In The Categorical Imperative, Kant argues against the treatment of humans beings as mere means or using them to attain a given objective or end. As Kant Stated, “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.” The essay writer principle has been an important part of humanity, as it acts as a moral constraint that determines what is morally wrong or right in as humans’ efforts promote the overall good for everyone. Despite the clarity of The Categorical Imperative, it generates unending debates when interpreted substantively in relation to ordinary cases in the society. For example, when applied to the issues of abortion, people interpret it differently based on their view of individual rights and moral obligations.
Historically, the issue of abortion drew unending debates with different people arguing in support and against the subject. At the core of argument is the rights of mothers to make choices as guaranteed in the constitution and the rights of the fetus to life. For many years, there has been more emphasis on the right of the unborn being to live. Indeed, even today, states across the United States have different perceptions about abortion, resulting in the enactment of different laws to that effect.
In line with the categorical imperative, the discussion presents an ethical reasoning considering abortion in cases of negligent pregnancy as morally wrong because it goes against ethical principles regarding the treatment of people not as mere means, but also as ends in themselves.
- If abortion in cases of negligent pregnancy treats unborn babies as means only, and not also as ends in themselves, then abortion is cases of negligent pregnancy is morally wrong.
- Abortion in cases of negligent pregnancy treats unborn babies as means only, and not also as ends in themselves.
- Therefore, abortion is cases of negligent pregnancy is morally wrong.
Validity and Definitions
The argument presented above is valid as it follows the appropriate modus ponens structure. In the context of the discussion, the phrase morally wrong implies something or an action that is not permissible based on the society’s moral code. Negligent pregnancy refers conception resulting from engagement in sexual relationships without considering potential consequences.
Justification of Premise One
Kant’s categorical imperative, which acts as the supreme principle of morality argues against using people or treating them merely as means to attain the desired end. The principle is justifiable for a number of reasons. Firstly, if a person uses another as a means, then the person is morally wrong. In that regard, Kant’s idea acts as the absolute constraint against using others as mere means to an end. Secondly, the principle implies that simply refraining from using others merely as a mean does not make the action morally right. In that regard, it would be wrong, for example to treatment someone with contempt in an effort to achieve a goal. Thirdly, the principle means that as a condition to using someone, it is necessary and sufficient for that person to considered as an end in him or herself. In that regard, the interpretation, as opposed to reconstruction of the imperative, focuses on treating people as ends in themselves. Fourth, people have moral obligation not to use themselves as mere means. The idea is for everyone to act or behave in line with perfect duties to oneself.
Justification of Premise Two
In line with second premise, aborting a baby that results from negligent sex treats that baby as a means only. The goal of procuring an abortion in this case is to make up for the mistake of the mother, which is engaging in sex carelessly, disregarding the consequences. In that regard, the mother treats the unborn baby based on the principles of ethics and morality. The principle of end sharing is clear in the case of aborting negligent pregnancy as the fetus does share the ultimate outcome, as it could have been killed. This can be explained by the logical impossibility of sharing the goal of procuring the abortion given the baby is unborn and cannot make an informed choice. The aborting mother uses the fetus as mere means because she prevents the unborn baby from choosing to pursue the goal or not with the agent. Similarly, the mother is using the unborn baby based on the principle of practical irrationality, as takes the fetus out of the picture in decision-making, as it cannot make rational choices. Overall, aborting negligent pregnancy amounts to using the fetus as mere means because the unborn baby cannot make implied or actual informed consent.
Objection to Premise One
Kant’s ideas do not rule out all aspects of using others to attain individual desires, as it would do away with realities of human interactions. Practically, some people would be used as means. Failure to use others may comprise cooperation in attaining a broader objective. Similarly, in line with the utilitarian principle, humans can be means to attaining a larger good for the society. Indeed, some people are happy when something good resulting from using them. Moreover, treating someone as a means may not necessarily imply ripping off the person. Rather, the person acts as the medium to attaining something. For example, soldiers put their lives on the line to keep everyone else safe.
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Objection to Premise Two
The objection is based on what counts as a means. Practically, using others is permissible in some aspects of daily discourses. In the case of aborting a pregnancy conceived out of negligent sex, the mother could benefit, as she might not have contemplated pregnancy. By aborting, the mother would be also protecting the child who would come to an environment where it is not welcome and could suffer. The pregnancy could change the life of the mother adversely. Consequently, taking the baby out of the way through abortion cannot qualify as using it. The intention is positive for the mother, who is a rational being as opposed to the fetus that is not.
Rebuttal to Objection One
In line with Kant’s ideas, people must be considered as ends in all situations and should not be used as mere means. All human beings have value in themselves and as such should be considered as rational and considered in attaining the end. The same applies to individuals who should respect themselves and their inherent value by avoiding actions that abuse their being and rationality. Everyone is worthy something that should be respected at all times by avoiding coercion into something. The same applies for cases of deception, which involves the use of someone for personal gain. It use the other as a means to an end. Kant’s ideas are consistent with informed consent, which requires decision-making based on facts and understanding of implications. More importantly, everything happens for humans. That makes them ends in everything. Consequently, other things are to be used to attain ends for humans, which include happiness, progress and satisfaction. They should never be used as mere means.
Rebuttal to Objection Two
Unborn babies should not be used as means, through abortion, to attain ends for the mother. By aborting a negligent pregnancy, the mother acts wrongly as it is not permissible to use someone as a mere means. Being an unborn human, it is wrong to take away the baby’s right to partake in the outcome of the abortion. The objection ignores or downplays the fundamental right of pursuing one’s end, as the unborn baby can determine his course of action. The objection also fails to consider aspects of informed consent, which are essential for attaining morally and ethically right outcomes based on information and facts about an action or inaction.
The Categorical Imperative has been at the core of humanity, especially through the human rights that underscore the importance of everyone. Based on the principles of human rights, everyone should be at the core of benefits, which implies being an end in themselves. Based on the ethical reasoning presented, a human being should not, at all circumstance, be treated as a means to attaining someone else’s aspirations. Despite the objections based mainly on the need for cooperation for the attainment of greater good, it is important to ensure the collaboration is for everyone’s benefit by taking care of individual needs. In the case of aborting a pregnancy resulting from negligent sex, it is morally wrong to use the fetus as a mere means for the mother to attain her goal.