these exceptions, the process Kant describes of

converting maxims to universal laws to test their moral permissibility serves,

in general, as a useful
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Certain moral duties, for instance, are brought

about by relying on more than just the Categorical Imperative and process of

universalization, specifically on the subjective definitions of certain terms

and ideas about what is and is not and of itself moral. Also, one might say

that in some situations a maxim that can be universalized is still not morally

permissible, while one that cannot be universalized is indeed permissible. In

all these situations though, it seems at least somewhat possible to lessen

the objection by taking a closer look at the situation, perhaps by changing or

reexamining the maxims behind it.

     An example of one of these moral duties not derived entirely from the

Categorical Imperative is that of the "rugged individualist" who refuses to

help as much as he refuses to be helped. The universalization applicable in

this situation relies on the assumption that not helping is definitely immoral,

which may or may not necessarily be true. This rugged individualist seems

to follow a maxim to the effect of "I should refuse help and refuse to help."

However, had the universalization of this maxim- 'everyone refuses help

and refuses to be helped"- been followed by all people up to this point,

society would not have been able to function, and because of that people

would have been directly harmed, a fairly immoral result. Thus, it can be

said that not helping is then

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