1. Positive Intentions/Negative Consequences 2. Negative Intentions/Positive Consequences 3. Positive Intentions/Positive Consequences 4. Negative Intentions/Negative Consequences Example: 1. In trying to save someone by pushing them out of the way of a runaway train, I may end up killing them because I push them into a car making a left turn. 2. I intend to kill someone, but for some reason or other, I end up saving them. Successfully Killing an innocent person for fun: good instance of bad intentions and bad consequences. Successfully Saving someone from being tortured: good intentions and good consequences. Basics of Kant’s Theory
What makes an action is a moral action? 1. Action: Fairly Charging the Customer, Reason: Because it makes me feel good to be fair. 2. Action: Fairly Charging the Customer, Reason: Because if others found out I was an unfair shopkeeper I would lose business. 3. Action: Fairly Charging the Customer, Reason: Because it is the right thing to do. The Moral Law demands that I do this out of principle. (3) action is the right thing to do: be fair. (1) & (2) are based on something that is contingent they do not apply universally and necessarily to all human subjects, are not moral is because each one is based on something that is contingent. Rules: 1. Morality is universal and necessary. 2. Thus, if an action is a moral action, it must be based on something that is universally applicable and necessary to all humans. 3. Specific desires are not universal and necessary. 4. So, no action based on having specific desires can be universal and necessary.
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- Spring '11