Will with good in itself. Is the Prohibition of Active Euthanasia Inconsistent if we Regard Passive Euthanasia as Morally Permissible? 0000027243 00000 n Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. duty is the necessity of an action from respect for the law In the Metaphysics he says, ‘When the thinking man has triumphed over temptations to vice and is conscious of having done his often difficult duty, he finds himself in a state of satisfaction and peace of mind which can well be called happiness’ (as cited in Wike, 1994 p.14): quite clearly explicating moral happiness. Utilitarianism holds that pleasure and happiness have intrinsic value. Thus, while Diane may be making a decision based on what she considers to be her right to dignity, as per Kant, she is doing a wrong to herself and breaking a critical universal moral rule. 0000002209 00000 n Obedience to the moral law — duty — is the most important thing, but happiness is also desirable. Before addressing why Kant holds this view, it is important to understand what is being said through the term ‘happiness’ which, for Kant, can be understood in two ways; sensible, and intelligible. This equating of rightness and happiness produced is the key point which Kantian thought runs counter to. Available at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-social-political/ [Accessed on 14.09.09], Wike, V (1994) Kant on Happiness in Ethics, New York; State University of New York Press. Mourice Cranston), London: Penguin, Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy (N.D) Kant’s Social and Political Philosophy. But just as though a doctor’s conduct must be regulated as not all doctors will act fundamentally out of duty, man’s conduct must also be regulated as not everyone will always act out of moral duty. Aristotle also claims that happiness is achieved only by living a virtuous life – “our definition is in harmony with those who say that happiness is virtue, or a particular virtue; because an activity in accordance with virtue implies virtue. @��$+�r�O[���w �ۜ�e�:�/���v+�n����U �~��.&��*�o��e/y�/���m& These ideas epitomize the view of moral theories that recruit happiness as their basis. If our function was not to act in accord with virtue, but in accord with scientific progress, we could label our lives ‘good’ without being virtuous, provided we advanced science. For example, most people say courage is a virtue; however, I'm sure it took courage for the 9-11 bombers to hijack different planes, their bad will makes courage immoral in this case. No, he did not. In Algra, K., Barnes, J., Mansfeld, J., Schofield, M., eds. What feels the best for the most is virtue. Actions must be rationally considered in light of the CI, and it seems this is Kant’s intellectual happiness, and … good will is good in itself according to Kant and not because of what the good will brings about. Aristotelianism, on the other hand, is an attempt to bring in a nobler, virtuous ethic, but to a degree disregards the variety in humankind. German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an opponent of utilitarianism. Finally, this theory leaves much scope for people to pursue happiness, which is protected by the CI, thereby making a Kantian ethic more coherent than alternatives, in turn reintroducing true morality back into the picture, rather than a loose form of egoism. In sum, Aristotle’s reconciliation of virtue and happiness seems to fail because happiness can still be seen as higher than, or independent of, virtue and morality. To explain, consider Utilitarianism and Epicureanism. If it does not, the theory will be too far removed from humanity, for we cannot be expected to constantly act in ways that pull contrary to our will. We all know that fucking off in the short term inevitably harms us in the long term. This “worthy of happiness” is the requirements for the confrontation and compromise between morality and happiness. Kant was just describing which mental function is used when we think about the emotional state of happiness. Yet, their theories differ ultimately in how to go about attaining happiness. (Athenaeus, 1999, p.666). For example, most people say courage is a virtue; however, I'm sure it took courage for the 9-11 bombers to hijack different planes, their bad will makes courage immoral in this case. COMMENTS ON KANT'S ETHICAL THEORY Because we so commonly take it for granted that moral values are intimately connected with the goal of human well-being or happiness, Kant's insistence that these two concepts are absolutely independent makes it difficult to grasp his point of view and easy to misunderstand it. These theories are based on this happiness, and their ideas of what happiness is, invariably overlap, as Epicurean, These ideas epitomize the view of moral theories that recruit happiness as their basis. QUESTION 1 Bentham and Kant agree on which of the following? Firstly, the motivation behind moral action is in no way self-interest, it is a sense of duty. For Kant, however, these are less problematic, firstly, what is moral or virtuous in his theory is to abide by the ‘universal principle of right’, which is rational and non-changing, yet respects the variety in humankind, therefore is preferable to Aristotle’s stringent, single view of happiness. Actions must be rationally considered in light of the CI, and it seems this is Kant’s intellectual happiness, and more importantly this is what he sees as deserved happiness, for it is far from difficult for one to pursue happiness irrespective of morality, whereas pursuing happiness in line with morality is deserved and virtuous, and something one can appreciate as being a significant part of the ‘Good Life’. Kant notes that an important assumption necessary for moral responsibility is the idea that we human beings give the moral law to our own wills. Thus, according to Kant, you have respected the humanity. Through this we are freed from blindly chasing desires and happiness, which for Kant is a higher state of being, thus liberating us to rationally pursue happiness. Rationality, the basis of Kantian morality, must take into account ends for it to be considered practical. Kant surprisingly argues that the liar commits wrongdoing “in general” (8: 426, 429) when she lies. p.72). They say happiness is a journey and not a destination. But through reading Kant’s texts, it is apparent that happiness does play an important role in his moral theory. Seen this way, hiring people is not denigrating them, it’s enabling. %%EOF What does Kant say about reasons function? Both theories have as their highest practical principle ‘happiness’. This is one of the ways in which we know that a good will is good without qualification. Reason and imagination are mental functions used to tap into emotional states such as happiness. The main question now facing Kant is why one should act morally. A. K. Thomson), London: Penguin, Aristotle (2000), Nicomachean Ethics) (Trans W. D. Ross), Kindle Ebook, Athenaeus (1999) Deipnosophistae. 0 0. The key characteristic of this way of life is to constantly exercise and extract the best of each individual. p.9). What does Kant say about reason serves? If they do not bring it about, we should bid them goodbye. Full disclosure. Thus the reaching of these willed ends contributes toward ones happiness, because one wills to have ones desires satisfied. Under this light, Kant’s theory seems preferable to Aristotle’s. He believed happiness to be the end, and it is self-sufficient. Secondly, for Kant there is a firm set of rules that guide moral action which the other theories lack. J. By way of explanation, through merely chasing pleasures as the Hedonist proposes, all we are doing is enslaving ourselves to our sensual desires, leaving us on a par with animals. Immanuel Kant (1724 1804) is generally considered one of the three or four greatest philosophers in the Western tradition. It is the Firstly, for Aristotle, there is a single form of Eudaimonia/happiness that is the highest thing we can achieve; in the Ethics Aristotle defines this happiness extensively. Laziness – OK, I’m as lazy as the next guy. Kant believed there was too much ambiguity in defining personal happiness, thus making it unsuitable as a basis for morality. This in no way precludes happiness from playing a substantial roll in the theory, so long as the theory does not rest upon the attainment of this happiness, as this, as shown, euthanizes morals. Over time, philosophers have mulled over human happiness, with Aristotle and Kant taking opposing stances. A categorical imperative is a requirement of reason that. Available at. Virtue, one of the primary basis for achieving happiness in Aristotle’s ethics, can be seen as quite unstable in his argument. Kants philosophy is extraordinarily complex but perhaps he was most interested in reconciling Christianity with the science of the Enlightenment. ‘End’ for Kant means, ‘the material of the will’ (ibid. According to utilitarians, there is a very close connection between human reason and happiness -- their calculative conception of reason is in the service of happiness. 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