Categorical imperative for me
Categorical imperative is the highest moral principle the man can choose to pursue. According to Kant the moral principle that we choose for ourselves should be unconditional, i.e. not depending on empirical conditions or objects of desire. It ultimately can be formulated as “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law" (Kant & Ellington, 1993, p. 30). For me the categorical imperatives that I abide by are the following:
1. I should constantly develop my own intelligence, skills, abilities and talents.
2. I should be open-minded, unprejudiced and accept everything as it is.
3. I should respect others and their right to experience a whole spectrum of feelings and emotions.
In my opinion, it is rather important for a person to adhere to the ultimate principles or categorical imperatives to have guiding lights in his life. I believe that the principles I strive for are ultimately the laws of nature themselves. While you can break the laws established by man (juridical ones) and not bear the consequences (get away with it for example), laws of nature cannot be broken. One can either live his life according to them and using them in his favour or bear the consequences of own erroneous actions. If everyone adhered to the abovementioned principles there would be no need for wars or conflicts as people would be concerned with their development and not with usurpation.
I assume that most people would agree with these imperatives after a brief reflection. These principles go along with every rational human ambition or strive for happiness and fulfillment. Still I know that there would be the ones who disagree due to their personal understanding of the universe and human relations. It’s up to each of us to live our lives up to our principles and define by experience whether they correlate with the laws of nature.
Garrett, J. (2006, October 2). Kant's Duty Ethics. Retrieved from http://people.wku.edu/jan.garrett/ethics/kant.htm
Kant, I.,& Ellington, J. W. (1993). Grounding for the metaphysics of morals ; with, On a supposed right to lie because of philanthropic concerns. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co.
Kant, I., & Gregor, M. J. (1997). Critique of practical reason. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.