Professor John Schneider
25 February 2015
Deontological Moral Theory: Immanuel Kant
Deontological moral theory is defined as the morally right thing to do is to do whatever is your duty. A scenario in which this theory could be used is the following: a close friend of yours dies. He has set aside $10 million to give to his favorite sports team, the New York Yankees. You promised him that you would give the money to the team because that was your friend’s last wish. Generous, but as you are walking to Yankee Stadium to give the money to George Steinbrenner (the owner) you see a sign that says, “World Food Program: need $10 million to save numerous villages in Africa”. You think about giving the money to the organization because that would be the utilitarian thing to do, to help out as many people as you possibly could, but is that the right thing to do when you promised you friend that you would give the money to the Yankees? You think to yourself, the Yankees don’t need the money, they are already a great baseball team have plenty of money from their owner. This money could save countless people from starvation. But you are obligated to give the money to the Yankees because that was your duty. One of the best and well know philosopher’s of the Enlightenment is Immanuel Kant. Kant’s view on ethics was: it’s absolute, the duties or imperatives are not hypothetical, but categorical (Pojman and Vaughn, 239). This means that our moral duties need to be made on reasoning, not feelings. Humans fall victim to incorporating their feelings into ethical, moral duties quite often, Kant’s theory displaces this and informs us that our duties need to be executed in a reasoned manner instead. Kant composed The Good Will as well as the three propositions of morality. These reinforce his theory of Categorical Imperative. This theory, later described, reinforces that moral duties be reasoned and separated from feelings. The Good Will composed by...
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