Categorical Imperative

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Categorical Imperative

The principle of private happiness states that an individuals
prosperity is weighed in proportion to that persons good conduct. In short,
ones peace of mind is empirically measured by how virtuous one is towards
others and to himself. Kants objection to ethical theories that use this idea
emanates from the fact that it extends human reason, one that determines good
will and good conduct, outwards instead of inwards, reason being automatic,
inherent in an individual. The above doctrine puts motive on virtues, meaning
that ones good conduct is being used as a means to an end. Morality is not
established because the inner self is not developed out of ones duty but
instead, the necessity to have good will is for satisfying a particular purpose.
Moreover, it is superficial, centered on a human beings feelings and
inclinations rather than pure reason. If one can not exercise rational behavior,
one will form ones beliefs out of sheer feelings and base ones opinion of
others on this. Moral feeling is not an apt judge of right and wrong because it
lacks that uniform standard, one that is unbiased and not easily swayed by
emotion. The fact that individuals are different also implies that they have
different basis and sources on morality, that they have dissimilar opinions on
good and evil. It makes it difficult, then, to establish a universally
acceptable set of laws if it is solely based on the dynamic nature of human
emotion. Kant believes that ones good will is inherently good in itself, and
should not be measured empirically. To use ones will as a means to an end
produces nothing but unhappiness and extends only to misology, the hatred of
reason. Framing ones life to certain expectations and shaping ones actions
to the attainment of those goals can be fatal when those expectations are not
met. Failure brings people down and to lack reason, one that does not conform to
desires, is to lack a foundation to stand on, to enable one to bounce back from
defeat. It will serve one better to have a definite belief in ones maxim to
be universally acceptable, acting only on those intentions that one believes
everybody else will accept. Therefore, the principle of private happiness calls
for a person to prove that moral worth within an existing situation. This theory
assumes that ones will can not stand independently without it being tested or
challenged. Ones prosperity is within the human being. All moral conceptions,
according to this philosopher, originate not from empirical evidence, but only
reason alone. Ends do not justify the means all the time. One can contrast
Kants beliefs on private happiness to that of Benthams utilitarian
principle. The latter defends the fact that actions are moral to the extent that
it maximizes happiness. There is a functional aspect to morality in this sense
because ones actions are judged good or bad according to how it makes the
individual happy or unhappy. Kant opposes this idea because happiness, in his
view, is strictly empirical. What brings a person satisfaction is subject to
ones experiences, it involves comparisons to certain events in ones life.
And for this, he explains that there is no definite principle to secure
happiness, there is no imperative or law that can make anyone happy anytime.
Prosperity is often a sign of happiness, and happiness, in Kants belief, is
more of an issue of human imagination, rather than human reason. Still according
to private happiness, good conduct determines peace in ones life. It can be
assumed in this principle that one can only act morally when one wishes to live
in prosperity. Kant, on the other hand, reiterates that it is ones duty to
act with good will towards ones self and others as well. It is only in this
manner that moral worth can be allocated to ones actions. Private happiness
tends to be a belief that is very selective on its character. Individuals that
agree with this perspective will tend to follow it whenever they see it fit
themselves to do so. But perfectly rational beings, according to Kant, will just
do the right thing, without any hidden agenda whatsoever. I believe in some of
the areas on private happiness. Like the fact that having good conduct does
increase the chances of one having peace of mind. Having a society that still
does good things rather than one mired in chaos and lawlessness, Id take that
in a heartbeat. I can sleep well at night knowing that there are still