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Kant’s Views On Human Rights

Kant is the most prominent liberal secular philosopher. Although people rarely mention or embrace his ideas, they continue to dominate the Western discourse. For instance, he conceived the human rights that are present within international charters and national constitutions. Kant believes that humans must consider the intentions or maxims of their actions. This perspective holds human lives as valuable because they are the bearers of rational consciousness. Conversely, according to the utilitarian view, an action can be considered as good if it produces the least amount of pain and a great amount of happiness. This perspective is not as superior as Kantian because it simply uses humans as a mere means to an end, and thus, some members of the society may be sacrificed for the greater good.

Kantian view focuses on doing what is right without primary consideration for its consequences. This is where Kant differs from Bentham, who does not merely use an action’s outcome to conclude its moral worth, unlike Kant. It is thus quite clear that Kant’s perspective is not atrocious. For instance, if somebody does attempt to do something good for another person but the action yields a negative outcome, it is not essential to blame them since their maxim is justifiable. Since it was impossible to correctly predict the outcomes of the action, one cannot pass a negative judgment simply because the outcome did not yield happiness. This example shows the superiority of Kant’s theory over the utilitarian view. Therefore, Kant’s theory simplifies the process of examining whether an action is wrong or right. It is superior to Bentham’s theory based on utilitarianism when assessing an action’s moral worth since Bentham may continue counting the consequences using an indefinite scale, unlike Kant’s theory, which has less range.

Part B

Kant’s theory has considerably changed my perspective on what is right and wrong. Kantianism believes that ‘goodwill’ is the only thing that is good and cannot be quantified. Therefore, the theory presses humans to consider what they ought to do rather than the consequences of their actions. He, therefore, conjured up two categorical imperatives that justify the actions that align with essential moral principles. The first imperative calls people to undertake actions that lie within moral rules as the universal moral laws. The second Kantianism imperative states that humans should treat others as ends in themselves rather than as means to mere ends. This paradigm requires individuals to treat others with respect as rational individuals. This theory, therefore, discourages the idea of using other people to achieve one’s goals without consideration for their individuality and humanness. Therefore, considering these two critical imperatives, Kantianism provides a useful model that is critical for decision-making based on values, facts, and logical reasoning.

Kant’s views provide a different perspective of rights and duties. It is quite imperative that his ideas do not rely on the idea that humans own themselves or that God is the giver of lives and liberties; it is the idea that humans are rational beings who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. If the desires and wants of humans are incapable of serving as the basis of morality, then Kant urges the use of pure practical reason. This will allow an individual to figure out how to arrive at the moral law. The idea that it is the intention and not the consequence or outcome that should be the overriding factor makes Kant’s idea more stimulating and superior.



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