It is debatable, whether some actions, such as lying even to help someone, are moral or not. But how do we judge what is moral and what is not. Furthermore, the reason why we should be moral at all can sometimes be unclear.
Kant worked on his theory of ethics by first clarifying the difference that things that are good as merely a means and things that are intrinsically good, and so good in itself. He stated that a good will is the only thing that is good in itself since its value is unconditional and does not depend on its consequences. Other good deeds such as judgement on the other hand are desirable in many respects but they can be extremely bad when used by the will that is not good.
Reason is viewed by Kant to be the only way of producing a will which is good, not merely as a means to an end. The role of reason is not to make human beings happy because any other instincts would have served that end more effectively, but is for the supreme condition which Kant says is our duty. As human beings we are rational, and are therefore capable of freedom of our choices. When human act freely in accordance to reason, they are performing their duty. There are however other forms of reasoning such as the posteriori method , this is suited to the material world of empirical observations.
An action which is done out of natural inclination, for example because of desire or affection is not morally praiseworthy according to Kant. Only if someone acts without any consequences in mind but out of duty alone, does this make their actions morally right. For example, if a grocer did not overcharge inexperienced customers because it would be bad for his business then he is acting out of his own interest and is not worthy of a moral praise. Only if he did it because it was a duty then he became morally praiseworthy. Kant tells us that preserving our life is a duty. If a sick man being hopeless and wanting to die still preserves his life without loving it, not because of...