Kant & Deontology

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Kant and Deontology
Judy Havens, Claudia Burns, Amber Montalvo, Kimberly Jones
Audra Stinson
University of Phoenix

When people think of Ethical Theory then the word morals, respect, and honesty seem to come to mind. Kant devised an ethical theory that is broken down into major elements to explain what he believes is ethical for society to believe. This is where the act of good will comes to existence and the nature of a person’s demeanor comes into how he or she decides what is the right or wrong thing to do. When the laws are put into place to help people know what society has decided what is ethical. Next, would be the decision making process of doing what is right or wrong. Looking at personal gain is not morally correct and having no respect for what is right is hard for a person to decide. He or she must have the decision making process developed or taught to ensure successful outcomes in ethical dilemmas. The major elements of Kant’s ethical theory is a person should not use another as a means to satisfy a personal desire and that morality is based on universal rules much like what is referred as the Golden Rule. The principles of Kantianism have hypothetical and categorical imperatives. We have a duty to ourselves and to others and while we have the ability to rationalize, our actions are not always rational. When using another as a means it should be without coercion or lying and the end should be such that they would be willing to being used. Actions requiring the use of deception are wrong and unjust. One does not make false promises. “For Kantians, respect for another person is fundamental. The fact that we are rational is of infinite value: we can plan, choose, and anticipate our future.” (Stairs, 1997. Pg 4). In Kantianism, justice ranks higher than happiness and if the act is not unjust then it is not immoral or wrong. Kant thought of “good will” as a deed done for wise regulation motives from a purpose of...
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