Solved Ethics Papers

Q3(b). Human Beings as an end in themselves

Q3(b). ‘Human beings should always be treated as “ends” in themselves and never as merely “means”.’ Explain the meaning and significance of this statement, giving its implications in the modern techno-economic society. (150 words)
 
Answer
The statement reflects the core philosophy of Immanuel Kant who stated that rational human beings should be treated as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else. Often people consider human beings as a means to promote the interests of an organisation or a country. Stalin, Mao and Hitler caused the death of millions of people in their attempt to achieve a society according to their ideals. In business and industry today, human beings are considered to be a ‘human resource’ like machines, money or technology, who are replaceable if a better substitute is available.
Every human being is unique, with his own place in the world. It is important to value each person as they are because they are invaluable to the society, and the world would be incomplete without them. Each human life should be treated as sacred and invaluable, which should not be sacrificed for any other person or for any other purpose. (160 words)
 
Q3(b). Human Beings as an end in themselves
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