Kant's "Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals" sounds even more difficult in the German: Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. But it's not so bad. The excerpt is short enough to be a tidbit -- barely a Fundamental Principle, singular, which is, you don't get points for doing things you want to do, you only get points for doing things because you have to do them. In Kant's (translated) words:
...there yet remains in this, as in all other cases, this law, namely, that he should promote his happiness not from inclination but from duty, and by this would his conduct first acquire true moral worth.Happiness is for the animals, you see. I think it's okay if you enjoy your duty, but you have to make sure that you're not doing it because you enjoy it. Kant also goes on to say that you don't need highfalutin philosophers to know what your duty is:
Here it would be easy to show how, with this compass in hand, men are well able to distinguish, in every case that occurs, what is good, what bad, conformably to duty or inconsistent with it, if, without in the least teaching them anything new...It would be easy, that is, except:
there insensibly arises in it a dialectic which forces it [practical reason, or common sense -- ed.] to seek aid in philosophy, just as happens to it in its theoretic use; and ...it will find rest nowhere but in a thorough critical examination of our reason.Which leads to the Kant which I read in a theology class and promptly forgot even before the final(unfortunately).
Now, to the funny videos. (Warning: only funny if you find academic humor funny. I know, it can be a little leaden, but I have a soft spot for it.) First, from this Crooked Timber post, a Kant attack ad:
Which prompted this response (the video is not so great, but some of the comments are funny:
Interactivity is fun! And it's also, for the blogger, a duty.