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Professor Kant Means And Ends Good Or Evil? (Unfold)

Professor Kant Means And Ends Good Or Evil? (Unfold)

We all are human beings and don’t like to be treated as an object or someone’s playtoy who once used us for their gain and then forgot about it.

Human beings are sacred beings, and this right was given to us by the science of philosophy, which perceives the existence of life, the feelings of human beings, and everything around us in a different way.

Professor Kant was a German philosopher who put forward the theory that humans shouldn’t be used as a means only but as an end.

According to Kant, means and an end to good and evil in everyday life, for personal interest, one should not use(means) people to gain(end) whatever they desire.

This may get confusing at first, but as you go through the blog post, it’ll get clearer to you!

Who was Professor Kant?

Immanuel Kant was a German savant, and Kant’s exhaustive and methodical works on power, morals, and feeling have made him one of the most compelling figures in the current Western way of thinking.

He attempted to make sense of the connection between reason and human experience and move past what he accepted as the customary way of thinking. He needed to stop what he saw as a period of useless and speculative hypotheses of human experience.

Kant argued that the abundance of the great untruths is not in anything outside the human subject, either in nature or given by God; instead is just the actual kindness. 

Kindness shows duty as per the all-inclusive moral rule that the independent individual openly gives himself. This rule encourages one to treat humankind as normal and with genuine kindness. 

Kant’s Insights on Human Behavior and Ethics

With his proposed ends and means theory, he wanted to highlight down-to-earth thinking in which we universalize our reasons.

The points of interest in Kant’s record created quick and lasting conflicts. He suggests that the brain essentially makes vital commitments daily as far as anyone is concerned.

That this commitment is supernatural as opposed to mental, that way of thinking includes self-basic movement, and that ethical behavior is established in humans, as per sound moral standards which meaningfully affect consequent reasoning.

What is the Difference Between Means and Ends, According to Kant?

As per Kant, to treat another only as a method is to accomplish something ethically impermissible; it’s to act wrongly. “End” in this expression has a similar significance as in the expression “necessary evil”

The logician Immanuel Kant said that sensible people ought to be treated as an end in themselves and not as a way to something different. The way that we are human has esteem in itself.

His emphasis was that people shouldn’t be just used as means to get their ends because, as human beings, we reserve the right to be valued and appreciated. 

Though there may be situations where means and ends are considered morally acceptable, when either the ends or the person used as mean isn’t willingly doing something, then that’s wrong!

An Elaborative Discussion On Means And Ends!

Means and Ends According to Ethics

Means and ends are equally important in ethics. Immanuel Kant’s basic premise was that humans have a right to life and dignity and should not be used as a means to achieve some end. Rather they should be as an end in themselves. 

Ethics deals with judging the morality of human actions. An act can be judged as right or wrong by looking at its outcomes(the ends) or the method (the means). In ethics, both ends and means assume equal prominence.

An act can be deemed ethical if it brings positive outcomes to the individual and society at large. This line of thought, called consequentialism, focuses solely on the consequence of the acts which ought to bring the greatest good to the greatest number. 

Ethical Means And Ends (Good)Unethical Means And Ends (Evil)
Utilizing technology to increase the production of goods produced ultimately results in benefits in export and increment in salaries of all individuals concerned. Thus, it can be judged as ethical as vast benefits accrue to large sections.When clinical trials are being tested on unwilling humans to check their effectiveness and probable negative effects. Here “the means” is unethical while the outcome is otherwise.
It thus requires that both ends and means are ethical.

Besides, ends brought about by unethical means may not last long. For instance, 

  • the Nationalist movements back in the 18th century were made successful by violent means as seen from the formation of nation-states never brought a lasting peace but rather ended up in wars. 
  • In contrast, India’s non-violent mass movement succeeded in the founding of the largest democracy in the world.

Thus, it becomes clear that means are as important in ethics as ends.

If you wish to know more about Socrates and Scientific methods and which is better, take a look at this article.

In Which Theory Does The End Justify The Means Approach?

The end validates the means is an expression of Niccolò Machiavelli. Assuming an objective is ethically sufficiently significant, some technique for getting it is OK. 

The thought is old-fashioned, but supporting unnecessary cruelty was not implied. It was essential for a political way of thinking called consequentialism.

I believe this theory deserves to be revised before being it again. If Professor Kant had been alive, he would have agreed with this theory revision because his ends and means proposed theory contradicts this approach.

The biggest point of difference in both theories is that justifying the means neglects a single human existence as important while creating benefits for the masses.

When creating benefits or generating fruits for the masses, not one person should be excluded from enjoying the outcomes. I believe this approach was mostly used in the 18th and 19th centuries, specifically during wars, to get control over other countries. 

But considering today’s technological advancement, this theory doesn’t stand much on its feet. Today, most means are technology, and ends are for humans, and none are being repressed or used to enjoy outcomes.

Statue of Niccolo Macciavelli
Niccolo Machiavelli is a man with a cold heart.

Who Stated That Means Are More Important Than The End?

Winston Churchill’s way of thinking was, ‘means are more important and are a higher priority than the end: it’s just with the correct implies that the ideal end will follow.

As long as the means used to accomplish the ends are not unjust and aren’t the result of humans using humans, then they stand in equal importance.

Ends can be achieved both with good and evil, but as long as the ends aren’t achieved through inhumane methods the ends would justify the means.

But Winston Churchill’s theory is also appropriate in that means are equally important as ends because if something is lacking during the process of creating a resulting shortage of means, then your wanted end will not be achieved. You need to have both means and ends to make something great.

Vector image of Winton Churchill.
Winton Churchill promoted equality and justice with his Means and Ends theory.

What Does Kant Mean by Character Reformation?

This character reformation eventually serves as the foundation for moral agents within an ethical commonwealth, which, when viewed eschatologically, is the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Kant’s account of radical evil demonstrates how evil can be both a genuine moral alternative and an innate condition.

Kant affirms every human being’s propensity to evil as a universal but non-necessary trait. However, he appears to believe that its universal quality entails that there is no need for proof of its innateness.


  • Mean means the path taken to reach the goal, whereas end means the journey or way taken to reach the goal.
  • Kant wanted to highlight that means can be good or evil when reaching a goal, but they won’t justify the end. 
  • If a person wanted to pass his examination, he had two means: to work hard or cheat. Passing the exam was his end, whereas cheating and studying were his means. 
  • Be it one or many means of achieving the same end, but keeping ethical morals/behaviors in mind, one shouldn’t neglect the importance of using means correctly.
  • Nothing beats the satisfaction of accomplishing an end the right way because we humans are well aware of right and wrong.
  • Just achieving something for the sake of having the name for achievement may give pleasure momentarily, but when the time comes to apply that end in life practically, that person will have to face a great deal of embarrassment.

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