return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 19739

[catalogued under 24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 4. Suicide]

Full Idea

If my maxim is to shorten my life if its continuance threatens more evil than pleasure ...it is seen that a system of nature by whose law the feeling intended to further life should actually destroy life would contradict itself, and could not subsist.

Gist of Idea

The maxim for suicide is committed to the value of life, and is thus contradictory

Source

Immanuel Kant (Lectures on Ethics [1780], 422:53)

A Reaction

[compressed] I take it this means that a potential suicide is assessing what is best for life, and is therefore implicitly committed to life. Not persuasive! Should we not terminate the life of a mass murderer in mid-crime?

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'The Moral Law (Groundwork of Morals)', ed/tr. Paton,H.J. [Hutchinson 1948], p.85