The Dilemma of the Euthyphro Kantian Ethics

There is no time that one should be permitted to tell a lie
Different examples on a person using the ether as a means and the vice versa.
J. S. Mill on Happiness

Ethical Egoism
Ethical Egoism is a Philosophical doctrine claiming that for an action to be morally right it then has to maximize ones self interest. I do not agree with this central idea of Ethical Egoism and I feel it is a selfish way of doing things.

Egoism has greatly defied the principles of traditional morality where people used to co-exist by and for one another. Care has to be taken that in the pursuit of ones self interests, different beliefs between individuals dont clash. This means that an egoist will only pursue his or her goals harmoniously if they are compatible with others.

Ethical Egoism is faced with a paradox which renders the the  theory relative and can therefore not work on all conditions. This is so where the deep interest of the egoist is good friendship. Good friendship has got tolerance and selflessness as key pillars which on the other hand the two defy the basic principles of ethical egoism. This clearly shows that ethical egoism cannot be used as a universal moral doctrine.

If I had the ring in the Myth of Gyges, I would take advantage of that invisibility and expose all those who do unjust things to others pursuing their selfish ends and eventually make the world a better place for everyone.

The Dilemma of the Euthyphro
Platos argument about what is holy and what is approved by the gods not being the same thing is convincing. The argument examines the nexus between the two ideologies whether an action is holy because the gods approve it or whether the gods approve an action as holy because its holy. The first argument is heavily based on the assumption that there is a God and that the God is holy and consequently what this God approves to be holy definitely becomes. The second argument is based on the assumption that hat is good was first thought of and God then approves to be holy. This shows a standard prior to God that was used to determine what is good.

Emmanuel Kant in support of the second argument says that the determination of what is right or wrong is not dependent on the existence or non-existence of God and it is not true that believers are the only good people. He asserts that there are principles of morality that should always guide us on what is right and what is wrong. Our different religious beliefs are not part of these principles in any way.

He further recommends that we must establish a principle that is universally acceptable and binding to us. This is the principle he calls the supreme principle of morality and it should only contain that that is good.

Platos reason for leaving the argument unresolved was mainly to set the stage for a more intellectual and philosophical discourse in trying to find out the origin of the moral norms that we greatly cherish.

Kantian Ethics
There is no time that one should be permitted to tell a lie.
Speaking the truth according to the philosophy of Kant is a categorical imperative and should. If telling a lie would lead to a certain end then the end should be pursued by the use of appropriate or moral means. The person or authority to which one will have lied shall have been used by this particular person as a mere means to an end but not as an end in itself. A categorical imperative in other words is a mandatory obligation which does not depend on the expected outcome.

Different examples on a person using the ether as a means and the vice versa.

Like in the case above, lying is an example of using someone as a means to an end. A suspect in a murder case who frames another person so as to evade a jail term would be using the other party as a mere means to an end. On the other hand, a person who would pay back money that he or she borrowed would be treating the other party as an end in himself and not as a mere means to a certain end, say wealth.

J. S. Mill on Happiness
According to Mill, a Utilitarian of the 19th century believes that common sense and intuition cannot be a good way in which moral codes can be determined. Like other Utilitarians, he argues for the common good. That moral good lies in that that gives happiness to the greatest number. In his assertions that we will hardly find a common good that will satisfy all the people, he therefore reverts to that one which is accepted by the largest number of people.

I do not agree with Kants doctrine as the greatest happiness may not always mean justice. A president who has led citizens with bad governance for example, would please so many people by being justly punished for plunging his people into poverty. In the quest for administering justice to him, the greatest majority would prefer to have him hung to death without undergoing any form of trial. Morally, it would be wrong to do so to him but under utilitarianism, this would happen with ease. This clearly shows that it is not in all matters that public opinion on what pleases people can work. On such matters of justice, utilitarianism would fail.

Moral Philosophy revolves around a wide range of issues and schools of thought as seen above. Also the thinkers who have examined the issue of what is wrong and what is right in pursuit of a universal moral order are many. There being so many theories advanced by such thinkers, there is need for more intellectual activity in search of the same.


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