Morality theories explain why a particular action is wrong and why individuals in a society should act in a prescribed way. The theories of morality assist in the determination of right or wrong conduct, enhancing harmony in a society. Miller (2001) pointed out that traditional theories of morality overlook other perspectives on morality such as the morality of a community and the morality of divinity. Herein, the paper focuses on the morality of autonomy. Traditional theories have overlooked the morality of autonomy as a perspective on morality.
Morality of autonomy
In the morality of autonomy, standards of rationality dubbed “Categorical Imperatives” are developed. These standards are either desire-based principals or rational intuitions. The standards developed will then guide the society to determine the moral requirements for distinguishing between right and wrong. Adherence to the categorical imperative will constitute rational behavior. The violation of the standard categorical imperatives will be immoral and thereby irrational behavior.
A philosopher named Emmanuel Kant was instrumental in highlighting the perspective of the morality of autonomy that many traditional theories of morality had disregarded. In the autonomous morality theory, Kant argues that there is a self-governing reason in each person that offers decisive grounds for viewing rational standards. Each of the standards that form categorical imperatives deserves respect from individuals in a society. A critical judgment of the values that must form part rational standards is necessary for the autonomous perspective of morality to ensure that all individuals accept the right and wrong deeds.
Not all philosophers have accepted Kant’s view of morality from the autonomy morality perspective. According to the dissenting philosophers, a sane human being cannot accept some standards that Kant proposes to form part of the categorical imperatives. However, it is difficult to derive standards that all individuals in a society will accept as right or wrong. It is common for people to be skeptical of the values enshrined in the categorical imperatives depending on their judgment of what is right and wrong.