What is the Categorical Imperative?

The Categorical Imperative is an ideology created by a German philosopher named Immanuel Kant and deals primarily with morality within our society. Kant had three requirements to consider before deciding whether or not an action is moral. 1. Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law.2. Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.3. So act as though you were, through your maxims, a law making member of a kingdom of ends.Basically, Kant says that before we carry out an action, we must first decide if it follows the above guidelines. The first requirement states that in order for the action to be moral, the action would apply as a rule to everyone. For example, if you wanted to throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window, you would have to figure out if it was okay for everyone to throw baseballs through their neighbors’ windows. If the answer is no, this means that your action is not moral and should not be carried out, whether you feel your neighbor deserves it or not. Feelings do not factor into Kant’s assessment of what is moral. The second requirement states that to use people for our own benefit is wrong. As an individual, we must always strive to carry out actions that benefit others in the end.The third requirement is a mixture of the others. It states that as individuals, we must all act as if we have the power to create laws that benefit society, and live accordingly remembering that the only ethical laws are those that benefit mankind.The philosophy is laid out in black and white despite the fact it’s not necessarily how society works. Kant’s perspective can be defined as this: feelings and passion, along with our base needs and desires should never be factored into whether or not an action is moral. This means, for example, that it would be immoral for you to steal the handgun from a bank robber’s hand, because stealing, in itself, is immoral.It’s a pretty theory, yet not necessarily one that can be prescribed to today’s society.