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Kantian Ethics and Kant's View on Lying

According to Immanuel Kant, morality is grounded in absolute moral rules that we must adhere to under all circumstances. One such moral rule is the prohibition against lying.

Answer the following
Explain why Kant believed there cannot be any exceptions to the duty not to lie, regardless of the consequences.
Explain why, according to the general moral principle of the Categorical Imperative, lying could not be a universal law.
Do you agree with Kant about not lying? Why or Why not?
Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe it would be personally ethical for you to lie?
Be sure to include 3-4 references cited in APA format

Solution Preview

Explain why Kant believed there cannot be any exceptions to the duty not to lie, regardless of the consequences.

Kant believed there can be no exceptions to the duty not to lie for two main reasons. Kant believed that being human includes having dignity and intrinsic worth, as well as having free will and acting ethically. Kant's reasons for not lying are based on his view of humans having intrinsic worth and free will. The first reason pertains to how lies affect one's self, and the second relates to how lies affect others.

First, Kant believed that when people lie they are corrupting their own dignity and intrinsic worth (Rachels & Rachels, 2011, pp. 137-138). Lies are a contradiction to a person's moral, ethical and intrinsic worth. Further, lying inhibits a person's ability to make rational choices of their own free will because they become influenced by the lie.

Second, Kant believed that when someone lies it takes away other people's ability to make rational choices of their own free will. It is a way of manipulating them (Rachels & Rachels, 2011, pp. 137-138). When someone is told a lie they have been given misinformation. If they base any choices or actions on that lie, then they are acting or choosing based on inaccurate information. Had they known the truth, they might have made a different choice. So when we lie, we are robbing others of making rational choices of their own free will because they have not been given all the information. Kant ...

Solution Summary

This library solution provides an overview of the reasons why Emmanuel Kant believed that it was never permissible to lie. An explanation of why lying could not be a universal law, according to the categorical imperative, is also discussed. Additionally, an opposing view is presented that includes examples of situations in which lying might be justified.

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