It should be noted that in various places Kant himself rejects statement 2. During a visit to my house Blau has a heart attack. But is there a flaw? Nevertheless it is almost impossible to find examples of actions performed exclusively out of a sense of duty. The will is the only inherent good, as we are only motivated by duty and nothing else. According to that movement, attempts by the state or by the medical profession to interfere with suicidal behavior are essentially coercive attempts to pathologize morally permissible exercises of individual freedom Szasz 2002. Thomas, 1273, Summa Theologica, in Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Anton Pegis ed. As rational beings Kant believes we have a categorical duty of self-preservation to not wilfully take our own lives.
He has many reasons why it is immoral, and they stem back to his beliefs on life. He thinks that fleeing from the absurdity of reality into , , or is not the way out. He therefore defeats, in his own case, the very purpose which is the justification of allowing him to dispose of himself. This has come to be seen as the distinctive aspect of Kant's moral philosophy and has had wide social impact in the legal and political concepts of and. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. If he escapes from his burdensome situation by destroying himself, he is using a person merely as a means to keeping himself in a tolerable condition up to the end of his life.
This conclusion is made stronger if the right to life is inalienable, since in order for me to kill myself, I must first renounce my inalienable right to life, which I cannot do Feinberg 1978. And setting aside the notion of treating somebody as a thing, it is unquestionable that people do frequently debase other human beings. And, of course, the idea that we are of dual nature and that moral laws determine the will and the laws of physics determine that which is unwilled about us is something that Kant passim, esp. If I commit suicide I may do so freely. It does not therefore seem to be the case that individuals are morally required to benefit society in whatever way they are capable, regardless of the harms to themselves. Here is why they should not and why it does not break the code of moral autonomy: First of all, Kant says that we should preserve life.
Act Utilitarianism states that everyone should perform the act that brings about the greatest good for everyone Thiroux, Krasemann pg. For a maxim failing the universalization test it is generally expected that the agent would somehow contradict himself by willing both to act on the maxim and that everyone also act on the maxim. Suicide is irrational because it attempts to terminate the source of reason, namely our being. In this reply, Kant agreed with Constant's inference, that from Kant's premises one must infer a moral duty not to lie to a murderer. Each subject must through his own use of reason will maxims which have the form of universality, but do not impinge on the freedom of others: thus each subject must will maxims that could be universally self-legislated.
Another version states that suicide deprives society of whatever individuals might contribute to society morally by way of charity, beneficence, moral example, etc. Access to this copyrighted electronic document is open to everyone. In response to your comment about Kant's bias towards Christianity: I am not sure. These latter two developments made suicide prevention a bureaucratic and medical preoccupation, leading to a wave of institutionalization for suicidal persons. He talks about three types of duties: to god, to ourselves, and to others. Hume argues that suicide is no more a rebellion against God than is saving the life of someone who would otherwise die, or changing the position of anything in one's surroundings. He suggested there that nature has made human beings practically rational, and that cannot therefore be to promote human happiness.
As the personhood can be thought of as transcending the necessarily phenomenal, sensible person, I can coherently claim that I am still setting personhood above price, even though I may be bringing about the death of a particular person. Even though some of these arguments might appear deontological, there is an explicit or implicit consequentialist common thread in all of them in which utility of some sort is maximized only through the taking of one's own life. Suicide also leads to rage, loneliness, and awareness of vulnerability in those left behind. According to Schopenhauer, moral freedom—the highest ethical aim—is to be obtained only by a denial of the will to live. In this context it can help also to recall an argument Kant presented early Groundwork I.
Twenty-eight percent of the students, 26% of the residents and 31% of the faculty supported E. In cases such as these, suicide is not necessarily a philosophic rejection of life or of reality. Moral questions are determined independent of reference to the particular subject posing them. If it is necessary to preserve the individual's moral life, then everyone could will the generalized maxim governing the situation as a law of nature. Citations throughout this article follow the format 4:x.
A terminally ill patient who requests that another person inject her with a lethal dose of tranquilizers has, intuitively, died by suicide. They do not, however, tell us which ends we should choose. Were it contrary to the law of nature mandating self-preservation, all acts of self-denial or privation would be similarly unlawful. Two intriguing sixteenth century exceptions were Thomas More and Michel de Montaigne. It is of course possible that whether death is foreseen or intended has no bearing on whether an act counts as suicide but still bears on whether that suicide is justified. On the other hand, I think that a Utilitarian might be in favor of physician-assisted suicide, depending on the situation.