Kant and your own experience
High school requires a lot of work. Students find the joy of high school to be quite irresistible. Most of them even forget to study for texts or just remember to study the day just before exams. I have always been an honest student and I believe in doing the right thing to get ahead. I do not like lying or cheating because I believe it is wrong and it is not morally acceptable. I therefore worked hard during my high school days to maintain my grade. It was not always easy to study and finally pass the exams. It was quite tricky and hard but I tried to keep up.
There was a scenario however on my last year in high school. My best friend forgot to study for the exam which was coming up. He was so caught up with completing that he completely did not study hard as he was supposed to for the exam. Before the day of the exam he confided in me that he was going to cheat in the exam. I thought he was joking since we both were against lying in any form not only in exams. When the exam day finally came, he actually cheated. We were obligated to report any cases of cheating back in high school.
According to Kant moral principle, it was morally right for me to report any kind of cheating. This is because anybody else in my position would be required to do so. If I reported him, I would be acting from duty because the law requires anybody to report any cheating cases. Even if I finally reported him under anonymity, I hesitated my actions. According to Kant “acting from duty” is performing an action because it is my duty whether I am inclined to do it or not while “acting in accordance with duty” is performing an action because I am inclined to.
Kant notes that the greater the disinclination one has towards performing a particular action the greater the moral worth of the action. This means that the fact that I finally reported my best friend I acted on the act of duty. I was against reporting my best friend to avoid harming our friendship but when I finally did it, I did it because it was the right thing to do. My actions can be said to be a strict sense of duty. This is because not everybody in my place would have the courage to report any wrong-doing especially if it involved their closest friends. Acting according to a strict sense of duty means that the person performing the actins is independent because one is obeying the laws that he/she has given to himself/herself. Categorical Imperative on the other hand must be universally binding and as earlier stated not everybody would report their best friend because it is the right thing to do.
Kant I. “Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals”