0

We must respect our own value

It applies to us too. We shouldn't treat ourselves as a means to our own ends.

And this means that we shouldn't 'end our lives' just because it seems the most effective way of putting an end to our suffering. To do that is not to respect our inherent worth.

Would someone please identify the means here? How does it make sense in this context? How is 'end[ing] our lives' a means? Isn't this the end?

  • means (n.) 1. a method for doing or achieving something; 2. the amount of money or the property, income, etc. that someone has; a means to an end a way of getting or achieving something that you want. – Damkerng T. Dec 4 '14 at 11:06
1

Interesting that so many English learners seem to choose the heaviest content. This statement is a philosophical one, one that asserts humans have inherent worth.

It applies to us too. We shouldn't treat ourselves as a means to our own ends.

The set phrase "means to an end" and its variations describes a methodology or resource used to accomplish some other goal. In this case, the "goal" is death, or the end of life. The author is asserting that we should not see ourselves as a mere "ticking time bomb," so to speak, waiting to die with no greater purpose in life. This nihilistic view would leave no reason for us to not kill ourselves early in life, or become completely hedonistic (pleasure-seeking) and kill ourselves in a slower way through vices. He is saying our lives have inherent value, and we should respect that and ourselves, avoiding self-destructive behavior.

|improve this answer|||||
0

"Means" can mean (ha) a couple things, the usage here places it as "resources."

One might say "green energy is the means to sustainable life," indicating that the best resource to promoting sustainable life is green energy.

In your example, it's basically saying "we can be of value to ourselves, we are not doomed to be our own downfall." We are not simply draining our environment (through whatever scope you choose to use that word), and we actually have a chance to contribute to our own development. We are not in a perpetual tailspin, but rather we have the means to support ourselves and thrive. We have the ability to support ourselves and thrive.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.