Prior to the concept of deontological ethics, I was unaware or rather uninterested in notions surrounding morality and general ethics. For me, the theories that were asserted by Immanuel Kant in relation to the respective subjects seemed basic enough and therefore, unnecessary to ponder on at the time. However, learning about the subject in a significant manner provided me with profound knowledge in respect to moral duties and obligations. As human beings, we are consistently bombarded by situations and circumstances that require dire moral and ethical considerations in respect to the decisions or choices that we make and choose to live by. While other situations tend to simply draw the line between right and wrong, some are usually blur the respective boundary and unfortunately comprise most of the intricate issues that we face on a day-to-day basis. For the time that I have learnt about conjectures surrounding aspects such as morality due to the imposition of Kantianism, I must admit that the respective concept affected me positively, especially in terms of the way I handle ethical dilemmas nowadays.
One particular concept that I learnt about in respect to Kantianism involved the relationship between morality and obligation. For many of us, the engagement in a particular activity or establishing a specific decision is related to the satisfaction we attain from it. In other words, the duties that we fulfill routinely are based on whether they are capable of gratifying our demands and needs. This further explains the proliferation of unethical activities such as corruption across the globe. Despite the unethical nature of a certain decision or activity, a person or organization may choose to focus on the payout and the alleviation it will lead to in respect to the fulfillment of its demands and preferences. Prior to the lessons that I have learnt based on deontological ethics, I used to assume that every individual was guided by a uniform yet inherent set of principles. In other words, such principles were common for every person irrespective of his or her differences. However, the drawback to this assumption was its inability to explain deviance behind practices such as bribery, corruption, as well as other practices that violate the principles innate among all persons.
Assuming that the respective concept is true, it does not necessarily elucidate why people engage in immoral or unethical practices. This means that individuals will still engage in activities that are ideal for them irrespective of inherent moral and ethical principles or the repercussions that wait for them. As human beings, we normally engage in actions that satisfy our demands and needs as long as they do not violate the established regulations and policies. In addition to this, we feel that the participation in immoral actions may actually be a non-issue as long as “we are not caught” or “causing harm to others”. Nevertheless, Kant’s development of deontology provided me with an effective understanding of the difference that exists between individuals based on a moral standpoint. Accordingly, morality exists as a matter of obligation. We simply possess the moral duty to do what is right as well as the obligation to refrain from what is wrong. As such, a person should be committed towards upholding his or her moral duty without necessarily depending on the consequences that may arise as a platform for determining their involvement in particular activities.