Philo 171
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 SAGNIP Questions for the Third Exam

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PostSubject: SAGNIP Questions for the Third Exam   Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:51 pm

1. The formulation number 1 of the categorical perspective in Kantian ethics states that “we should act in such a way that we can will the maxim of our act to be at the same time a universal moral law.” As a universality, or universalizability, test this mandates that the maxim of an act, for such act to be deemed moral, be universalizable. Isn't this a utilitarian way of thinking and as such an inherent contradiction in Kantian ethics which emphasizes the inherent/innate “value” of an act?

2. After careful considerations of the various ethical theories/views we discussed, what “personal moral system or code” can you come up with and which you can adopt? Be sure to talk about the values, precepts/ideas, and other elements that should comprise this “personal moral system or code”. Include your conception of freedom and accountability in this given moral system and your view of what it means to be a moral individual.
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PostSubject: Re: SAGNIP Questions for the Third Exam   Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:22 pm

1. According to Kant, “a moral person is rationally autonomous and self-consciuos with full freedom and has capacity for self-determination.” This means that beings are autonomous because beings should treat others as an end; self-conscious because human being’s maxims should be universalizable; and self-determination because beings because beings have the capacity to legislate and become subject to the laws.

Kant’s formulation number 1 of the categorical perspective, which states that “act in a way that we can will the maxim of our acts to be at the same time a universal moral law of nature,” is different from a utilitarian point of view due to the following reasons:

1) Since the formulation falls under the categorical imperative let us first define what the said imperative is. Categorical imperative is one of Kant’s doctrine in which it is a rule or command that is not contigent upon sensible desires and based upon a pure reason alone. Such definition will put a demarcation from the utilitarian perspective which is anchored in hypothetical imperative which is based upon practical reason (happenstance).

2) When we say innate or inherent value of an act, this merely refers to doing something out of duty. This signifies the Supreme Moral Duty.

3) Since we are rational, beings actually consider their actions in a way that it is applicable and acceptable for all (regardless of different faculties we may have). This means that human beings think and act in accordance to what may people will do if they are in that particular situation. Reason is the faculty of reckoning, naming and distinguishing grounds in every truth. Reasons consider that thoughts and perceptions is affiliated or subjected to a unified and organized system (as to what believes that “human reason is by nature architectonic”), allowing human beings’ actions be put into a universal from the particular condition. Thus, reasons constitute morality.

Universalizability reflects on the perceptions and cognitions (in general terms) of human beings alone. This does not covers the use or purpose of the universability test, which is in utilitarian sense, that is to obtained peace, order, harmony among others.

2. I believe that morality is a relative matter due to the fact that morality is a normative science or it is always related or embedded in a society. This means that in conveying morality issues, we should consider factors such as variety of cultures, rationality, religion and among others that affects one’s decision and action. In addition, everything should be based upon dialectics.

I believe in Kant’s a definition of a moral person. That is, a “moral person is rationally autonomous and self-consciuos with full freedom and has the capacity for self-determination.” People are rational and have reasons in executing decisions and actions. Such actions and decisions should be based and seen (not by an individual but merely all) in an objective manner. Human beings should be self-conciuos, with full freedom and has the capacity for self-determination. But, I believe, in applying the chracteristics mentioned in our existing system, people are not fully autonomous and self-consciuos; do not have the full freedom and the capacity of self-determination. This means that beings should first change the current system so as to carry out Kant’s definition of a moral person.

For as long as one is not cognizant of the current system and is not ideologically equipped, he or she can not fully obtain being a moral person, because the ideology, itself, is the determing factor on how you think, decide and execute actions. People should be “enlighten” so as to carry out objective actions.
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