Three tests for a categorical imperative:
- Can the maxim(rule) of my action really become a universal law of natire? Can it be applied to everyone?
- We never should use a human to reach our goal of morality
- No-one is better/less than others - we should all treat eachother as ENDS IN THEMSELVES - A KINGDOM OF ENDS.
- We have a moral obligation - there is something we ought to do regardless of the consequences. Possible for a systematic account of our moral duties and principles upon which they are founded.
The Categorical Imperative:
Universal Law / Humans as ends not as means / a kingdom of ends
The Universal Law
Act only accoeding to that maxim whereby you can at the same time guarantee that it should become a universal law.
The formula of the law is nature.
If rules aren't universalisable then others wouldnt have the same freedom to act on the same moral principles. (E.g. promise-keeping)
"Creating a human cloned embryo to find a cure for lung cancer is acceptable"
It is a hypothetical imperative as its treating the embryo as a means to an end. Ignores the "end in themselves". Is it a human? It's a closed embryo - it may be seen as acceptable to cure the whole human race.
Imperatives can either be categorical/hypothetical.
Hypothetical: the need to do an action to achieve something else that someone might not want/doesn't want. Not moral commands as they don't apply to everyone. Always begin with "if" - doing it for a reason. They are imperatives based on a goal. Depends on the result/aims/end.
Categorical: if it represents an action as necessary according to a will that has something good about it. Deontological - only about the act. Moral commands as they don't depend on goals/desires and apply to everyone. Doesn't begin with "if". Kant came up with formulations. These include three main tests to ensure you're following categorical not hypothetical.
Imperative: action that is necessary according to a will that has something good about it.
Kant's Categorical Imperative
The three postulates:
-the existence of God
-immortality (life after death)
Kant seems to take for granted God as a law giver and he argues that there must be a God and afterlife as there has to be a…