Explain Kants Theory of Ethics Essay

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A: Explain Kant’s theory of ethics Kant was born in 1724-1804, he was a German thinker from East Prussia (now Russia), and he spent his whole life in his hometown. Kant wanted to create a logical, stand-alone theory that wasn’t just based on assumptions, he believed in an objective right or wrong that is decided on reason and that we shouldn’t do the right thing just because it’s right and not to fulfil our desires. Can we lead a life following his ideals are there not some situations where a perfect moral decision cannot be made, are all our choices fuelled by personal gain and desire? He has a deontological and absolute approach to ethics, to Kant what makes an action good is when you do your ‘duty’ and that one’s duty is to always…show more content…
“Duties for duties sake” this related to the categorical imperative. Kant then goes on to the 3 maxims, first off to test a moral maxim as it’s a universal law either everyone should follow it or everyone should reject it. The first maxim is ‘Your action should be able to be universalised’ before you act in a certain way, would you like everyone in the same situation to act in the same way. If not, then you are involved in a contradiction it goes against reason, “ so at that principle of action might safely be made of law for the whole world” if you were to take lying through the first maxim its clear it would fail as that would mean everyone would be lying to one another and trust is completely destroyed. The second maxim is ‘Don’t treat people as a means to an end’ Kant strongly believed that you can never use human beings as a means to an end, to exploit or enslave them. Humans to Kant are all the highest point of creation and so demand a unique treatment. This guarantees that all individuals are afforded the moral principles; therefore no humans can be used for the sake of others, he also explained that we have a duty to develop our own perfection, developing our moral, intellectual and physical capabilities. We also have a duty to seek the happiness of others as long as that is within the law and allows the freedom of others. “Always recognise that human individually are ends and do not use them as a means to your end” therefore you can’t lie for
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