depletion in natural resources which in turn harms people, hence the country’s actions are breaching the respect for persons formulation of the categorical imperative. The CEO of XYZ Company says, "In our corporation, we comply with our duty to make the safest products for our customers, no matter what the consequences to our bottom line." The CEO's beliefs are grounded in the Kantian theory of ethics. The CEO cares about the company’s duty to consumers, no matter what the consequences to the company's profits. This is a Kantian approach to ethics. Because motive is the most important factor in Kantian ethics , it is possible for an action to have negative consequences while still being a moral act. For example, if acting out of a sense of duty you attempt to save a drowning child, but in the process you accidentally drown the child, your action is still considered a moral one. Criticism
• First, some say Kant’s approach gives little aid for complex situations. For example, what if there are conflicts of duty? Suppose you decide that 2 duties are telling the truth; and protecting your friends. But what if a madman with an axe asked you where your best friend was so he could murder him or her? Do you tell the truth and thus lead the murderer to your friend? Or do you lie and save your friend’s life? Interestingly, Kant believed telling a lie was always wrong even if a vicious murderer asked you where your friend was so he could murder him. • Second, some say Kant dismisses emotions such as pity and compassion as irrelevant to morality. But many think these are “moral” emotions that cannot be separated from morality. Why should helping an old lady across the street out of compassion not be considered moral? What is wrong with compassion and pity? • Third, some say Kant’s approach does not take the consequences of actions seriously enough. What if a well-intentioned person with a good motive causes a number of deaths? He would be morally blameless according to Kant’s view. Or, what if a well-intentioned babysitter dries your cat in a microwave oven? Would you say, “That’s okay, her motive was good.” Immanuel Kant 's Categorical Imperative states that if an action is not right for everyone, then it is not right for anyone. Immanuel Kant's general theory on ethics was that humans are subject to hypothetical and categorical imperatives, of which the latter binds us morally into acting in a particular manner. The categorical imperative binds rational human beings to act in a moral way, simply because we are rational beings. For example, when we are deciding how to act in a particular situation, we must ask whether we would be prepared for every person to follow that rule all the time thereby making it a universal law. If yes, then the act is allowable. If no, then the act is morally wrong.
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