Essay: Philosophy Immanual Kant's Ethics Have Freedom

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Philosophy

Immanual Kant's ethics have freedom as a central role. He feels that freedom is an idea of reason that serves "an indispensable practical function." (McCormick) Kant basically agrees with the common sense view that how we choose to act makes a difference in how we actually act. In other words, he is reiterating the basic "free will" of the basic Judeo-Christian religion. We all have a choice in every action that we do and if we believe that, then we cannot then say that we had no choice. For example, if I am deciding what car to buy, the fact that I am a diabetic has no power over the decision. I still have to make my own decision on which car to buy. Our natural aspect or the animal consciousness is entirely subject to causal determination. It is not an originator of the way humans are. Therefore, rightness or wrongness, as concepts that apply to situations we have control over, do not apply. For example, we do not say that it is morally wrong for lions to kill a gazelle and eating it, or even for killing their own young, but that doesn't mean that we as humans, such kill a gazelle with our bare hands and eat it or kill our young. It is purely rational for the lion to kill in order to survive, but not necessarily rational and especially not moral for humans to kill to survive.

According to Kant, the only thing that is good without qualification is the good will. All other things that are usually considered intrinsically good have problems. "Courage, health, and wealth can all be used for ill purposes, Kant argues, and therefore cannot be intrinsically good." (McCormick) He feels that happiness is not intrinsically good because in order to be considered "worthy" of happiness requires that you possess a good will. The good will is the only unconditional good despite all intrusions. Adversity may cause someone to not be able to achieve her goals, but the goodness of her will remains.

An example of Kant's philosophy states that if a shopkeeper does not charge a child for a piece of candy, let's say, because he feels that it is right, has a higher moral value, than someone who does not charge a child for a piece of candy because they have a generous nature.

Kant believes that everyone acts on a maxim or subjective rule or policy of action. "We may be unaware of our maxims, we may not act consistently on the same maxims, and our maxims may not be consistent with one another. But Kant holds that since… [END OF PREVIEW]

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