Free Kant's Moral Philosophy Essay Sample
It often happens that Kant's statement "Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as means" is narrowed by people, who know not too much of his philosophy, to the general rule "treat others the way, you would like to be treated by them". Meanwhile, the meaning of Kannt's statement, which is widely known as the categorical imperative, is much wider than this. And there are at least a couple of examples, which easily cross the mind, when thinking about this statement. And these examples are especially bright in our days. Probably, the situation was not as serious in the Kant's time.
People nowadays do not see their own selves as the "end", but rather as the "means". They entirely dedicate their own lives to achieving some goals, such as wealth and career, and care very little for their own health, not even mentioning their personal development. They treat themselves as the means of achieving some goal, which, in real fact, is only a means of existence, a means of survival for the end goal - one's personality.
The same, and, probably, even to a larger degree, refers to people around us. A modern person oftentimes tends to treat people around him as material, as means of achieving his goals, not as the goals themselves. Another person is, yet, another world, and our goal should be to understand this universe, to get to know it, and to try to share what we have in our own universe with that other person. Getting as close as possible to another person is a goal. Meanwhile, getting close to one person or another is oftentimes mistakenly taken for the means, which may open yet new opportunities before us. And those opportunities we are seeking so hard often have to do merely with material and highly pragmatic things, which should never be promoted to the level of a goal.