Ithink Hume’s and Kant’s are similar yet different at the same time.
. Hume’sphilosophical approach is basically suggesting that suicide is an act thatyou can commit without moral remorse according to the lecture notes on moralabsolutism. Hume’s views are not basedon religion because he does not believe in religion.
Kant’s ethical view on theother hand implies that some actions are morally worthy, others immoral, andother are moral neutral according to the lecture notes on deontolgy. Hume argues to the analysis of suicide, “Let us here endeavour to restore mento their native liberty, by examining all the common arguments against Suicide,and shewing, that that action may be free from every imputation ofguilt or blame; according to the sentiments of all the antient philosophers. (1. SU 3)” He believes that there is a superstitionpreventing us as human beings from committing suicide when we are in pain. Humedifferentiates the laws by which the nature gives control and the laws by whichhumans control themselves. Just as nature moves on without reflecting theinterests of humans, so us humans can use the power that has been given tous using aspects of our own happiness. Anotheraspect of Hume’s argument is that we have been given the power to make suchdecision. This is why we set barriers on rivers and create medicine, and havepeople who risk their lives daily to save others; it is because we use thepower given to make a difference in this world.
Lastly, Hume makes is that committing suicide youare not hurting society. He believes that when we die, we gain nothing out of society,so therefor we owe nothing to society. What I am stating is supported in thefollowing text, “If Suicide becriminal, it must be a transgression of our duty, either to God, our neighbour,or ourselves. To prove, that Suicide is no transgression of our duty toGod, the following considerations may perhaps suffice. (1.Su 5)” So even if wewere to obligated they would have some sense of restriction. Thiswould mean if I were told to do a slight good for humanity but it would be at ahuge price to us then I would not be obligated to hurt because of the smallprice paid to help humanity.
If I am old and sick I may leave my work, stoppingmy giving to humanity. That being said so if I am in a nursing home unable towalk, speak, feed or dress myself than I shouldn’t feel guilty of committingsuicide because I am now a burden. If things are put into these aspects, thenwhat makes me believe that I cannot commit suicide? That is the way I believeHume see’s this. Now,moving onto Kant and his argument on suicideand how does the categorical imperative prohibit an act like suicide. Kant was a unique philosopher not onlyin the field of ethics but in fundamentally in each area of philosophy. Basedon what I have l grasped in this course the CategoricalImperative is thought to offer away for us as human beings to evaluate moral actions and to make moraljudgments. Realistically it does not say we have to follow the rules to an exactmeasure but more to evaluate the actions of which can be morally related.
Hecreated specific formulas to describe the Categorical Imperative. Kantargues that there can be four formulations to this principle: (2.)· The Formula of the Law of Nature: “Act as if the maxim ofyour action were to become through your will a universal law of nature.”Law of Universe: “I should never act except in such a way that I can also willthat my maxim should become a universal law.” “There is only one categoricalimperative and it is this: act only according to that maxim whereby you can atthe same time will that it should become a universal law.
“· Principleof Humanity “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your ownperson or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and neversimply as a means.”· Formula of autonomy:will = legislation, “Every rational being must act as if they were alegislating member of the kingdom of ends.”· “Act only in such a way that one’s maxim is in harmony with apossible kingdom of ends as a kingdom of nature.” From my perspective I believe Kant understood prudently aboutwhat it is that all humans would find reasonable as a guide for human conduct.I myself from the religious views was told that suicide is a sin per the Bible.
Kant enters at the idea that humans believe these certain acts are wrongbecause they cannot will that others would do these things because it would statethe end of society. Kant argued that it could beformulated in diverse ways, stressing different factors of human thought. In my opinion I can see Hume’sarguments clearer. I come from a religious background since the moment I wasborn. Setting religion aside, I can see Hume’s point of view. Why should we becondemned to committing suicide? I work in the medical field and a big ethicalview that we learn is quality over quantity. What quality of life does someonehave being bed ridden and suffering in pain or someone who is 100 years oldsuffering from aches and pain. How is that fair to someone in pain and agony tobe kept alive? I believe they should have a choice to end their life given thestate of their quality of life.
We should commonly respect individual autonomy,including a person’s choice of when to die. Of course there are exceptions tocertain matters, which would be in circumstances in which an individual’smental capabilities are compromised, for example in children or someone who ismentally impaired. Source:1. Hume,David. Two Essays. 1777, www.davidhume.
org/texts/suis.html.2. Module 3:Deontology