KANTIAN ETHICS OBJECTIONS

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  • Created on: 19-06-18 19:23
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  • KANTIAN ETHICS OBJECTIONS
    • PROBLEMS WITH APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLE
      • couldn't any maxim be justified if we phrase the maxim cleverly
      • in stealing a gift i could claim that my maxim is to "steal gifts from large shops if there are 7 letter in my name"
        • the case would apply so rarely that there would be no breakdown of the concept of private property so it would be possible for the law to apply to everyone (universalised)
      • some actions may be universalisable but are not recognisably moral duties
        • some actions may not be universalisable but yet do not seem to be immoral
    • INTUITION THAT CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS DETERMINE MORAL VALUE
      • Kant's responds that there are no ends that are good without qualification
        • what makes a will good is that it wills good ends
          • utilitarians point out that if it my duty not to murder then it must be that murder is bad
            • if murder is bad then surely we should ensure there are as few murders as possible
              • unless i kill someone deliberately, many people will die, how can i justify not killing that person on the grounds that i cannot universalise the motive of murder
                • what makes a will good is that it wills good ends
                  • utilitarians point out that if it my duty not to murder then it must be that murder is bad
                    • if murder is bad then surely we should ensure there are as few murders as possible
                      • unless i kill someone deliberately, many people will die, how can i justify not killing that person on the grounds that i cannot universalise the motive of murder
        • Mills - happiness is the only desirable end but Kant argues that happiness is not always good
        • morality becomes hypothetical - you only ought to do your duty if you want to be morally good
          • treats morality just like any other desire of purpose which we may or may not have
      • VALUE OF CERTAIN MOTIVES AND COMMITMENTS
        • not required to be completely impartial and to maximise happiness - how do we understand the moral worth of motives involved in relationships?
        • Kant makes the motive of duty the only motive that has moral worth and says that doing something good for someone else because you want to is morally right not morally good
        • can object that putting feeling duty above feelings in our motives is inhumane
          • Kant seems to think that we wan tot benefit out people because its our duty not because we like them
          • surely if i do something nice for someone its because i like them and its a morally good action
          • Kant can respond that he is not trying to stop us from being motivated by our feelings
            • his point is that when we are choosing what to do, how we feel should not be as important as what is morally right to do
      • CONFLICTS BETWEEN DUTIES
        • Kant argues that our moral duties are absolute - it permits no exception
          • nothing can override a moral duty because it is categorical
            • good will is motivated by duty
        • there are some cases where two absolute duties may clash
          • should i break a promise or tell a lie?
            • i must do one or the other - Kant's theory implies that whatever i do must be wrong
          • should i betray a friend to save a life?
            • i must do one or the other - Kant's theory implies that whatever i do must be wrong
        • could simply be argued that duties are not absolute
          • there is a duty not to lie but it may be permissible to lie in order to save someones life
        • could argue that our duties aren's as simple as "don't lie" and instead our duty could be "don't lie unless you lie to save a life"
          • will always be some maxim that you can act on which you will be able to universalise - so it will always be possible to do your duty
        • Rachels' solution was that when we break a rule we need a good reason to do so, a reason that we are willing to accept other people to act on as well
        • axe man

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