Educated at the University of Konigsberg where he earned the equivalent of a Ph. He eventually became a professor of logic and metaphysics at the university in He probably never traveled 60 miles beyond his home town during his life. He had a rigid schedule.
All Enlightenment thinkers who wrote on the subject — Hume, Voltaire and Rousseau among others — agreed that the religious condemnation of suicide was not only preposterous but also entirely lacking in charity.
Kant, on the other hand, denounced suicide in the most unqualified and indeed quite furious terms. However, Kant also has a number of purely secular arguments, two of which deserve some discussion.
According to the first of them, the suicide is abasing and degrading his humanity by treating himself as no more than a thing: If he disposes of himself, he treats his value as that of a beast. He who so behaves, who has no respect for human behavior, makes a thing of himself.
I am treating somebody as a thing and thus debasing his humanity if I try to dominate him so that he will, under the force of my superior will, automatically do what I want. And setting aside the notion of treating somebody as a thing, it is unquestionable that people do frequently debase other human beings.
I am debasing a person if I humiliate him, if I get him to the point at which, to preserve his job which I control, he has to fawn and beg for mercy or to confess to wrongs he never committed. In such circumstances I have no regard for his feelings, especially for his pride and dignity.
In reply to Kant, it must also be emphasized that a great many cases in which people have committed or have attempted to commit suicide do not at all resemble debasements of the kind just described.
If I commit suicide I may do so freely. I am not necessarily the victim of the stronger will of someone else. Nor am I indifferent to my own feelings or my own dignity; but on the contrary I may compassionately decide to terminate what I regard as my pointless or even perhaps degrading suffering.
In such circumstances I have not become a thing, and I have not at all debased myself. This is contrary to the highest duty we have towards ourselves, for it annuls the conditions of all other duties.
This argument involves a confusion between the following two statements: During a visit to my house Blau has a heart attack.
In such circumstances it would clearly be my duty to call a physician. However, it is not my duty to live in Melbourne, Australia, as a next-door-neighbor of Samuel Blau. It should be noted that in various places Kant himself rejects statement 2.
It evidently never occurred to Kant that a person who committed suicide may have been suffering acutely from physical or mental pain, or both, and was not injuring anybody by his act. I wonder how he would have reacted if one of his best friends or one of his favorite students had committed suicide.
Kant greatly admired Hume, who had awakened him from his dogmatic slumbers. But he was referring only to his epistemological slumbers. Perhaps it would have made him a little less fierce.
He died in Sections largely address suicide as a question of interpersonal morality, that is, as a question about our duties to one another (though it should be noted that Kant’s opposition to suicide was rooted in his belief that it violates duties we owe to ourselves rather than duties we owe to others).
In accordance with the second formulation of his categorical imperative, Kant argues that, "He who contemplates suicide should ask himself whether his action can be consistent with the idea of humanity as an end in itself.". “A Kantian care ethics suicide duty” by committing suicide or choosing assisted suicide, he keeps that which makes him worthy of the intrinsic value he has.
If, however, he must take his physical life for some noble goal, then the action is akin to what we call “altruistic suicide” or what Kant labels a . From a deontological perspective, Immanuel Kant argues against suicide in Fundamental Principles of The Metaphysic of Morals.
In accordance with the second formulation of his categorical imperative, Kant argues that, "He who contemplates suicide should ask himself whether his action can be consistent with the idea of humanity as an end in itself.".
Oh shit, this is your lucky day because I love euthanasia!
What a sentence to say haha. ReallyNicole makes great points. Just to expand slightly, Allen Wood, a neo-Kantian ethicist, says that Kant was wrong and that sometimes suicide and euthanasia can preserve duty.
If we could all just help ourselves to whatever we wanted, the idea of It can only do this if we can be motivated by morality.
He argues that there are, ultimately, only two sources of motivation: happiness and reason. Kant argued that people who commit suicide destroy their rationality in service to something else – pain. And our.