Kant’s discussion and theory of where “goodness” comes from in a world with rationalism and reason is interesting to me as it can be seen in all parts of our everyday lives. Everybody has interacted or have been friends with people who are “good” people with “good” hearts, but what Kant discusses is where “goodness” comes from. Kant argues that the only thing that is good in and of itself in this world is the Good Will. The Good Will is made up of a person’s free will motivated by reason, ultimately choosing its moral duty.
Someone who I believe embodies Kant’s Good Will theory is Greta Thunberg. Like all of us, Greta was born with the ability to have free will and the ability to reason and make her own opinions and thoughts. By motivating her free will by climate change awareness, her actions speak volumes for her passion and dedication to the topic. To be an advocate of this topic, however, Greta has to fight against those who oppose her movement and words (specifically big-name politicians and companies who are threatened by her growing movement), and thus her “goodness” is subject to who is seeing it. For me, as someone who is passionate about sustainability and climate change awareness, I am in awe of Greta. But if I was a company being attacked for using fossil fuels, I wouldn’t view her in the same light.
Here is an example of an adult feeling threatened by a 16-year-old’s Good Will.