Ultimately, I was able to grasp what Kant was saying. It is best to read difficult text early in the morning with a first cup of coffee. Reading difficult text early, frees the mind of the clutter and worry of the day.
I found Section IV of Kant, to be the most informative. After reading the last part of the Section IV, and realizing that I actually understood what he was saying, I re-read the text and made logically notations in the margins. I was better able to pull the article together in a way that made sense to me. At least I no longer believe that I have to drop this class!
If, during our life, we apply the maxims that Kant uses, we would live in an idyllic world! Our actions would no longer be questionable nor would they be for ulterior motives albeit good motives. We would act based on free will with will being the one true good faculty we possess. Other menus drive anything we do beyond exercising our free will. For instance, moral anthropology is driven by empiricism; morality is a standard of laws, etc. Not all other ?things? we do are as pure as the act of using our free will. Our free will is bestowed upon us by the goodness of God, or ?Divine will? as Kant said near the end of Section IV.
The four formulations of the main maxim that Kant expresses throughout his writing are each and of themselves enough of a guide to lead us through life as an ideal, upstanding, true good person. It would be nice if our legislators lived and worked by any one of these maxims! Surely, citizenry would no longer be subjected to the increasing media coverage of political leader transgressions, faults and crimes (as defined by Kant in Section IV).
A fitting testimonial on our gravestone might read, ??he did it in passion or performed it with coolness and deliberation? provided, of course, that one was not a mass murderer! --Ginny