Human beings should be treated as 'ends' and not as 'means'

Human beings should be treated as 'ends' and not as 'means'

'Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.' - Immanuel Kant stated this in his theory of morality ‘The Categorical Imperative’. This statement focuses on the sovereignty of an individual where he is considered rational. And this rational individual as per Kant and many philosophers is to be kept at the center of everything. Everything should be for him or her and he or she must not be for achieving something else for someone else. But is it really possible and beneficial to make sure that human beings are ends only and never means?

Yes –

1. Immanuel Kant states that it is immoral to use another person merely as a means to an end and that people must, under all circumstances, be treated as ends in themselves.

2. Kant said that rational human beings should be treated as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else. The fact that we are human has value in itself.

3. This idea applies to us too. We shouldn't treat ourselves as a means to our own ends; instead we should respect our inherent worth/value. This can be used as an argument against euthanasia, suicide and other behaviors that damage us.

4. Each human being has inherent value and we must respect it. We must not coerce someone to do our bidding.

5. Also, deception of someone for our gains is treating the person as means and not ends.

6. Consent is an important factor in this statement. We must not treat someone through coercion or deception in such ways for things, for which they will never give consent for.

7. Also, one must understand that everything is for the humans themselves. They are ends. That means that all the things are to be used to fulfill the ends which are human beings, their progress, their satisfaction and comfort. Thus humans are ends and can never and should never be used as means to achieve the ends.

8. An alternate and modern version of this concept can be seen in objectivism propounded by Ayn Rand where she through her writings suggests that - 'Man-every man-is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself for others nor sacrificing others for himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.'

Not necessarily –

1. Kant's philosophy does not rule out all cases of using someone else to satisfy our own desires or projects. That would seem to eliminate a very large number of human interactions. Sometimes human beings are to be treated as means too.

2. If not then cooperative action is not possible to achieve something big.

3. Also many times human are used as means to achieve larger good. Some interpretations of the utilitarian view allow for the use of individuals as means to benefit the many.

4. Also many times people find satisfying when a good thing happens through them even if they are treated as just a mere vehicle for the action to take place.

5. Treating someone as means does not necessarily mean that the person is ripped off. It just means that the person is a medium used to achieve something. We see that many times people are voluntarily ready to be means for completion of an aim. For e.g. the soldiers who fight to keep us safe act as a means to achieve ends of safety and peaceful life for us.

6. Thus as long as we do not endanger or cause a loss for the human being we are using as a medium, considering him or her as means can be justified.

Many have supported this statement and one of the glaring examples of implementation of this philosophy is the human rights which we adhere to. We try to adhere to the rights which make each individual the center of benefit i.e. an end. Under no circumstances an individual is considered as a means for fulfilling someone else’s aims. Surely there are cooperative efforts to achieve greater benefits, but in this too each cooperating individual is taken care of and the benefits are shared equally among them. Thus we must respect each individual.
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  • RE: Human beings should be treated as 'ends' and not as 'means' -K.Montgomery (02/20/20)
  • I Kenyada just feel that who give people the rights to feel that they can just do what they want to do with people lives for the thrill or satisfaction of them money while all along intentionally knowing illegaly doing willingfully extstition of my children streaming online as if my daughter is bieng raied 9 years old sometime they make it as if they are raping my little boys and make sounds as if guns shots are going off killing them and thier dad whom I don't reside with but these two people have caused me a lot of problems in my life garrasing me since 2917 when I reported the two for idenity theft and hacking comprising and taking over all of my cell devices I don't own and never owned a computer but they are trying to set me up for what they are doing .I've been reporting thus to police a number of other different treports in different things four years of xonstabt following looking watching invading,intrusision stalking ,garrasing ,death threats .I'm do tired of this now you and thus girl the two whom got this out of control my btlrowser cell device looks like this using everything in my phone I don't know how to do none of this but the two individuals whom caused all thus issues I need help with I'm really in fear for my children lives grand children mine and others they created a group to stream this type of things about children then do thier best to hack and do succeed in hacking into everyone's cell device or electronics they have sowajers on smart TV,speakers on people phone blue tooth you tube videios ,while you are watching music or what ever on s phone call I have called family service they don't seem to feel this is a family matter last I checked they so called souppose to care about the safety of children and welfare of them did not even go out to talk to them j really need legal help people see everything I do I go where I'm at looking watching recording making threats to come where I'm at to kill me as we speak it all the time I need help asap The people whom. Created this I know exactly who they is
  • RE: Human beings should be treated as 'ends' and not as 'means' -Deepa Kaushik (10/29/15)
  • Human beings definitely aremuch worthy and valuable. They should be considered as ends and never as 'means'. Human values do carry some objective of respecting our fellow beings. Without the consideration ofhuman values and themorality, the existence of life loses its charm.

    Treating human beings as ends isnot all that difficult. It is the way we give and take respect. the way we give importance to our fellow beings, the way we appreciate their efforts. Even if we do not perform any good deed, we can holdup the idea of treating humans as ends just by avoiding any bad work or mis-using them.

    Sacrifice has a different meaning to using them as 'means'. Sacrifice is done by individuals own will in their full conscience. They sacrifice things knowing the aftermath. Conversely, using them as 'means' is mis-using the innocence of the individual. Keeping any person in darkness and making use of them to achieve the other end is an unacceptable offense. When the person is used as a means, they neither know they have been used for, nor do they understand the aftermath. Though both ends up in loss for the individual, still the sacrifice is knowlingly accepting the loss, and using the person as 'means' is deceiving him and hiding the consequences from him.

    It is all about being good or bad. It is very difficult to follow life in a ideal manner. Yet we can always try our best to align ourself on the good notes as far as possible. It is always appreciable to use human beings as 'ends' and avoid using them as 'means'.