An examination of the moral issues behind keeping promises

It involves giving each other words that must be followed given any certain circumstance.

An examination of the moral issues behind keeping promises

Leading 20th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe Kant, unlike Mill, believed that certain types of actions including murder, theft, and lying were absolutely prohibited, even in cases where the action would bring about more happiness than the alternative. For Kantians, there are two questions that we must ask ourselves whenever we decide to act: If the answer is no, then we must not perform the action.

Again, if the answer is no, then we must not perform the action. Kant believed that these questions were equivalent. Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.

The CI determines what our moral duties are. What does it mean for one's duty to be determined by the categorical imperative? What is an imperative? An imperative is a command.

So, "Pay your taxes! Another example, your father says, "if you are hungry, then go eat something! What is the connection between morality and categorical imperatives? Morality must be based on the categorical imperative because morality is such that you are commanded by it, and is such that you cannot opt out of it or claim that it does not apply to you.

How does the categorical imperative work? The categorical imperative has three different formulations. That is to say, there are three different ways of saying what it is. Kant claims that all three do in fact say the same thing, but it is currently disputed whether this is true. The second formulation is the easiest to understand, but the first one is most clearly a categorical imperative.

Here is the first formulation. A maxim is the rule or principle on which you act. For example, I might make it my maxim to give at least as much to charity each year as I spend on eating out, or I might make it my maxim only to do what will benefit some member of my family.

The command states, crudely, that you are not allowed to do anything yourself that you would not be willing to allow everyone else to do as well. You are not allowed to make exceptions for yourself. For example, if you expect other people to keep their promises, then you are obligated to keep your own promises.

More accurately, it commands that every maxim you act on must be such that you are willing to make it the case that everyone always act on that maxim when in a similar situation. For example, if I wanted to lie to get something I wanted, I would have to be willing to make it the case that everyone always lied to get what they wanted - but if this were to happen no one would ever believe you, so the lie would not work and you would not get what you wanted.

So, if you willed that such a maxim of lying should become a universal law, then you would thwart your goal - thus, it is impermissible to lie, according to the categorical imperative. It is impermissible because the only way to lie is to make an exception for yourself. Kant also has something to say about what makes someone a good person.

Keep in mind that Kant intends this to go along with the rest of his theory, and what one's duty is would be determined by the categorical imperative. However, one can treat this as a separate theory to some extent, and consider that one's duty is determined by some other standard.

Keep in mind that what is said below has to do with how one evaluates people, not actions. A person's actions are right or wrong, a person is morally worthy or lacks moral worth i. A person's actions determine her moral worth, but there is more to this than merely seeing if the actions are right or wrong.

This chart should help explain the basics. Kant argues that a person is good or bad depending on the motivation of their actions and not on the goodness of the consequences of those actions. By "motivation" I mean what caused you to do the action i. Kant argues that one can have moral worth i.

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In other words, if a person's emotions or desires cause them to do something, then that action cannot give them moral worth. This may sound odd, but there is good reason to agree with Kant. Imagine that I win the lottery and I'm wondering what to do with the money.

I look around for what would be the most fun to do with it:pathways (essays) Kenneth Head. Moral complexity in the making and keeping of promises. The making of a promise involves the voluntary giving of one's word that, if and when a particular circumstance or situation comes about, one will undertake to act in a manner defined by the terms of .

The issues of lying can also be applied to breaking promises. Now again, keeping a promise is generally seen as a moral necessity. Breaking promises decreases trust, hurts people, and can harm. A “because I said I would.” card. I’ve always felt that integrity is an important part of what makes up our character, and helps define “Who we are” as people; to me, a huge part of integrity is the habit of “keeping our word”, and always, always, ALWAYS doing what we say we will do, plain and simple.

The debate between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism highlights many important issues about how we should make moral judgments. Act utilitarianism stresses the specific context and the many individual features of the situations that pose moral problems, and it .

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Moral Issues Behind Keeping Promises The Moral Issues behind Keeping Promises Almost every relationship between two people involves the making of promises to each other.

It involves giving each other words that must be followed given any certain circumstance. Therefore, making a promise implies that one will keep it, as in staying true to ones word.

“I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself. I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break.

An examination of the moral issues behind keeping promises

Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise”.

Promises Quotes ( quotes)