Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


The intention behind an action


Personal definitions:


  • Focuses on the byproduct and how it is beneficial for a majority.
  • Right and wrong can only be determined by the result and it’s impact on everything.


  • Follows this rule: Good is always good and Bad is always bad.
  • Outcomes cannot be determined to change this rule.
  • One’s actions have more priorities over the outcomes.

In my own morality, I would lean more towards Kant’s Categorical Imperative philosophy, as I believe this preserves the principles concerning the distinction between right or wrong in our society. I agree with Kant’s belief that doing the right thing is something a person should do no matter what the circumstances, so that we actually have an identification of right and wrong actions and we will be able to categorize them accordingly. The intention of one matters more than the actual outcomes. Say that John was very hungry one day at school and he forgot to bring his wallet, so he decided to steal food from the cafeteria when the cashier was busy. However, he doesn’t end up stealing because a teacher was standing right in front of him. In this example, he acted ethically. Even though he didn’t end up stealing, his intention was not morally right. If the teacher wasn’t there, he would have stolen the food. The obstacle he faced didn’t change his real intention, but it just prevented him from achieving it. So basically, in my morality, I believe the intention behind an action is the measure of whether an action is good or bad no matter if the outcome that is wanted happens or not.

Even though I believe there are some good principles in categorical imperative philosophy, I think I make some exceptions in my own morality. For example, say that a guy who’s in a hurry to go to office, looses his compass pass and doesn’t realize it until he gets on the bus and he forgot his wallet at home. From Kant’s perspective, the driver should ask him to pay for his ticket or leave the bus. But in a Utilitarian view, the bus driver has the options to let him stay on the bus, as an act of kindness. However, although this is a good action for this man, in categorical imperative philosophy this would be unfair because it would be an excuse for everyone to stop paying for their ticket, which could lead to a serious problem. In my view, I believe that sometimes exceptions can be made and that situations like this should be allowed as an outcome o understanding from others.




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