Total 100 Marks Paper
1. Explain the conditions of Kant for Moral Law?
Ans. : Kant states the following conditions for Moral Law:
A. For a rule to me a moral rule, it must prescribe to us categorically and not hypothetically. A moral rule prescribes what we ought to do without reference to any purpose or consequences. A hypothetical prescription or imperative only tells us what we ought to do if we wish to achieve certain code ends. So naturally, if we did not seek these ends, it will lose prescriptive force upon the ends a person seeks. Thus a moral rule is not contingent upon ends. Therefore a moral rule must prescribe to us independently of our ends, that is categorical. B. For a rule is moral rule, it must be consistent, universalisable. Thus, such a rule can be prescribed as a guide to everyone’s conduct without involving a self-contradiction. Such a rule has a general applicability almost without exception. If any exception at all is to be made, then it is to be made exceptionally. The possibility of an exception should be extremely remotest. C. For a rule to be a moral rule, it must be such that, if all men were to follow it, they should treat each other as ends in themselves and never as means only. D. For a rule to be a moral rule, it must be a capable of being self-imposed by the will of each person when he is universally legislating.
His argument for the existence of God follows: We all have a sense of innate moral awareness – from this we are under obligation to be virtuous An ‘average’ level of virtue is not enough, we are obliged to aim for the highest standard possible True virtue should be rewarded with happiness There is an ideal state where human virtue and happiness are united – this Kant called the ‘ Summum Bonum’ Moral statements are prescriptive – ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ Humans can achieve virtue in a lifetime but it is beyond us to ensure we are rewarded with happiness. Therefore there must be a God who has the power to ensure that virtue and happiness coincide in an afterlife.
Moral qualities exist as separate entities. We are contingent and flawed beings and cannot achieve summum bonum (HIGHEST MORAL GOOD) Summum bonum must be achievable Morally necessary to postulate God’s existence. God is required for morality to reach its end
Kant rejects PURE reason - Crtitique of Pure reason (1791) Develops the idea of PRACTICAL reason – a common sense approach, based on a reflection of what it means to be human Four premises of practical reason All human beings except that we ought to be as good as possible (summum bonum) [think about ‘inhumane’; being a human being implies being “good” “ Ought implies can ”; therefore summum bonum is possible to achieve (CAN BE ACHIEVED) Summum bonum – highest good - we can think of must include two things VIRTUE + HAPPINESS We can be obligated ONLY to be virtuous (practical reasons would suggest that we cannot have an obligation to be happy – it does not make sense to say you MUST be happy or you OUGHT to be happy . Three postulates of practical reason
If we have an obligation, this implies a responsibility; this implies human freedom Happiness and virtue are NOT necessarily aligned with this life; this implies that there is life after death (where happiness is aligned with virtue) If happiness is to be aligned with virtue, then there must be some mechanism, force, or person that makes this happen – this is God. I.e. there must be some potent thing / person / force that aligns happiness with virtue “ Therefore, it is morally necessary to assume the existence of God.” IMMANUEL KANT: Kant’s argument is inductive and a posteriori because his premises is based on a series of observations and seek to prove God’s existence with high probability. Criticisms of Kant:
Why must virtue be rewarded with happiness?
Morals are clearly inconsistent from the OT to the NT E.g. In OT we have a God who orders a massacre through Joshua...
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