Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy About Ethics

Words: 868
Topic: Social Sciences

The philosophy of morality and ethics determines the laws that should be the guide for every human being. Immanuel Kant has extensively written on the topic of ethics and by what principles people should behave. Even today, Kant’s work on the highest moral principles is adequate to outline the truth and essence of life.

One of the mentioned facts made by Kant is that a person should always tell the truth. From one perspective, it is possible to see the inclination that rules a person to always tell the truth. Even though there might be severe and unwanted consequences, a person who always tells the truth acts in the highest order. There is no denying that sometimes, truth is unwanted and makes things worse but in the end, it is most beneficial. It can be said that some things are better left unspoken and that small lies are meant to make people feel better.

There are some situations where the immediate effect of telling a lie is positive, but it is only momentous. Even if it meant to make someone feel better about themselves or their surroundings, the final result would be the truth. Because the lie was told to make someone feel better, the negative effect of telling such lie will be increased once the truth is found out.

Not only the person will be displeased with their false thinking, but they will also be said that they were lied to. Also, the fact that they acted upon a lie will depress them even more and a lot of time and energy will have been wasted on a fact that does not exist (Pasternack 27).

Kant also speculates on the topic of the death penalty, and he argues that in case a person is ethical and morally correct, it becomes unnecessary to implement the death penalty, as life with the knowledge that they have killed someone or performed an act deserving of death is punishment enough. But, if a person is immoral and does not have any feelings of guilt, they will not suffer because of their wrongful actions, and so, the death penalty would be acceptable.

It might seem as proper reasoning, but a civilized society should not resort to murder for any reason. There are many possibilities as to how people should act in such situations. One of the primary objectives is to teach people how to behave, so depriving one of their life would not be practical. Even though some situations are grievous enough to permit the death penalty, the result does not produce any positive outcome.

The unfortunate fact about Kant and his philosophy about women is that it was limited by the time and society that he lived in. His view was that “women are passive by nature and determined more by inclination than reason (and therefore cannot be legitimate citizens, equal partners in a marriage or, even, capable scholars…” (Schott 77). Such reasoning mostly comes from the lack of knowledge about women and the reasons for their behavior.

Feminists have attributed much wrongful thinking to Kant because he fails to capture the essence of what makes a woman the way she is. The inappropriate judgment that Kant applies can be explained by the fact that the society which he lived in was unaware of psychology and did not contribute too much effort to pinpointing that true reasons for people’s actions and attitude. His view is based on discrimination by gender, and his excuse is that there was no other way to think of women.

He speaks about morality and that it is also very judgmental towards women because the premise is based on faulty reasoning. There is no specific criterion that sets one person from another, in terms of their moral potential and intellectual development. It is not possible to know a group of people without getting specific knowledge of the characteristics and specifics of the people. Thus, any opinion derived from imagination or false thinking is based on nonexistent facts and theories.

An important concept discussed by Immanuel Kant is the care of others and specifically, care that medical personnel pay to patients. It is obvious that people should care for others because it is morally correct and justified. The only way people can property function in a society is by cooperation and mutual help and understanding. When someone cares, they share the personal emotions and perturbations of life of another person, thus finding the common ground and ability to relate to the personal circumstances.

Kant bases each human life on reason and supposes that is it moral and reasonable to live while helping someone (Kant 147). Often, people are either shy or fearful of helping others because they are aware of the possibility to be judged and misrepresented. Because of social norms, people are unable to pass through the set norms.

A key concept relates to the medical professional and how doctors act towards the patients. It can be said that the majority of medical professionalists simply carry out their duties and go home. It is crucial that people with such authority care about the patients and do not cure but care about the people they are responsible for.

Works Cited

Kant, Immanuel. (2007). Critique of Judgment. New York, United States: Cosimo, Inc. Print.

Pasternack, Lawrence. (2002). Immanuel Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals in Focus. New York, United States: Routledge. Print.

Schott, Robin. (1997). Feminist Interpretations of Immanuel Kant. University Park, United States: Penn State Press. Print.