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Posted on March 16th, 2013, by

Thinking about the fact that it is better to be morally perfect Kant considers that morality can not be viewed merely as a way to achieve some result. Morality perfection, in this interpretation, becomes a purely technical, pragmatic task, the question of ”˜prudence’, skills and ability to effectively achieve goals. Such principles of action, of course, take a place in human life, and Kant calls them conditional, hypothetical imperatives: if you wish to achieve some result, you should to do something. The main problem lies in fact that such rules, defining the means (methods, techniques, ways, techniques) of the desired goal, leaves aside the question of the goals determining. Indeed, the moral demands on the person can not be reduced to some kind of technical requirements, which indicate only how it is better to pursue one’s objective. Firstly, not every goal can be considered moral, a successful operation may have immoral orientation. Secondly, even in the name of a good purpose there can be applied means, moreover, efficient means, which can be immoral in their essence. Thus, a hypothetical imperative, as a guide to action of a technical nature, says nothing about the moral character of actions. Expediency is not always coincide with the demands of morality ”“ that is why the problem arises in this case. Its solution is: in life, people had different goals, but it is usually impossible to deduce morality from these, particularly private, ”˜empirical’ purposes.

One of the historic achievements in the development of Kant’s concept of morality is in an indication of the fundamental universality of moral claims, which distinguishes the morality of many other similarities with its social norms (customs, traditions). The paradox of Kantian ethics is that, while moral action intends to implement the natural and moral perfection, than it is almost impossible to achieve it in this world. Kant was trying to identify and resolve the paradoxes of his ethics without recourse to the idea of God. He sees in moral a spiritual source of radical transformation and renewal of man and society.

Observing Mil’s thoughts about moral perfection we can mention that he also thought about standards of morality. In fact, the principles of the hierarchy of values and actions are implemented in virtually all spheres of human activity. They include quality standards and excellence. What is perfection? How do we distinguish it? These issues are particularly important for the ethics of humanism. Critics, especially theists, accuse it in the fact that it has no standards or evaluation criteria, and that to the extent in what it stands for tolerance, it indulges various whims of human needs, including lust and selfishness. But it is not a true.

As it was pointed out by Mill, there is a difference between the level of the adult human and cultural level of the child’s needs or savage. Mill wrote that it is better to be unhappy man, than satisfied pig, or it is better to be dissatisfied Socrates than satisfied fool. If a pig or a fool would not agree with this proposition, it is because they know only one side of the issue. Highly educated people tend to both kinds of pleasure – higher (intellectual, aesthetic and moral), and lower (purely physical); and, according to Mill, a morally perfect person invariably preferred the first one. Thus, the basic concept of value is to implement the idea, allowing us to distinguish the difference between levels of moral maturity and personal growth. Standard of evaluation here is that the person will be considered highly developed when he fully realize own talents. This statement opens the door to meet the higher intellectual, aesthetic and moral needs.

Taking into account the fact that Mil’s arguments is not unfounded, but it could lead to an extreme in some situations. In this case it is necessary to accept more balanced point of view, because it is good to be morally perfect not in all situations that have a place in our life. It becomes obvious that not in all cases, intellectual, aesthetic and moral pleasures are superior to natural biological pleasure derived from eating, drinking, exercise, physical contact or sex, and not always the most people prefer the first to last one in the provision of choice. We can say that the choice depends on the time, place and circumstances.

Nowadays, many of the so-called moralists are deceiving themselves, especially when they hung the label of ”˜lower’ forms of human experience on the so-called biological pleasure, using for the explanation of their position the ethics of ancient philosophers, such as Kant or Aristotle, for example. We can mention that behind the above stated ”˜lover’ forms denial is hidden hedonistic phobia that given from inside those moralists’ minds who follow this opinion; who, by improving their ability to take pleasure in literature, art, mathematics or a spiritual quest, not able to enjoy good food and drink or have a pleasure from another activity, except intellectual one. These individuals are so deeply suppress their sensuality that they can not experience the excitement of physical and biological pleasures without guilt or sin. They can spend their lives in squalid sublimation, fully devoting themselves to spiritual exercises, taking the form of extreme asceticism, and forget about the fact that not such truth ancient thinkers and philosophers were trying to explain using the concept of moral perfection. Thus, it becomes understandable that it is necessary to be morally perfect in general sense, but sometimes people should not be morally perfect in personal sense, because to achieve more fulfilling lives a person must meet his own basic biological, homeostatic and physical needs, including needs for love.

In conclusion, we have discussed the main principles of Kant’s and Mil’s philosophy basing on their attitude to morality and moral perfection.

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