Tuesday, January 29, 2019
One of the most influential ethical theories, developed initially by the great Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) says (among other things) that you should always treat people, including yourself, with the utmost respect, and never merely as a tool to get something you want. If you treat someone merely as a tool, according to Kant, then you fail to treat them as a reasoning, self-directed person, and that is ethically wrong. This is an ethical theory, or a proposal about what makes actions good or bad. Roughly, an action is good only when it is respectful and bad when it is disrespectful. For example, failing to pay someone for their work is bad because it fails to respect them and treats them as a mere tool.
-Nick Riggle, On Being Awesome: A Unified Theory of How Not to Suck