Kant: Formulas of Universal Law and Humanity

1575 Words Dec 18th, 2010 7 Pages
Karthik Keni
William Reckner
Philosophy 22
30 November 2010
Kant: Formulas of Universal Law and Humanity Kant’s philosophy was based around the theory that we have a moral unconditional obligation and duty that he calls the “Categorical Imperative.” He believes that an action must be done with a motive of this moral obligation, and if not done with this intention then the action would hold no moral value. Under this umbrella of the “Categorical Imperative” he presents three formulations that he believes to be about equal in importance, relevance, and could be tested towards any case. The first formulation known as the Formula of Universal Law consists of a methodical way to find out morality of actions. The second formulation is known as
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It would be impossible to follow such a rule of not utilizing people as means towards an end, however this formulation is trying to emphasize that all rational beings "must be treated never as a mere means but as the supreme limiting condition in the use of all means…as an end at the same time." Instead of seeing other rational beings as just tools towards a personal goal, we should see the benefit of others and “Humanity” as our end objective, rather than the means. Kant truly introduces the idea of respect in the formulation because it seems genuinely wrong to treat other rational humans as mere means with no other kind of value. One has to recognize, even with the significance of oneself having desires and treating oneself as the end, that what makes me unique as a logical and thinking being also resides in everyone else. Thus we determine that everyone else must also see themselves as ends and my means to my ends are no more significant than another rational being. In the case of the doctor’s moral dilemma, the Formula of Humanity would be the same answer because of various reasons. First, Kant is a firm believer in not being deceitful and thus the doctor should follow the moral action of telling the truth. The formulation also preaches that we should recognize that others are a basis of value by treating their chosen ends as good, and following their happiness as they see it. So in this case, the patient’s

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