When people think of Ethical Theory then the word morals, respect, and honesty seem to come to mind. Kant devised an ethical theory that is broken down into major elements to explain what he believes is ethical for society to believe. This is where the act of good will comes to existence and the nature of a person’s demeanor comes into how he or she decides what is the right or wrong thing to do. When the laws are put into place to help people know what society has decided what is ethical. Next, would be the decision making process of doing what is right or wrong.
Looking at personal gain is not morally correct and having no respect for what is right is hard for a person to decide. He or she must have the decision making process developed or taught to ensure successful outcomes in ethical dilemmas. The major elements of Kant’s ethical theory is a person should not use another as a means to satisfy a personal desire and that morality is based on universal rules much like what is referred as the Golden Rule. The principles of Kantianism have hypothetical and categorical imperatives.
We have a duty to ourselves and to others and while we have the ability to rationalize, our actions are not always rational. When using another as a means it should be without coercion or lying and the end should be such that they would be willing to being used. Actions requiring the use of deception are wrong and unjust. One does not make false promises. “For Kantians, respect for another person is fundamental. The fact that we are rational is of infinite value: we can plan, choose, and anticipate our future. ” (Stairs, 1997.Pg 4).
In Kantianism, justice ranks higher than happiness and if the act is not unjust then it is not immoral or wrong. Kant thought of “good will” as a deed done for wise regulation motives from a purpose of responsibility. This instructs and benefits as a categorical imperative for all ethical judgments rather than speculative or relying facts (Deontology & Kant, 2005). Kant’s theory is basically an example of deontological, which judges morality by reviewing the nature of actions and the will of agents rather than goals obtained.
The system of deontology is supported by rules and principles, which verify decisions. Kant proposed the categorical imperative, the views that every person should act on only those methods that he or she, as a wise person would direct as popular laws to be pertained to the whole of mankind (Ethical Theories & Approaches, 2001). Imperative includes treating others how he or she as a person wants to be treated basically respecting others. Categorical imperatives are essentials: * Actions pass or fail * No “grey areas”
* But the cracks appear in unlikely places (Deontology and Kant, 2005). In the decision making process within the Kantian approach, ethical decisions are based on his or her sense of duty. The word duty is derived from the Greek word Deon (deontological). Duty refers to the acts of a person based on the principles of morality. In this decision making approach a person must make decisions based on what is right rather than the good consequences that will follow. A person must make the morally right decision regardless of the good or bad outcome.
Categorical imperative is what determines whether an act is morally right or wrong. The requirements of categorical imperatives are that moral principles are applied by respecting humanity. All humanity is to be respected and no one is allowed to be exploited. In this deontological point of view a person should act rational person and make self-imposed decisions. In conclusion, Kant wants people to understand how to understand the ethical theory that society should follow. If a person is looking for something in return for doing a good deed it is not considered a good deed.
If he or she does unto others how they want to be treated then that is the moral duty to do right by everyone. Good will is an important ethical element in Kant’s theory because if a person is not willing to do for others and not expecting anything in return then the nature of things will be chaotic and order will be lost. This is where the decision making process comes into play meaning if society chooses to help others without thinking of what is in it for them than good will has happened.
Nature is where everything comes in balance and works in harmony with one another. People are part of nature and following the elements of ethical theory is essential to everyday living in order to live in a peaceful world. Reference Stairs, A. (1997). Kant’s Ethical Theory. Retrieved from https://www. stairs. umd. edu/140/kant. html Ethical Theories and Approaches. (2001). Ethical Theories and Approaches. Retrieved from: http://techsci. msun. edu Deontology and Kant. (2005). Business and Ethical Thinking: An Ethic of Duty. Retrieved from: www. bola. biz.