Goodness, philosophy or reference to Immanuel Kant

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th grade November 1996

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The philosopher I used is Immanuel Kant. He was very practical in his thinking of goodness. A quote of his was "I ought, therefore I can". His view was good anything is under good will . He believed good will was the primary goodness, good in its purest form, and that it couldn't be corrupted. Good feelings and good intentions and actions can be interpreted in different ways; man can corrupt these things into evil...even though it still might be good in that man's eyes. What he's really trying to say is that good will is good in its objective form. Therefore, it defines goodness. A few examples of forms of goodness that could be corrupt are intelligence, courage, and resolution. These things can be very good, but can be used for evil as well.

The short story I would like to allude to in order to connect these themes and ideas is "A Good Man is Hard to Find". The title even has "good" in it...and according to Kant, goodness in its purest form is good will. The question now would be, does the Misfit have good will? Is what he is doing good, objectively, and purely? He is purging and purifying the world. He is Christ like in many senses. He is purifying the world by purging it of its evil...relating to the Old Testament. God decided that the human race was too evil to survive, so he flooded it. God killed, as well as the Misfit. This isn't the same as Christ, though; it just adds to the religious element. Christ's mission was to try and rid the world of evil, and sacrificed for it. The Misfit sacrificed his freedom initially, was "reborn" again by escaping from jail, and become a Christ like figure...