In a deontological [duty-centered] theory, all personal desires are banished
from the realm of morality; a personal desire has no moral significance, be it
a desire to create or a desire to kill. For example, if a man is not supporting
his life from duty, such a morality makes no distinction between supporting it
by honest labor or by robbery. If a man wants to be honest, he deserves no
moral credit; as Kant would put it, such honesty is “praiseworthy,” but without
“moral import.” Only a vicious represser, who feels a profound desire to lie,
cheat and steal, but forces himself to act honestly for the sake of “duty,”
would receive a recognition of moral worth from Kant and his ilk.
This is the sort of theory that gives morality a bad name.
The widespread fear and/or resentment of morality—the feeling that morality is
an enemy, a musty realm of suffering and senseless boredom—is not the product
of mystic, ascetic or Christian codes as such, but a monument to the ugliest
repository of hatred for life, man and reason: the soul of Immanuel Kant.