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Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 had an interesting ethical system for reasoning It is based on a belief that the reason is the final authority for morality In Kants eyes reason is directly correlated with morals and ideals Actions of any sort he believed must be undertaken from a sense of duty dictated by reason and no action performed for appropriateness or solely in obedience to law or custom can be regarded as moral A moral act is an act done for the right reasons Kant would argue that to make a promise for the wrong reason is not moral you might as well not make the promise You must have a duty code inside of you or it will not come through in your actions otherwise Our reasoning ability will always allow us to know what our duty is Kant described two types of common commands given by reason the hypothetical imperative which dictates a given course of action to reach a specific end and the categorical imperative which dictates a course of action that must be followed because of its rightness and necessity The categorical imperative is the basis of morality and was stated by Kant in these words Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will and general natural law Therefore before proceeding to act you must decide what rule you would be following if you were to act whether you are willing for that rule to be followed by everyone all over If you are willing to universalize the act it must be moral if you are not then the act is morally impermissible Kant believes that moral rules have no exceptions Therefore it is wrong to kill in all situations even those of self-defense This belief comes from the Universal Law theory Since we would never want murder to become a universal law then it must be not moral in all situations Kant believes killing could
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