So I was reading through this wikipedia article, and It really caught my eye. By a man named Immanuel Kant, from what I've gathered it's a deontological perspective of morality.
In layman's terms, the best way I can describe this concept is that how we do things is more important that was is achieved.
"Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law."
which I think means somewhere along the lines of finding the degree or level of morality of a proposition.
The Categorical Imperative itself is absolute. For example 'lying' or 'deception'.
"...Kant asserted that lying, or deception of any kind, would be forbidden under any interpretation and in any circumstance. In Groundwork, Kant gives the example of a person who seeks to borrow money without intending to pay it back. This is a contradiction because if it were a universal action, no person would lend money anymore as they know they will never be paid back. The maxim of this action, says Kant, results in a contradiction in conceivability (and thus contradicts perfect duty). With lying, it would logically contradict the reliability of language. If it is universally acceptable to lie, then no one would believe anyone and all truths would be assumed to be lies. The right to deceive could also not be claimed because it would deny the status of the person deceived as an end in himself. And the theft would be incompatible with a possible kingdom of ends. Therefore, Kant denied the right to lie or deceive for any reason, regardless of context or anticipated consequences..."
I know this may or may not be new to any of you, but for those who do know a little more about this topic, do you find this concept flawed in any way.. or perhaps reasonable to believe this way of thinking? If you've read Kant's book " Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals " , is there anything else worth mentioning?
The only thing I can come up with right now, is that if you knew someone was going to kill your best friend, and asked if he was at a specific location, you would/ should be obligated to tell the truth whether or not your friend was there or not.
Any ideas? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_imperative