Kant: The Morality Principle Of Autonomy

1783 Words 8 Pages
Autonomy can be considered the right to govern your own body and decisions and with this principle Kant states it through arguing the principle of morality. The principle of morality is argued in three ways the first as acting though the maxim of our actions, through our will, were to become a universal law, second is the humanity principle where we act in such a way so as to not treat people as a means but as an end, and lastly act only so that our will could regard itself as giving universal law though its maxim. The foundations for the categorical imperative, where an action is necessary in or itself, include acting in a way that the maxim of our actions could be used as a Universal Law, where we always act in a way that we treat humanity …show more content…
Kant has concluded this capacity can only be found in rational beings. The only thing that Kant considered to hold this capacity are human beings as our existence itself has an absolute value, and we are an end in itself and can support and determinate laws. Men are rational beings whenever we act in ways directed towards ourselves or other rational beings, as a person serves as a means to whatever we our trying to obtain. “Beings whose existence depends not on our will but on nature, if they are not rational beings, have only relative value as means, and are therefore called ‘things’; whereas rational beings are called ‘persons’, because their nature already marks them out as an ends in themselves” (Kant, 28) thus making persons beings of respect. This in turn develops the categorical imperative for humanity also known as the humanity principle where we act in such a way as to treat humanity whether in your own person or in that of anyone else as an end and never merely as a means. This is to prevent persons from treating other persons simply as tools. However it is not human beings per se but the ‘Humanity’ in human beings that we must treat as an end in itself. Humanity is that collection of features that make us distinctively human, and these include capacities to engage in self-directed rational …show more content…
Even simple things can be a sign of disrespect of someone’s autonomy for example white lies. If someone were to ask you how they look that day, and they look horrible because their outfit doesn’t match, but you tell them they look outstanding out of “respect” for their feelings. When they were lied to about how they look they were denied a piece of evidence and were given a false piece of evidence. We therefore in a sense manipulated that person for our own end and our own personal reasons of feeling good about ourselves by not telling them the truth. This is dehumanizing and it’s the idea of understanding not to press metaphorical buttons on people to accomplish our goals. When lying to that person about how they looked, we made a judgment call for them so in a sense insulted them because we determined what was good for them to hear at that time and thought we knew what they could handle and lied. Another words when we deem people are not ready to handle the truth we stretch it thus creating a white lie, however we don’t know why that person is asking the question they are. They might have been on their way to an interview and trying to see how they look and they were just lied to and sent on their way. We need to allow others to make their own decisions and evaluations based on the truth and we need to treat them as rational agents. Respecting their autonomy is not lying to them and

Related Documents