How do each of the following relate to your idea of morality: happiness; freedom; reason.
Kant’s original thought indicates that morality requires the free use of reason for the system that is systematic distribution of happiness and freedom (Guyer, 2000). Happiness is essential to the equation between virtue and the worthiness to be happy that he takes for granted in his mature writings and employs as the premise for the postulates of practical reason (Guyer, 2000). In his studies Guyer (2000) noted that Kant hardly separates mortality and happiness but he instead argues for reasons that morality requires the use of reason precisely.
This is for the reason for morality to systematize and thereby maximize happiness not just for oneself but for all which in turn requires freedom because such systematization would not be the natural outcome of following inclination. Guyer (2000) also says that many research shows Kant’s recognition that the issue of morality is nothing other than the use of reason to systematize happiness that is to regulate our attempts to satisfy our inclinations so that we satisfy only those individuals who fit into intra and interpersonal system of happiness.
There are several arguments that people may be governed by reason rather than instinct. This does not mean that reason is connected to happiness at all but rather infers that the free use of reason is the necessary condition for the universalization of happiness in individuals (Guyer, 2000). Guyer (2000) indicated that “as far as reason is concerned, the rule of our actions portray that if everyone acted in accordance with them, nature and choice among men would be universally harmonious for happiness which in this case is the law of reason and thus signifies morality” (p. 101). He continues to say that if reason literally provided service to the senses, for executing their demands, the people would be placed in big contradiction with themselves as well as with others more than even animals that are ruled through instinct.
Kant (1855) says that pure reason contains not certainly in its speculative but in its practical or more strictly its moral use principles of the possibility of experience of actions related to mans ethical percepts. Because reason commands certain actions to take place, this means that it must be possible for them to take place and hence a particular kind of systematic unity thus the moral must be possible (Kant, 1855). Kant (1855) also says that while reason possesses a casual power in relation to freedom it has none in relation to the whole sphere of nature. Also it is important to understand that while moral principles of reason can produce free actions they cannot produce natural laws.
According to Kant (1855) happiness is the satisfaction of all our desires extensive in regard to their multiplicity and intensive in regard to their degree and pretensive in regard to their duration. Because morality is grounded on the idea of universal happiness from free conduct, then people are necessitated to conceive of even the cause and government of the world in accordance with an idea. Guyer (2000) says that this makes everything harmonious or is concerned with happiness itself through harmonious efforts for otherwise the moral idea would have no reality in expectation and would rather be merely sophistical concept.
Morality demands that the instinctive pursuit of the gratification of any particular momentary demand of sense may contradict either the more enduring happiness of the individual or the more universal happiness of all (Guyer, 2000). This implies that free conduct in accord with the law of reason is designed precisely to avoid this unfortunate outcome and thereby maximize the happiness of both oneself and other. Guyer (2000) thus said that “there is no suggestion at all that the function of reason and freedom is to bring about some end that has no connection with universal happiness whatever” (p. 102).
Freedom in relation to morality takes no account of our desires or the means of satisfying then and regards only the freedom of a rational being and the necessary conditions under which alone this freedom can harmonize with the distribution of happiness according to morality principles (Kant, 1855). Chen (2004) says that our individual morality is the necessary condition for our true freedom and happiness. He thus defines freedom as a state of our being, more than free will. Morally freedom that is not actualized is at best merely potential freedom not real freedom and thus freedom is not true until we act upon and enjoy it. Chen (2004) also indicates that even when we actually consider freedom to be free will then on the other hand we cannot say that we truly have free will when we ensnare ourselves in the world. This indicates that if choose to live morally, it means that then we choose to abandon our freedom.
Kant does accept that freedom has an instrumental value as the most secure source of happiness. Guyer (2000) says that the basis of freedom is that it allows us to modify our desires in such a way as to make their satisfaction independent of luck and contingent circumstances. Other studies from Guyer (2000) imply that the value of freedom is special because it puts us in control of the sources of happiness within ourselves. In addition, Kant says that we can morally use our freedom to make our own happiness more secure which is just another basis for the instrumental value of freedom.
Importance of moral majority to social and individual ethics.
The most important practices and ideas involve the relationship of an individual with the collective and emergent ethics (Allan, 2010). Moral majority and ethics are thus considered as social rather than individual and come out of experience, experimentation, and diversity. Moral majority and to both individual and social ethics is concerned with bringing freedom and equality to all human kind and thus it must find ways in which diverse people have diverse interactions (Allan, 2010). Allan further says that “the morality of the majority is not found in a harmonized conviction system but rather it is found in when the greater part of the citizenry come together for social discourse where diverse ideas clash and where reason can create consensus” (p. 8). This means that moral majority is not a static belief system but it should be considered as an ongoing and public meeting of the minds of the majority of people.
Moral majority is the enforcement upon others of the codes of behavior and rules of perception of an individual or a group of individuals. Bourdeau (2003) says that “the important of moral majority to an individual is that it does not accept free thoughts and unapproved behavior” (p. 8). In a society moral majority has the implication that to think freely in ways that tend to deviate from or challenge socially sanctioned moral beliefs is regarded as perverted if not criminal offense.
In conclusion, the other importance is that it functions because of acceptable behavior and correct thinking with the accompanying rewards to both social and individual ethics. Moral majority promotes positive morality which is the ethical values that are upheld by the majority of the community (Bourdeau, 2003). Moral majority also provides an opportunity to control the social and individual ethics in the basis of providing a vibrant basis of debate, discussion, and development in a community. Also moral majority offers both individual and social ethics the hope of the values that inform them carrying out their role in the society at large.
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