One of my great difficulties with Kant's moral philosophy is that it suggests that our moral

900 WordsApr 23, 20194 Pages
One of my great difficulties with Kant's moral philosophy is that it suggests that our moral obligations leave us helpless when dealing with evil. “Kant's theory sets a high ideal of conduct and tells us to live up to that ideal regardless of what other persons are doing.” Imagine you are a character in a Shakespearean play and are watching your father getting murdered. He is the King and you aspire that one day you will take his place (Even though you know it won’t happen, because you’re a woman). Your brother takes the initiate to kill him and take his place. I’m sure you would not be thinking oh, it’s fine that he killed your father because being king is a great thing and it doesn’t matter how or why he got there. Most likely you’d be…show more content…
Kant's idea seems to be that we treat someone as an end only insofar as we act toward him or her in a way that he or she can understand as appropriate or justified: we should be able to explain our reasons in such a way that the person will see the reasonableness of acting in the way we propose. Thus, for example, Kant writes: "he who is thinking of making a lying promise to others will see at once that he would be using another human being merely as a means, without the latter at the same time containing in himself the end. For he whom I propose by such a promise to use for my own purposes cannot possibly assent to my mode of acting toward him, and therefore cannot himself contain the end of this action.” What is ruled out by this idea appears to be actions which treat others in such a way that they do not have the opportunity to consent to what we are doing. So we treat others as mere means when we force them to do something, or when we obtain their consent through pressure or dishonesty. That’s something I think is special about being human – having a normative self-conception, wanting, to respect yourself, thinking of yourself as worthy or unworthy, rating yourself, especially now with media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even online dating sites. It’s a condition that gives a strange extra dimension to human life, both a special source of pride and interest and a profound cause of suffering. Some animals certainly want to be

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