The Moral Law Is Good

1382 Words6 Pages
When asking a layman what the moral law is, they may answer with “something that is good” or “doing what is good”. Morality often comes to a central point of determining goodness in something. Therefore when questioned about identifying moral law, we like to use goodness in our argument. However Immanuel Kant wouldn’t like us to use this naïve theory when asked how to identify moral law, instead he would like us to use our reason to determine unconditional goodness and eventually the moral law. What does it mean when something is good? Often when asked if something is good, many people use common sense and list the consequences of that thing. For example when asked if being intelligent is good, many will say yes. When asked why it’s good,…show more content…
In fact it’s not even necessary to even think of these traits or even the consequences of their good, as the good will, will always be good. Kant puts this idea as such, “The good will of this person would sparkle like a jewel all by itself, as something that had its full worth in itself. Its value wouldn’t go up or down depending on how useful or fruitless it was.” There is no need to focus on the consequences of good when there is a good will. It is important to make the distinction here that the good will is not something that is part of our psychology, the good will is just something that is, and in itself without any other condition good. Here we come to a dilemma that some may consider. How do we know that the good will is actually good? This is quite a tricky question. Perhaps it is our very purpose to answer this question. We as humans, undeniably have reason. We can see above ourselves in a sense. It’s just this that allows us to determine good will. While the reasons for why we have reason aren’t so clear, we can argue that reason is to be used to uncover things higher than what lies within our psychology. One of these things being determining what makes good will, good. To reinstate, good will is beyond our psychology in the sense that good will isn’t something that can be derived from the effects or consequences in our own perceptions. For example we can perceive that an action is good, however that doesn’t make it unconditionally good
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