Kantian approach to ethics is unique in that it provides both a method to apply in creating moral rules and guidelines and a clear justification to evaluate the moral value of specific actions. The theory seeks to provide a clear approach to the formation of morality and the moral legitimacy of particular actions. As such, Kant argued that morality must be based on reason and that the behavior that is most ethical will be automatically the most rational one.
The greatest strength of the Kantian approach is in its consistently. The theory’s morality is absolute and based on rules. If an individual seeks to other to follow certain rules, then the individual must also observe the rules. Considering that the moral rules are arrived at through reason, it is then obvious that they apply to everyone. The result is that the moral system emerges as both rational and stable.
Ironically, the theory’s strength is also its greatest weaknesses. The absolutist approach to morality easily leads to a conflict of morals. A famous example used to demonstrate this conflict is that if a Nazi-era Germany citizen is trying to hide Jews. If the Nazi’s ask him if he knows the location of the Jews, he is forced to choose between two moral rules: “do not lie” and “do not expose innocent people to harm.” In such situation, the Kantian approach is simply irrational and not applicable. Kant also fails to appreciate the impact of emotions on human decisions, especially when dealing with consequences. His argument that there is no certainty in the result of our actions, but this is simply unrealistic in most scenarios as the consequences of a decision are often apparent. Therefore, is a moral decision that causes harm justifiable despite its consistently with the morality?
The universal maxim that should apply to our country is that everyone should be kind and courteous. This is considering that most of the absolute rights have already been stated and are established in our community. Therefore, the requirement of kindness and courtesy could be a useful addition. There is rarely if ever a reason to be unkind and discourteous to another person regardless of the situation. Social and professional interactions will be improved greatly by the application of this maxim in the Country.
Spencer, Paulson and Colin Marshall. "Kant on Mind, Action, and Ethics." Kantian Review 20.3 (2015): 512-516. Print.