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    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Default Kant's Moral Foundations

    Could someone please summarise for me the epically gigantic metaphysical basis for Kant's Categorical Imperative? In essence, why is it that Kant believes we should act according to the CI?

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Could someone please summarise for me the epically gigantic metaphysical basis for Kant's Categorical Imperative? In essence, why is it that Kant believes we should act according to the CI?
    Virtue is good will. A praiseworthy act is one that was inspired by duty. Some duties are immutable (imperative), others are malleable. Why we have such duties, or why virtue is to be equated with fulfillment of a duty has not been clearly explained. The highlight of Kant's ethic appears to be the proposition that 'good will' constitutes virtue. His claim that good motives require duty-bound actions vitiates his ethic. Because then the ethical maxims become an end in themselves with no due reason for them being so, hence they are arbitrary. This is the foundational pillar of Phariseenism, where man becomes subservient to the law and not vice versa.

    Kant's polemic was meant to countervail eudaimonic ethic. The chief purport of Eudamonia is that the end to all of morality is to find happiness. Kant's emphasis is that happiness has nothing to do with morality, morality is to be an end in itself. For Kant to be moral means to fulfill the universal law of ethics. You're not morally sound unless your intentions were to observe such a law.
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    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Although BW prolly did a better job of explaining it, I do have some notes on this.

    Deontological ethics:

    Duty based ethics. Duties are obligations that must be fulfilled whether you want to or not.

    Goodwill:
    Most important to Katain ethics - It refers to people’s intentions to do good things. Kant rejected outcomes to judge good or bad.

    The only “good” in itself is a good will.
    Your will determines morality, not outcome.
    Duties apply to everyone in the same way.

    Hypothetical imperatives:

    Apply if you want a certain result, and are stated in “if…then…” form.

    Categorical imperative:

    Apply in situations where moral obligations are imposed on us, no matter what our desires or circumstances.

    Determining Categorical Imperatives:

    1. “Ask, “what if everyone did that?”
    2. Don’t use people. People have will. (Own agency)

    These questions alert us to our duty, and thus, how we should act.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Was Kant an ISTJ?

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    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    INTJ is far more likely.

    Fair explanations, but it doesn't really answer my question. Does Kant give substantial grounds for why we ought to carry out our actions dutifully, or does it come down to dogmatism and static, rigid beliefs?

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    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Does Kant give substantial grounds for why we ought to carry out our actions dutifully, or does it come down to dogmatism and static, rigid beliefs?
    That is a false dilemma.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    INTJ is far more likely.

    Fair explanations, but it doesn't really answer my question. Does Kant give substantial grounds for why we ought to carry out our actions dutifully, or does it come down to dogmatism and static, rigid beliefs?
    I think the use of a categorical imperative is suppose to demonstrate that not following through on duty would be self defeating.

    This lame example brought to you by Kiddo.

    Question: Why should I pay my taxes?
    Categorical Imperative: What if everyone didn't pay their taxes?
    Answer: Where would the government get the necessary money to run the military which protects me and my family?

    Conclusion: It is my duty to pay my taxes.

    The proof is in the putting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    That is a false dilemma.
    How so? One may say that this is a false dilemma on the account that its not relevant whether or not Kant's ethical framework is supported by sound reasoning or is arbitrarily selected. However, the question that Ezra poses is whether or not Kant's ethical framework is epistemically legitimate. Whether or not the very foundation of his ethic is rationally tenable or is merely an arbitrary selection of one's dogmatic fiat. I'd consider for this to be a very important problem as its not just a question specific to one part of Kant's ethic, but a question about the very kernel of his ethical framework. If it is to be decided that his ethic, at the very core, is illegitimate, than without a doubt all the fruit of his moralizing shall be worthless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Fair explanations, but it doesn't really answer my question. Does Kant give substantial grounds for why we ought to carry out our actions dutifully, or does it come down to dogmatism and static, rigid beliefs?
    Its not at all clear why in Kant's system the above duties are necessary. He seems to maintain that they are simply part of the moral law, yet its unclear why this is so. It shall be safer to go with the latter proposition. It would be understandable if Kant said that observance of such duties leads to happiness (E.G perfection of a person's inner nature or order in society),yet it is puzzling why one would want to see such duties as an end in themselves.
    Last edited by SolitaryWalker; 03-03-2008 at 12:58 PM.
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    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    That is a false dilemma.
    See BlueWing's answer.

    From my own perspective, I'm always a fan of one backing up one's claims. You've just made a claim without saying why it's a false dilemma. Please elaborate.

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