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Feathers and Fur

Kant and Hume Critique

Kant Critique

Kant might be less critical of my belief than Hume. Kant bases his philosophies on a different plain than Hume, and that is a spiritual plane. I use the Ten Commandments as my guide to lead a good life. The Ten Commandments don?t force me to be good; my free will is the active ingredient. Much of what guides me through life is what Kant says calls freedom and free will

Kant could apply many of his maxims to my one page essay. For example, one particular thing stands out in my mind is where Kant said no external legislation causes anyone to act in a certain way, but rather, "... depends upon an internal condition or act of the mind itself." Kant might say that my convictions to act upon right and wrong are simply based on what I know to be right from wrong from my will, not because the "eye" is watching me. I act the way I do because I have the freedom to do so.

Kant might also relate his views of freedom to my beliefs. Since I am no longer under the watchful "eye" of Mother Superior, I am free to do as I please. While some of the Ten Commandments are laws, "Thou shalt not kill" others are moral and require free will, such as, "Honor thy father and mother." Kant might say that my views parallel his as far as freedom is concerned. Mother Superior obviously can't observe whether or not I honor my father and mother, and further, I am not obligated under law to honor my parents. I choose to do so of my own free will.

Likewise, I was free to lie to the caller who wanted to speak to my boss. Kant may link this act to a collision of duties. He might see two grounds of obligation in collision with each other; my obligation to my boss and my inner obligation not to lie. The duty to my boss was necessary. Perhaps Kant would criticize my choice of words when I said my boss wasn't in, and today I would agree. Now, I say my boss isn't available. (Interestingly, almost everyone assumes she?s not in.)

Overall, I prefer Kant's philosophy to Hume's. I think Hume puts too much weight on us being in control of ourselves and not enough weight on our spiritual self. Both men would have been harsh critics of my essay because it probably lacks depth of foundation. I see my foundation as solid as well as spiritual, but I may not be able to explain that as best I could.

Hume Critique

Hume believes that reason is divided into two kinds: relations of ideas and matters of fact. Relations of ideas are based on thought process rather than cause and effect. Using the first of these two types, Hume might critique my viewpoint of right from wrong similar to his view that there are no circles and squares in nature, but yet we still believe in solutions based on geometry.

Hume might well believe my views on stealing to be based on matters of fact, rather than my views relative to going to hell. Stealing is against the law. Break the law, and you might go to jail, or be punished by other means. Hume would criticize my basis for not stealing (avoid hell) because his cause and effect theory is more tangible.

Also, since Hume considers implicit faith the bane of all reasoning my entire views on what constitutes my moral guidelines are probably out of align with his. Hume may look for experience in my essay, but the only experience he would find might be my reference to being under the watchful eye of Mother Superior. The inference being, if I was still under her watchful eye, my level of temptation would be less. This might lead Hume to believe that there was a certain cause and effect. (Steal and suffer at the hand of Mother Superior.)

Regarding my experience with the born again Christian, Hume may well have questioned the argument behind her statement, but we?ll ignore that for now. Hume might apply one phrase to that situation; "? none but a fool or madman will ever pretend to dispute the authority of experience." I say this because I doubt that woman will ever again judge a worker for doing his or her job effectively. We tell callers whatever is necessary because of experience.

Hume seems to place great weight on tangibles ? cause and effect. Because my moral guideposts are more spiritual, I would assume that his critique of my viewpoint would be that I neglected to aptly state the foundation of my views. I think he would not focus on the faith or spiritual aspect. He would probably harshly criticize me.

His criticism would not be completely founded, however, because to a certain spiritual extent, there is a causal basis behind right from wrong. As I stated in my opening paragraph, "Sin is bad. Sin too much and you go to hell." Therein is the cause as well as the effect.

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