Ethics of Dignity and Freedom

Good Essays
Ethics of Dignity and Freedom
SUBDOMAIN 110.1 - Competency 110.1.4

Kant's theory of the Categorical Imperative was the first ethical theory to be based on the concepts of the dignity and freedom of man and the concept of reason as opposed to moral obligations derived from God, other human authorities or the preferences or desires of human agents. He believed that morality could be summed up in one ultimate principle. He called it the Categorical Imperative.
It attempts to describe a decision making process based on the deceptively simple question, "What ought we do?" He uses rules referred to as maxims as the basis for making decisions. According to Kant when we are contemplating whether an action is moral or immoral we should ask ourselves what rule or maxim we would be following when making the choice. Kant also stresses the autonomy of each human being as a rational agent based on their ability to reason and their right to be respected by others as rational agents. These two concepts can be presented in two formulations describing constraints that according to Kant should be applied to the maxims we adopt.
The first formulation is known as ‘The Formula of Universal Law'. Kant expresses this formulation like this:
"Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."
In a nutshell I like to think this means, "If I would wish that everyone do it then it's okay for me to do." This thought embodies the idea of the autonomy of human will that Kant believes exists. He believed that we are in essence each making our own moral laws based on reason and rationality (autonomy) as opposed to attempting to obey externally created sets of moral laws like the bible's 10 commandments (heteronomy). Kant opposed previous ethical theories largely because they violated this idea of the autonomy of human will.
The second formulation is referred to as the ‘The Formula of the End in Itself'. Kant

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Beyond Freedom and Dignity Skinner's form of behaviorism, radical behaviorism, is obviously the root of many of his ideas throughout this book as he uses the environment in explaining overt behaviors and dismisses covert behaviors as any kind of influence over people's actions. Skinner wants to make psychology a science by making it have measurable material; therefore, the workings of the mind, people's motivations, and people's emotions are not measurable and should not be considered. What needs…

    • 1244 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Euthanasia: Freedom to Die with Dignity (Argumentative Essay) Outline Euthanasia: Freedom to Die with Dignity II. Introduction II. Background Information III. Right to Die Movement III. Counter Arguments and Responses to Them V. Conclusion English 1301 23 January 2009 Euthanasia: Freedom to Die with Dignity: In the year 2007, my grandfather the Honorable Leon Davis was dying. This American war hero had made a request to die with dignity. He was…

    • 782 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Human dignity and freedom of expression in the media [Insert Names of Author(s) here] [Insert Institution information here] Author Note [Insert Author Note here] [Insert Corresponding Author Information here] Human dignity and freedom of expression in media Freedom of expression is the basis of human dignity and one of the human rights, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Right “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes…

    • 2279 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Freedom of Ethics

    • 1174 Words
    • 5 Pages

    protection of freedom of expression in the United State, and what types of speech are not protected under the law? * What are some key federal laws that affect online freedom of expression, and how do they impact organizations? * What important freedom of expression issues relate to the use of information technology? * What key free-speech issues relate to the use of information technology? * In what ways does the internet present new challenges in the area of freedom of expression…

    • 1174 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Ethics of Academic Freedom University of La Verne EcBu 543 Ethics in Organizations And Society Summer II 2005 Professor: Rita Thakur The Ethics of Academic Freedom "Don 't take too seriously the advice of people who supposedly know better than you do. As long as you are finding out things we didn 't know before, you are doing something right." ~Doreen Kimura The quest for knowledge can be a wonderful thing. It can help to empower those that need confidence, and can also…

    • 2172 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Table of Contents 1.0 Freedom of Expression: Introduction.......................................................................... pg. 1 2.0 Controlling Access to Information on the Internet.....................................................…pg. 2 2.1 Case: Communication Decency Act 2.2 Case: Child Online Protection Act 2.3 Case: Internet Filtering 2.4 Case: Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 2.5 Ethical Dilemma and Group Conclusion 3.0 Anonymity on the Internet 3.1 Ethical…

    • 4829 Words
    • 20 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Dignity

    • 537 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Dignity is a concept that every human has a inherent right to respect and fair treatment according to human moral laws, and that human life is more valuable than material goods. On the other hand, greed, violence, and cruelty seem to happen daily, and one cannot help but wonder which of these contrasting ideas is the true human nature. My personal approach to dignity is that it is a natural part of man and that it is one of the factors that discriminates men from animals, and a factor in making human…

    • 537 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Dignity

    • 624 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Regulation and Policies Dignity at Work/Bullying Submitted by: Kastytis Bereznočenko 04.02.2013 Tutor: Michael Roche The Health and Safety Authority’s definition on bullying is: “Repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work. An isolated…

    • 624 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Death with Dignity

    • 2549 Words
    • 11 Pages

    not only do individuals battle terminal illness, but they combat the unanticipated demands on their right to die with dignity. The ability to choose the timing of one’s death is limited to a few states in America. Additionally, there are a few countries now allowing physician assisted suicide. Even with this option, a patient must exercise advanced planning. Death with dignity is an increasing concern for all members of society. Euthanasia is a term meaning good death in the Greek culture. It…

    • 2549 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Dignity in Nursing

    • 2677 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Individuality and dignity are both major concepts in nursing practice. Indeed they are often mentioned in healthcare policies (Suhonen et al., 2009 and Baillie, 2009). Dignity and individualtiy are also basic human rights. The United Nations (1948), acknowledges that every person has the right to freedom, equality and dignity, regardless of race, gender, colour, religion, political opinon, property or other status. This essay aims to detail what both dignity and individuality are, their importance…

    • 2677 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays