Kant 's Categorical Imperative Essay

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In contrast to the consequentialist focus of utilitarianism, Kant was more focused on intent and action itself. This leads into one of Kantian ethics main ideals; you mustn’t treat another human being as a means to an end. Kant’s Categorical Imperative (CI) is a deontological theory, which relied heavily on his belief that humans are all capable of reason in the same manner, on the same level (A Brief Summary of Kant 's Categorical Imperative, 2012). Kant recognized 2 kinds of moral ‘imperatives’, a hypothetical imperative (what must be done to achieve a desired result) and Categorical imperatives (how one must act irrespective of one’s end goal/desires). For Kant, all moral duties were considered to be categorical, and should apply to everyone universally. Kant believes that truthfulness is the formal duty of everyone, regardless of what disadvantage it may cause to yourself or another (Kant, 1994). He illustrates this quite well by using his categorical imperative, saying that if all people were to lie, then all contracts and laws would lose their legitimacy. Kant also went on to point out that if we were to lie, even from a place of good intention, it is impossible to control the outcome(s) and we may be responsible for whatever comes from it (Kant, 1994). However if we were to tell the truth then we have upheld our duty and as such can shoulder no blame for any consequences.

Kant came up with the Categorical Imperative (CI), a theory of universal moral law which he

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