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The Kingdom of Ends formulation has gained popularity among Kantians, but has been criticized for only considering rational beings in its application. This formulation uses the moral autonomy where everyone is expected to do good things and not use others merely as means to an end. The aim of this paper is to address whether the section provided in chapter 6 entitled “The Kingdom of Ends” is comparable to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. To achieve this, the paper will highlight all the arguments in the article that differ from Kant’s categorical imperative or support it.
This article tends to support the categorical imperative in some things and disagree in others. The major argument here is that all rational beings are capable of applying categorical imperative. That is, all people are capable of doing the right things without abusing rights of the others, thus creating a new realm; the kingdom of ends. In this context, people will be treating others as equals and not as means to the end. People will be in a position to respect others and value their principles. The kingdom of ends becomes real whenever human beings respect each other despite the possible differences. According to the article, the kingdom of ends is certainly not real and human beings do not follow the laws preached by it. In most cases, people tend to use others as means to achieve their goals, thus, deviating from what is being preached by the kingdom of ends laws.
Human beings belong to the kingdom of ends formulation in two ways: first, as a legislator making the laws they will be following; and second, they are compelled by universal laws to follow it. In the kingdom of ends, everything you do has its consequences and you are supposed to carry your own cross. Individuals who believe in categorical imperative can be described as autonomous law-makers whereby they set laws and, when universalized, become acceptable to everyone. When this approach is used, human beings are treated with respect and anything that does not qualify to be rational is not treated with respect. The author does not support this section of the kingdom of ends because it does not value other living beings like, for example, dogs. According to the article, animals should be treated more rationally than what Kant thought.
The author of the article tends to disagree with this theory of ends because when applied to some cases it brings some frivolities. Murderer stalking your friend is given as an example, in which according to the categorical imperative you are not supposed to lie to the murderer. In real sense, if the truth is told, we will be treating our friend as a means to the end thus contrasting the idea of the kingdom of ends formulation. If kingdom of ends theory will become polished, it could assist human beings in creating good relationships whereby no one will be abused for a personal gain. People will be treated equally.
In conclusion, the kingdom of ends preaches the gospel that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. The author of the article agrees with some arguments of this formulation and disagrees with others. The author agrees that human beings are capable of following the common laws provided by the kingdom of ends but this is not the case. People do deviate from this formulation in a number of ways. For instance, people use others as means as well as ends instead of treating them as ends but not as means to an end. In summary, people follow the kingdom of ends formulation partially.