Kant And Kant 's Moral Ethics

862 Words Oct 19th, 2015 4 Pages
According to Kant, We have these absolute duties to ourselves and these duties to oneself become the supreme principle of all duties. Therefore, these supreme self-duties are the reason why moral ethics exist, and without our duties to oneself there would be no other duties, nor would we, as a species, survive at all. However, these self-regarding duties can be very contradicting, but can help us understand the bigger picture of the categorical imperative.
Kant believes that we must “act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” (Grounding, 421) This one and only categorical imperative is the starting principle of all other imperatives of duty. In relation to these imperatives, duties to others are derived from our own duties to ourselves. Initially, Kant introduces both perfect and imperfect duties to oneself and to others, which ultimately follow the categorical imperative.
First the perfect duty to oneself is to not commit suicide. This duty questions the principle of self-love and how it can be held as a universal law of nature, but this is where the contradiction begins. In this example, the principle of self-love cannot be a universal law because in this case this “law would destroy life by means of the very same feeling that acts so as to stimulate the furtherance of life, and hence there could be no existence as a system of nature.” (Grounding, 422) Therefore, the opposite of this maxim of retaining…

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