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Single Idea 21073

[catalogued under 25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. War]

Full Idea

The hiring of men to kill or be killed seems to mean using them as mere machines and insturments in the hands of someone else (the state), which cannot easily be reconciled with the rights of man in one's own person.

Gist of Idea

Hiring soldiers is to use them as instruments, ignoring their personal rights

Source

Immanuel Kant (Perpetual Peace [1795], 1.3)

A Reaction

Kant was not a pacificist, though this makes him sound like one. Some men go off to war with enthusiasm, and then regret it. Exploitation of rational beings may be the worst sin in Kant's Enlightenment world.

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.9