Essay about The Principle Of Humanity : A Theory That Acts

1217 Words Nov 19th, 2016 5 Pages
Philosophy’s goal is to find a theory that acts as a guideline on how we, as humans, should act. Before Kant’s theories, philosophers struggled to find a moral rule or principle on how we should act towards other humans. Nevertheless, Kant came up with the Principle of Humanity to act as a main principle on how we should treat humans. The Principle of Humanity states that humans should treat other beings as an end and never as a mere means. To understand this theory, we must understand what Kant means by treating someone as an end, and also what it means to treat another as a mere means. Treating a human as an end would be to treat that person with the respect he or she deserves. Furthermore, treating someone as a mere means would be to use another person to achieve a goal without caring about what happens to that person. This principle differs from consequentialism, which concerns itself only with results ignoring the reasoning behind actions. The Principle of Humanity is attractive because humans cannot act morally if we treat other humans as a mere means. For example, a student named John really wants a game that Smith just recently bought at Gamestop. John doesn 't have the money to buy the game so he befriends Smith. John takes advantage of their friendship and ultimately steals the game, hiding from Smith, concealing the game, and refusing to return his phone calls. In this example, John treats Smith as a mere means because he befriends Smith only to steal the game…

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