Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals

by Immanuel Kant
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According to Kant in the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, suicide to avoid suffering and unhappiness is strictly immoral. Do you agree?

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Kant's virulent opposition to suicide, one might note, is based on religious grounds. He echoes Socrates in arguing that since humans are divine property, they cannot dispose of themselves without disobeying God. This religious grounding makes his arguments at times tendentious; many moral philosophers have argued that this virulent opposition to suicide in all circumstances is one of the weaker parts of Kant's moral theory.

There are several reasons Kant argues against suicide here. First, Kant believes that moral acts should be judged on their intentions rather than their consequences. For Kant, a moral act must have a moral intention, and avoidance of suffering is not a moral intention but simply maximizing personal pleasure or avoiding pain. Next, moral goodness is a matter of acting from duty alone, and avoiding suffering is not an intention based on duty.  Furthermore, one cannot do one's duty when dead, and thus Kant argues that suicide involves shirking duty. Also, Kant...

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