Immanuel Kant is a German philosopher who significantly contributed to the science of ethics. In this context, the paper is going to discover his exploration of ethics and the questions and answers that the author came up with regarding the topic. It can be established that Kant had divergent views regarding people’s actions. For instance, research asserts that he believed that some actions were not right. Therefore, they were forbidden (Kant, 2013). Some of these actions include lying, murder, and theft. He supported this stance indicating that such actions could not be allowed even if it were assumed that they would result happiness. Thus, this advancement raises two questions that Kantians have to think about when they want to act. This essay explores Kant’s questions and answers regarding ethics.
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The first questions that Kantians have to ask themselves is “should a person rationally will that other people act as one does recommend to act?” (Kant & Gregor, 2013). In regards to this question, research established that when a person finds out the negative answer, then one should not proceed with the action. This stems from the fact that if a person finds the action to be fulfilling only to himself, then that is not an ethical action,since it violates the rights of other people (Kant, 2013).
Another critical question raised under this topic is “does my action respect the goals of human beings rather than utilizing them for my own purposes?” (Kant & Gregor, 2013). It was also proposed that if the answer to this question is negative, then a person is not supposed to perform the action. This fact calls for equality and some sense of humanity. Notably, the questions and answer provided clearly indicate that people should treat others in the same way as they want to be treated. If a person’s actions is meant to take advantage of other people, then it does not reflect an equal or humane action.
Research affirms that the theory of ethics resembles deontological moral theory, which asserts that people’s actions should be more focused on the fulfillment of their duty rather than depending on their results. Kant further explored the categorical imperative, which was motivated by his belief in the supremacy of morality. According to Kant, our moral duties are determined by the categorical imperative. Thus, another question is raised regarding the role of categorical imperative in determining people’s duties. In order to understand how the categorical imperative workks, it is essential to explore its formulation. There is the formula of the universal law, which proposes that a person should act merely on the maxim that should become a universal law. In this formulation, people usually ask what a maxim is (Allison, 2011). Research asserts that a maxim refers to the principles or rules based on which a person acts. There is the question regarding what an imperative is. According to the research, an imperative refers to a command. Two types of imperatives are proposed and they include categorical imperatives and hypothetical imperatives (Kant, 2013).
In conclusion, Immanuel Kant contributed significantly to the topic of ethics and came up with answers to the questions that help people understand the topic well. For instance, he proposed a question regarding the fact whether a person’s actions respects the goals of others. It was proposed that if the answer is negative, then a person should deviate from it since it does not reflect the way that the individual committing it would wish to be treated. Another question regards the role of categorical imperative, whereby there is a formulation guiding this imperative. Under the categorical imperative, there is the first formulation that advocates acting according to the principles that people believe in.