Philosophy Of Kant
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Philosophy of Kant
Our universe is huge, amazingly huge. There are numerous planets and hundreds of galaxies that spread on enormous distances in the universe. All these planets and heavenly bodies are being controlled and managed in a very delicate yet complex way. Not only the heavenly bodies but all the living beings on these bodies or planets are also a very sensitive matter. Humans are the perfect creation of Lord, but they are not the only ones living on this planet. There are hundreds and thousands of creations or living beings that live on our planet, the Planet Earth, only. There are many others that are doubted to contain life on them, in any form.
Humans have been striving to understand this delicate and complex phenomenon of the universe and its creation. In fact, humans have been trying to solve many puzzles regarding the creation of the universe, the initiation of life on the planet, the starting of various kinds of processes and phenomenons on the planet, and many more. As a matter of fact, this knowledge goes far beyond this and tries to uncover various other mysteries like how life should be led, how a person should behave in public and in society, what is ethical and what is unethical, and many more issues.
Two ways have been adopted by humans to unravel these mysteries; one of the paths is the way of science, and the one is philosophy. The way of science relies upon experimentation and rigorous testing of the various phenomenon so that they can be proven right or wrong. Another way requires deep thinking and pondering over the various phenomenon going on in the universe and then providing the results on the basis of observations. This method includes careful observations, in-depth analysis, and critical thinking, and is known as philosophy.
Different philosophers have provided their contributions in this respect that what constitutes ethical grounds and what is counted as unethical. One of the prominent names in this respect is Immanuel Kant. Immanuel Kant presented different theories that defined different areas of philosophy that how various aspects of life should be taken. Immanuel cant especially focusses on the aspects of Capital Punishment or the Death Penalty. This piece of writing
Kant’s Theory of Good Will
By Goodwill, Kant means that which we actually value in moral decisions. According to him, whenever a person observes an action that is morally virtuous, what he or she regards as valuable is the will that has led to that action, instead of the consequence of that action. The reason for this is that the right action can be done for the wrong reasons, and sometimes good reasons might not suffice to bring about the intended consequences. In either case, consequences are significant only secondarily, while the will behind the action is the primary object of our moral assessment and criticism. The Good Will is the only good without any attributes or qualifications. It is guided by the moral law within. Despite all bearing on it, it will shine by itself, as it is done for the sake of duty itself, without any attachments.The Goodwill is a spontaneous force driven by the inner moral force, the force that binds humanity as such by the notion of duty for duty's sake. You can use wealth, courage, happiness, intelligence for any purpose, both good and bad. Once met with failures, they will also vanish. But the Goodwill is intrinsically good; it will remain even after failures. All other factors survive at the behest of Goodwill only.
Kant’s Theory of Duty
Kant's Ethics also surrounds the concept of duty. This tells how and when a specific duty should be performed. This theory explains that some actions should not be performed, no matter whatever the consequences are. Moreover, Kant was of the view that people do not perform their duties grudgingly. Kant was of the view that duty bounds a person and forces them to act against their will and inclinations.
Acting in Conformity with the Moral Law
Taking an action in accordance to the moral law or as per the moral values of a place refers to that a person should act exactly in accordance to moral values established at that place and society. The theory of acting in accordance with the moral values of a culture or the society states that no matter what the consequences are, a person should never forget to keep his or her actions according to moral values of that place.
Acting For The Sake Of Moral Law
Kant wrote the Critique of Pure Reason to secure the possibility of transcendental freedom. The moral law (in all its formulations) addresses the requirements of transcendental freedom: that action is autonomous and arise out of the practice of reason, and not be heteronomous influenced by empirical causality.
Difference between Acting In Conformity With the Moral Law and Acting For The Sake Of Moral Law
In the eyes of Immanuel Kant, the moral value of what a person does not depend on the actual action. An action is not actually good or bad. It is actually the results of those actions that decide whether these actions are good or bad. The only factor that decides that whether an action is morally good or bad is the intention or motive behind those actions. This is where the difference in the concept of acting out of conformity and acting out of moral laws lies.
Death Penalty or Capital Punishment
Death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is a government-sanctioned punishment or practice where a person is killed by the state as a punishment of a crime. The sentence that a person should be killed or murdered on the order of the government is known as death penalty and the process is known as execution. It is usually sanctioned to a person in the case of a very serious crime like murder. Capital punishment or death penalty is a very controversial topic and has been an issue of debate for a very long time.
Immanuel Kant’s views about the Death Penalty
Immanuel Kant had very clear and intricate views about the Death penalty. He was once found quoting:
“Even if a civil society were to be dissolved by the consent of all its members (e.g., if a people inhabiting an island decided to separate and disperse throughout the world), the last murderer remaining in the prison would first have to be executed, so that each has done to him what his deeds deserve and blood guilt does not cling to the people for not having insisted upon this punishment; for otherwise the people can be regarded as collaborators in this public violation of justice.” (Kant)
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that Kant had very intricate and elaborated views about ethics and morality. He had distinct views about the ethical perspectives of different actions. In this respect, he presented different theories that presented his various views regarding the multiple courses of actions that are performed by humans on various occasions. These theories were based on the consequences of these and how these actions affected the people around or society. Immanuel Kant had also very clear and explanatory views about the Death Penalty or Capital Punishment. He was clearly in favor of this kind of punishment and had the view that this was the best-served punishment for a murderer.
Kant, Immanuel. Moral Law: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Routledge, 2013.
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