4. Explain and critically assess Kant’s statement that 1 has a responsibility to continue one’s ain life. As rational existences Kant believes we have a categorical responsibility of self-preservation to non willfully take our ain lives. Kant negotiations in deepness about responsibility and believes we should move out of regard for the moral jurisprudence. The will is the lone built-in good. as we are merely motivated by responsibility and nil else. We should move merely out of demands of the jurisprudence. non from disposition. desires or to accomplish a peculiar end. Duty dictates we should ne’er move or will something if we do non desire it to go a cosmopolitan jurisprudence.
Kant was against any signifier of self-destruction. He strongly believed that: in taking a life you treat humanity simply as a agency to an terminal. Kant wouldn’t be interested in the agony or hurting caused to even a individual who was terminally sick and wanted to stop their life. nor would he take into consideration the family/friends enduring. In this essay I will be reasoning that if we follow the categorical jussive mood it is immoral to give a life because it involves handling humanity simply as a agency to an terminal.
I will analyze John Hardwig’s counter statement that we should stop our ain lives if more hurting and agony is caused by protracting it/living it even if we are no longer a rational being. We must understand that Kant is stating ; if I make a maxium e. g. – ‘if I am in intolerable agony. I should take my ain life’ – it must run into the cosmopolitan jurisprudence and be applied to everyone. Kant believes we ought to continue our ain lives because it is our moral responsibility ( it is necessary and cosmopolitan ) . John Hardwig nevertheless. would reason we besides have the right to stop our lives.
Kant would disregard this because finally worlds are the carriers of rational life ( e. g. it is excessively sacred to give ) . Suicide fails Kant’s Categorical Imperative on the undermentioned evidences: It seeks to shorten a life that promises more problems than please. this would be killing yourself out of amour propre ; when in fact the existent purpose would be to populate a life worth populating. with more pleasance than troubles. Kant isn’t claiming that it’s impossible for everyone to perpetrate self-destruction or for everyone to will it ( and therefore it going a cosmopolitan jurisprudence ) .
He believes ‘it would non be as nature ; hence the axiom can non obtain as a jurisprudence of nature’ . ( Immanuel Kant. The Groundwork of the methaphysics of ethical motives. Mary Gregor and Jens Timmermann. Cambridge University 2012. p45 accent added ) . Here Kant seems to be proposing that self-destruction isn’t a natural way of life ; that it goes against our intent and that it’s a contradiction to stop your life when your end would be to hold an gratifying life. The thought that the devastation of life is incompatible with betterment suggests that nature couldn’t/wouldn’t let amour propre to be used in a manner that is contrary to its intent.
There is certainly an evidently contradiction here ; in stoping one’s life to forestall agony. one is utilizing one’s life mere means to an terminal. which automatically fails the categorical jussive mood. Take the instance of Maria Von Herbert- she is clearly appealing to Kant. if under any fortunes ; self-destruction is morally acceptable? He isn’t as blatant with her as in his Hagiographas. but allow us non bury. Kant doesn’t see adult female as rational existences. I agree with Rae Langton that Kant wholly bypasses the ground Herbert is composing to him.
He doesn’t confront her on self-destruction but alternatively reduces her job to a moral quandary ( declinations lying or stating the truth ) . which as an intelligent adult female whom has read all his Hagiographas ; she could work out for herself. Could this hold made Kant certain that she did lie and hence fail the land of terminals? Possibly Kant is being hypocritical ; he doesn’t Tell Maria the whole truth of self-destruction simply cut downing her to ‘a thing’ . He tells Maria she should be ‘ashamed’ for non stating the truth to her former friend but. doesn’t this apply for himself excessively?
Is he merely avoiding the truth ( provinces this is merely every bit bad a prevarication ) by non facing her about self-destruction? Most likely he wants her to be independent and acquire to the ground herself. Hardwig disagrees with Kant. Take a different state of affairs ; Is a terminally sick person-needing 24/7 attention. who is wholly financially reliant- merely utilizing their household as a agency to an terminal? You can see this as a ‘two manner street’ state of affairs. Kant doesn’t expression to effects of an action ; it wouldn’t affair to his doctrine that the ailment person’s household suffers because they are continuing their life.
But is at that place a defect? ( 1 ) I ought to make my responsibility every bit long as I am alive ; and ( 2 ) It is my responsibility to travel on life every bit long as possible. Kant strongly believes that you can’t affirm life by taking your ain. There is merely one exclusion. Kant claims those who die in conflict are ‘victims of fate’ ( non merely suicide because they chose to contend ) . He holds the position that it is better to decease in conflict than to decease of a lesion in infirmary. Kant believes it’s baronial to put on the line our lives for others- cipher uses us as mere agencies and we follow our ain maxium.
We are no longer forced into functioning for our state or deceived into connection ( if this did go on it would neglect the CI because we wouldn’t be treated as rational existences and would be used as mere agencies and non as terminals in ourselves ) . John Hardwig strongly believes that life should be treated no otherwise from decease. We are free to populate in the manner we want. so why aren’t we free to decease in the manner we want ( when and how ) ? He besides switches the inquiry but Kant would merely state we have a responsibility to populate. Hardwig has besides argued that medical progresss eliminate the menaces of many terminal unwellnesss.
He so concludes. if our continued being creates signi? cant adversity for our loved 1s. we have a responsibility to decease. By go oning a live of enduring the load that this individual imposes on others is frequently great. One may hold the responsibility to decease in order to alleviate them of these loads. This statement seems to be based on equity. Kant would rebut this ; agony is a tool of logical thinking and it ensures the development of world. Kant strongly believes that we should continue our ain lives. The statement though strong is flawed.
1- All responsibilities are absolute- Kant doesn’t advise us on how to decide conflicting responsibility ( for illustration: aid others vs. ne’er kill ) . 2- He discounts moral emotions like compassion. understanding. desire and compunction as appropriate and ethical motivations for action. 3- Kant wholly ignores the effects of an action and is purposefully unsighted to following fortunes. He states that human life is valuable because worlds are the carriers of rational life. We have the great capacity to believe. form. program etc. and Kant holds this as being valuable.
Therefore we should non give this for anything ( as antecedently discussed independent animals should non be treated simply as a agency or for the felicity of another ) . There are besides great issues with Hardwigs counter statement ; if we agree that we have the responsibility to decease ; who has the responsibility to decease? When do they have they duty to decease? Although this statement is strong is some countries ( greater load ) . it is greatly flawed. It would be highly hard to universalise a maxium for everyone to follow so they could make up one’s mind if at that minute they had the responsibility to decease.
A job would besides happen if the household disagreed with the ailment person’s determination. which could do great jobs within society ( though Kant would non look to effects but they are greatly of import to Hardwigs statement ) . I believe –and agree with Kant- that if we follow the categorical jussive mood it is immoral to give anyone at all ( including yourself ) because it involves handling the humanity in that individual as simply a agency to an terminal. I besides accept and agree with his point that it seems to travel against our intent and is an unnatural way for us to take a life.
I find it interesting that Kant believes agony is a tool of development and hence indispensable to us. Though John Hardwigs statement is partially converting. if we were all given the pick of when we should decease. would we happen the right clip? This would be really difficult to regulate. as people would of class return advantage of this right. I’ve found it difficult to happen a counter statement to Kant’s stance -without enduring there wouldn’t be remedies and possibly less felicity. Therefore I have to hold with Kant that it merely allows us to turn and develop. Thus we do hold the responsibility to continue our ain lives even if it is riddled with agony.