Prohibition against Lying

Prohibition against Lying



Prohibition against Lying

Question One

According to Kant, some actions were prohibited as much as they would bring satisfaction through happiness (Kant & Ladd, 1965). Kant identified some of these actions as murder, theft and lying. Our duty not to lie to others concerns lies that violate the rights of other people and that any liar can is held responsible for the consequences to the lies.  Kant identifies truthfulness as the basis for performing any contradictory duty irrespective of any contract of law. People should act to avoid potential wrongful lying instead of avoiding the determined wrong. In this case, if the consequences result in harm, people are blameless since they acted according to their duties. Moreover, people’s moral obligation requires them to provide truthful information under any circumstance. People cannot use a necessary lie as a weapon of defense since it contradicts with the law on providing truthful information (Kant & Ladd, 1965). However, it is important to consider telling the truth to an evildoer, which will treat a person as an accessory to the pursuit of evil.

Question Two

Kant argues that people occupy a unique space in creation that morality can be summed up into imperative and ultimate reasoning of command. Through this, people derive their duties and obligations. The general principle of categorical imperatives forbids a person not to pursue evil as much as they accelerate acquisition of personal interests. The formula of the universal law highlights that a person should act on the maxim through which they can will it a universal law (Allison, 2011). The universal law issues guidelines in performing various maxims that are acceptable to all people. In this case, if you willed that the maxim of lying should become a universal law, it would contradict elements of truth. Therefore, lying is impermissible. However, according to the categorical imperative, lying is only possible if people make an exception to themselves (Allison, 2011).

Question Three

            Truth eliminates any doubt in approaching contradicting situations and helps in acquiring a solution without wasting time. I agree with Kant on allowing no exceptions to the duty not to lie regardless of the consequences. Most cases, people come across situations that warrant their assessment on whether to tell the truth or lie. This is accelerated by the perceived outcome that may bring personal satisfaction through gain or happiness. Therefore, dutiful reasoning should propel a person to tell the truth regardless of the outcomes (Allison, 2011). Through this, people will not be held accountable in case of negative consequences. Similarly, providing truthful information conforms to the rules of conduct stated within the law. These rules highlight the importance of truthfulness in aiding the command of justice by providing accurate and dependable information that forms the basis of any jurisdiction.

Question Four

            People come across situations which lying may be the best alternative of action. Ethically, lying is inappropriate and prevents actions resulting from truth to be pursued (Kant & Ladd, 1965). However, telling the truth to a criminal or an evildoer may be ethically right considering the perceived outcome from telling the truth will be an act of evil. In this case, to avoid any severe consequences from the evildoer, people take up the act of lying. These consequences include attack, murder, kidnapping and violence. Consequences of relaying possible truths to evildoers result to consequences that warrant a person an accessory to the resulting crime. Furthermore, ethically, people may lie to acquire truth from others. This is done through relaying falsified information to determine peoples stand in terms of truthfulness.


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Allison, H. E. (2011). Kant’s Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals: A commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kant, I., & Ladd, J. (1965). The metaphysical elements of justice: Part I of The metaphysics of morals. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

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