What a Good Will Constitute

Kant begins to claim that there is nothing in the world  that can be regarded as good without qualification except good will. He says that qualities of temperment such as courage can also become extremely bad and harmful if the will is not good. Gifts such as fortune; power, riches, honor and health make for pride and sometimes even arrogance. A good will seems to constitute the indispensable condition of being even worthy of happiness.

Some qualities and facilitate the wills work. But these qualities have no intrinsic unconditional worth. Self control, and calm deliberation are not only good in many ways, they seem to constitute many parts of the intrinsic worth of a person, however they are not good without qualification. The good will is what controls these passions and is what develops character. A good will is only good in itself, not because it effects, or accomplishes. If you will the goal or end, then you will the necessary means to acompolish that end.

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That which is good in the end will be produced by a good will. When a will is considered good within itself, it should be esteemed higher than most anything. To create a will that is absolutely good in itself, reason is absolutely necessary. Kant then discusses how acts and actions must be preformed from duty. He claims that you must have duty in your actions to have a good will. To preserve ones life is a duty, and everyone has an inclination to do so.

Some people preserve their lives to be sure in accordance with duty, but not from duty. If a man preserves his life without loving it, but does it just because it is his duty to do so, then he will have good moral content. To be beneficent where a person can is a duty. If a man performs and act souley because it is duty, and not for any other inclination, then his action has genuine moral worth.

Kant explains that to secure your own happiness is a duty. Because if you don’t care about many personal conditions about yourself, these conditions may easily become temptations to transgress ones duties. Also, Kant describes duties in propositions. One proposition states that an action done from a duty has its moral worth, not in the purpose that is to be attained by it. but in the maxim according to which the action is determined. Kant also explains that duty is the necessity of an action done out of respect for the law.

Only the law itself can be an object of respect and can also be a command. Moral worth does not lie in the effect expected from it nor in any principle of action that needs to borrow its motive from this expected effect.