Maintaining Respect -from a Kantian Point of View Essay

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Maintaining Respect

From a Kantian Point of View

When an individual has committed an act that is morally impermissible, it is difficult to maintain respect for that person. Respect is a way of following Kant’s Humanity Formula of the Categorical Imperative. A Kantian analysis on the subject of respect is to treat rational beings as valuable and not as objects for self gratification. There are moral laws that define humanity and respect is an essential law that keeps rational beings trustworthy of one another. If an individual I respect commits an immoral act, it proves dishonoring the moral law of humanity, which alters my ability to maintain respect.

Respect is viewed as an attitude that we present to other people in order to hold one another accountable. “Respect regulates relations among self-reflective animals that are held accountable for their actions and attitudes and responsive to reasons” (Bagnoli, 2007). Committing an immoral act, in my opinion, shows disrespect to oneself and within a community. Kant categorizes certain actions into two imperatives and formulas that exhibit moral behavior. These moral behaviors reflect judgement on a person and therefore project a self image. When an individual acts out immorally it is the effect that is considered the most, rather than the actual action.

Kant’s imperative explains that, “ Only a rational being has the power to act in accordance with his idea of laws-that is in accordance with principles-and only so he has a will” (Kant, 2009). An imperative is a formula of command or reason that represents the concept of “ought”. An example of ought is that it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you are at a red light with no other cars on the road. You are located in a very low populated area which means police force is limited. The question of whether or not to run the red light or wait for the light to turn green is a battle with ought. You…