Kant: The Universal Law Formation Of The Categorical Imperative

This essay Kant: The Universal Law Formation Of The Categorical Imperative has a total of 1304 words and 6 pages.

Kant: the Universal Law Formation of the Categorical Imperative
Kantian philosophy outlines the Universal Law Formation of the
Categorical Imperative as a method for determining morality of actions.
This formula is a two part test. First, one creates a maxim and
considers whether the maxim could be a universal law for all rational
beings. Second, one determines whether rational beings would will it to
be a universal law. Once it is clear that the maxim passes both prongs
of the test, there are no exceptions. As a paramedic faced with a
distraught widow who asks whether her late husband suffered in his
accidental death, you must decide which maxim to create and based on the
test which action to perform. The maxim "when answering a widow's
inquiry as to the nature and duration of her late husbands death, one
should always tell the truth regarding the nature of her late husband's
death" (M1) passes both parts of the Universal Law Formation of the
Categorical Imperative. Consequently, according to Kant, M1 is a moral
action.
The initial stage of the Universal Law Formation of the Categorical
Imperative requires that a maxim be universally applicable to all
rational beings. M1 succeeds in passing the first stage. We can easily
imagine a world in which paramedics always answer widows truthfully when
queried. Therefore, this maxim is logical and everyone can abide by it
without causing a logical impossibility. The next logical step is to
apply the second stage of the test.
The second requirement is that a rational being would will this maxim
to become a universal law. In testing this part, you must decide whether
in every case, a rational being would believe that the morally correct
action is to tell the truth. First, it is clear that the widow expects
to know the truth. A lie would only serve to spare her feelings if she
believed it to be the truth. Therefore, even people who would consider
lying to her, must concede that the correct and expected action is to
tell the truth. By asking she has already decided, good or bad, that she
must know the truth.
What if telling the truth brings the widow to the point where she
commits suicide, however? Is telling her the truth then a moral action
although its consequence is this terrible response? If telling the
widow the truth drives her to commit suicide, it seems like no rational
being would will the maxim to become a universal law. The suicide is,
however, a consequence of your initi

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