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Lying is the concept of being deliberately deceitful, untruthful, or telling of lies, false. Since time immemorial, lying has been a common practice in the world, as people use it, to gain advantages at the expense of others. Kant, a philosopher, pointed arguments why people should not lie.
Theories of ethics
According to Kant, much of man’s conduct should be controlled by such ‘oughts’ whereby if one got a desire then he or she must follow a relevant path, he called this “hypothetical imperatives”. On the other hand, moral obligations do not rely on desires instead one is to perform, these are categorical. The difference between the two theories is that hypothetical “ought” are possible because they have desires while categorical ought are possible because they have reasons. Categorical ought, however, must be accepted by every rational person.
Kant bases his arguments on the categorical imperative principle that one’s actions should be morally correct, and thus when thinking of performing something, know what ‘maxims’ to follow. The maxims, that one chooses, therefore should, be accepted universally as a law, which will determine if the rule is accepted, sound, or forbidden depending on how the community views it.
Arguments of lying
Kant argues that behaviors should be guided by universal laws, which are moral rules that are true in all situations. In his first argument, universal laws should not be based on lies since it would amount to people not believing one another. Suppose one was to lie, and then it should be on those actions that conform to universal rules, people believing each other would make lie not to be appreciated, and, therefore, no lying.
Many people are tempted to make exceptions against lying being good thinking that the consequences of honesty are bad and the consequences of lying are good. That having been considered, nobody knows what the consequences will be, as in; the actions of lying might be extremely bad, therefore avoid it and let the outcomes be, even if the consequences are bad one should not be blamed for it. This points to an assertion that everyone is responsible for their actions, true or not.
Moral reasons, if valid, are binding on all people and at all times, therefore, must always be used and followed that if you accept any factors in one situation, you must also accept them in other cases. In morals, a person cannot regard herself as right or special. From this view, she cannot think that she is consistently permitted to act in a certain way that is forbidden to others, or that her intentions are more important than other people’s interests.
Before one considers lying to save a situation or as the only option then the chosen option must always apply at all times. The consequences derived from lying, according to Kant, have many repercussions than telling the truth as they may lead one in the wrong direction with serious implications (analogy of the murderer and the fleeing man). Responsibility and accountability are the facets of morals, the consequences of your actions should be borne by you alone and no one must suffer or gain favors in the name of a lie. Lies are not justifiable.