Do we knowwhat we are doing is morally right or wrong? To act in good faith, we must allknow the actions in which we take is morally right or wrong. Kant defined goodwill as not really acting out the good deed but more of the attitude you havewhen doing something good. Kant felt we should act realistically in order todevelop a good will. Simply doing something good doesn’t mean it is good but ifyou good intentions on your actions then its good will. According to Kant, thegood will is the only thing that is good in and of itself. Kant says we musthave a moral duty instead of a person’s natural tendency.
When Kant speaks onduty, he speaks more in reference to basically a set of rules of conduct. Forhim he created the categorical imperative. Thecategorical imperative is basically the formula for universal law, if we canfollow these laws then we will always act out of good will. Before we act, weshould consider the categorical imperative for it provide a way for us toevaluate our moral actions. Kant provides us with four formulations ofcategorical imperative. Two formulas help understand the categorical imperativewas, the formula of the universal law of nature and the humanity formula. The formulaof the universal law of nature explains what is the general rule in the action Iam considering. The humanity formula focuses on how we should treat people,basically we need to treat people in good will and not in good will justbecause it may benefit us which would be morally wrong.
Conformity to universallaw is basically saying we have laws and we should follow them. Kant, I don’t believewas not telling us we have to obey but we should have the goal or desire tofollow. The death penalty is the strongestpunishment for a person who have committed heinous crimes. It is a deterrentfor others not to commit the same heinous for certainly those that havecommitted those heinous crimes they will not be able to after justice isserved. We sit back and think is it really justice by creating more suffering, puttinganother life through pain and suffering but not only physical but emotional toofor the actor’s family who will be emotionally suffering. Kant believes thatthere is law set in place for a reason and we must follow. Kant seem to believethat if you violate those laws then you should face the consequences.
Kantfeels it is morally accepted for the death penalty especially for murderbecause it helps prevent these crimes from future criminals, and for them tothink about the crime they are going to commit. If you kill someone for no reasonor just for some type of revenge, Kant feels that is ethically wrong andimmoral. Now if you kill someone and you get sentenced to death, Kant feel itis a moral action to do so because of the fact you killed someone and now theyare removing you from harming anyone else. If the government was sentences youto death just because they wanted to use your body for a science experimentthen Kant felt that was also immoral because it was defeating the purpose ofcapital punishment and keeping the citizens safe.