Kant’s Categorical Imperatives

Posted: October 17th, 2013

























Kant’s Categorical Imperatives


Kant’s Categorical Imperatives

Moral philosophy is a human essential. For humans to live in peace, love and unity, the moral philosophy must be central to everyday life. Therefore, moral philosophy is the art of regulating the whole of life. This art must have in view the noblest ends in all life undertakings. Immanuel Kant a proponent of morality came up with the most important system of determining morality. This system he called The Categorical Imperative. An analysis in Kant’s Categorical imperatives reveals a regard for human life: it gives a consistence, clarity and shows dignity in human relations.

In his works, Kant came up with a couple questions/maxims with which the morality of an action can be determined. According to this philosopher, one must ask them selves if the reason they are acting in the way they are is suitable to become a universal law. Does this action correspond to a universal law? Secondly, is the way that they are acting human, whether the action is towards other people or themselves? We will discuss these maxims in detail in the rest of this essay.

Formula of Universal Law

This law states that one should only act on that maxim by which he/she can will that it should become a universal law. Maxim here refers to the subjective principle of an action. Essentially, it is the moral rule that qualifies the action. If someone decides to act in a certain way, would everyone find it logical and right, regardless of his or her physical location on earth? For example if someone decides to smack a child because of what he terms a mistake, would any other person respond to this child’s behavior in the way that he did?



The principle of Respect to Persons/ the Formula of the End in itself

This law states that one must act in a way that is humanly. This treatment applies to the person as an individual and all others as human beings. It also suggests that treat your self or other people as an end in itself never as a mere means. This law calls for an individual to take it up as a duty to treat people including themselves as an end never as a means to an end. In treating people as a means to an end, is treating people as objects and disregarding their humanness. This is regarding this people as inanimate objects. On the other hand treating people as an end to themselves is regarding their humanity. This is recognition to their plans, goals and any other life pursuits.

Kent’s principles are rules that would enhance peaceful coexistence between humans. To begin with, these rules display clarity in the formation of relationship rules. Using Kant’s categorical imperative, we can generate easy to follow rules, rules that do make exceptions and absolute rules. Without the bias of Emotions and desires, all humans at least those that are rational know what they should do out of commitment to humanity. This principle helps us to generate understandable and easy to follow rules. For example, one shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Secondly, these rules dignify humans. As well, they equate all human beings. These rules apply equally to all human. Lastly, Kant’s imperatives generate consistent rules. These rules apply equally across the board. There are no lesser human beings when it comes to these rules.

Well some people may question the Kant imperatives and the rules it generates. For example, one may say that these rules are rigid. Let us consider a situation where your child has killed. Because of affection, one has to give a false statement in court to protect his/her son. Well, in as much as it is not right to kill people because they also killed, the rules here are consistent. There was prior knowledge that killing is a crime and therefore there are consequences to all actions. People must be ready to take up responsibility for their actions. Another critique will say that Kant’s imperative earns him a spiciest title. Human beings are different from animals. One cannot allow human rules to apply to animals. Animals are different and to this effect, there are rules that are specifically for animals. Humans uphold and regard these rules. In any case, these rules are not for animals to apply on other animals; they are for human relations with animals.

In conclusion, humans need equality, and for it to prevail there must be justice. Eye for an eye may seem very harsh but consider the first person who lost his eye. Is it not equally harsh to let the other party keep both his eyes while the other man languishes in darkness? This party knew that taking ones eye is wrong. We cannot therefore sit and be weak with those who have no regard for others’ lives. If this so happens, then we will lose many eyes on grounds that the consequences are feeble.



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