Once upon a time, there was a law- and duty-mad philosopher of purely
theocentric reason whose name will forever remain a four-letter word.
He --sex being relevant here-- was and
continued to be considered the greatest of modern thinkers by religious
idealists and their parroting friends.
Here are a few things Mr K*nt, the man in question, ejaculated with
regard to what he proclaimed the most serious moral issue:
"It is an unnatural vice, which by its form (the attitude embodied in it)
seems to surpass even self-murder in its viciousness."
"The thought of it stirs up an aversion from this thought to such an
extent that we consider it indecent even to call this vice by its proper
"It is an unnatural vice which degrades one's own person beneath the
"Such an unnatural use (and so misuse) of one's sexual power is a
violation of duty to oneself and, indeed, one which is contrary
to morality in the highest degree."
"The agent thus uses his sexual power for mere animal pleasure,
without regard for its purpose."
What the hell was this philosopher, while, as usual, studiously staring
at his church steeple, pontificating on? On masturbation; or, to be
precise, single-handed masturbation by boys and men --'carnal
self-defilement', as he and his lot had so keenly christened it! Mr K*nt,
who, as far as we know, was 'never defiled with women' himself, may aptly
be called "a jerk" on account of these heinous or hilarious ideas, altho
this nonphilosophical label may come to some as an inconsistency of
register and to others as a shock.
Nothing in the world being as immoral as masturbation in **nt, and
extramarital sex being compared to cannibalism to boot, it is a
legitimate question to ask what this lifeless theoretician thought about
real killing. The answer is, not surprisingly, that it definitely
was not killing as such which was this thinker's concern. Little did he
care about the murder of live children whose parents were not legally
married. The ethicist we are talking about claimed that a child born out
of wedlock did not have any moral status whatsoever, and might be killed
by its mother as she pleased, regardless of its health:
"A child born into the world outside marriage is outside the law and
consequently it is also outside the protection of the law."
The following pronouncement refers to killing by the state and the
murderer to be killed is obviously not a parent who has murdered
'er child only because it was 'illegitimate':
"Someone who has committed a murder must die. Even if a civil society
were to dissolve itself by common agreement of all its members the last
murderer remaining in prison must first be executed, so that the
bloodguilt of his actions will not be fixed on the people because they
failed to insist on carrying out the punishment".
Did not Mr K*nt teach that every man was to be regarded as an end in
itself? Yes, he did. That is, 'every man of his kind'.
Firstly, there are those who do not happen to be of the right species:
"Animals are not self-conscious and are there merely as a means to an
end. That end is man. Our duties towards animals are merely duties
Secondly, there are those who do not happen to have his position in human
society. Here Mr K*nt was a defender of unadulterated capitalism when he
claimed that only people with property should be considered citizens, and
that wage earners have no right to vote. (And by property he
certainly did not mean what people morally own, as distinct from
what they may, perhaps, legally own.) There are not only those who do not
have Mr K*nt's weighty position in society, there are also those who do not
have a position of such weight in the family:
"Children and adult people other than the Master of the House can be used
as things, without infringing upon their personalities, as means
to an end."
And, thirdly, there are those who happen to be girls or women. In **nt a
woman is beautiful, regardless of her appearance, and that certainly
needs no further angling for compliments, one would say. But, unfortunately,
as elsewhere, **nt cannot be eaten in part here, the **nt story has to be
swallowed whole. And the whole story is that woman may be beautiful, man is
sublime in Mr K*nt's system (as sublime as --would you believe it?-- war).
In the end anything philosophized and said is always meant to support the
"There is a natural superiority of man over woman, on which his right to
be in command is based."
Woe to 'him' who creeps thru this critical philosopher's serpent-windings
on the nonuse of persons as means and on the so-called 'equality' of men
While according to Mr K*nt every man of a privileged class should be
regarded as an end in himself, his 'categorical imperative' seems to
be of a much nobler nature:
"Act only according to a maxim by which you can at the same time will
that it shall become a general law."
We must not lie, because we could not want everyone to lie, especially not
to us. And we must not steal, because we could not want everyone to steal,
especially not what belongs to us. And we must not kill, because we could
not want everyone to kill, especially not to kill us. So far, so good. But
Mr K*nt also concludes that it is wrong to borrow money, because we could
not want everyone to borrow money, as there would be no-one left to lend
it. He does not conclude that he himself should never have become a
philosopher, for no person in 'er right mind could want everyone to
spend all 'er time philosophizing, at least not in the manner of a
childless agent or nonagent of the K*ntian strain. So long as descriptions
of conditions and actions are not categorized on the basis of their
relevancy, the categorical imperative can be bent in any way the
Mr K*nt also advocated a federation of free states, bound together by a
covenant forbidding that sublime thing, war, which seems to be a most
respectable proposal in favor of that beautiful thing, peace.
However, when he argued that the civil constitution of these states ought
to be 'republican', he only meant that the executive and the legislative
branches were to remain separate. In his eyes a perfect government was
easiest to get under a monarchy, after which Mr K*nt's proposal boils
down to a world federation of monarchies bound by an agreement in which
free royal families solemnly promise, on behalf of their humble servants,
never to cramp each other's styles.
Now, Mr K*nt may have been a little enlightened thinker writing in
defense of exclusivist ideas and practises, but aren't there parts of
philosophy which are hardly or not at all prone to such ideological bias?
What did Mr K*nt say about logic, for instance?
"For about two-and-a-half thousand years logic has not gained much in
extent, as indeed its nature forbids that it should. Ancient philosophy
has omitted no essential point of the understanding; we have only to
become more accurate, methodical and orderly."
Logic as it basically had always been for two-and-a-half millenniums would
be final in this distinguished philosopher's opinion; as final as his own
denominational creed had always been for virtually the same number of years.
But we now know that the new developments in logic and denominationalism
were only to start after **nt had gone the way of all flesh. He
himself contributed nothing at all to logic, and nothing essentially new to
denominationalism. Where he attacked unfounded theological speculations
critically, he maintained unfounded monotheist preconceptions
Woe be unto the philosopher who claims to have been awakened from his
dogmatic slumbers, for his awakening may only be a fake! After some
impressive juggling with genuine philosophy Mr K*nt was bound to reason
himself back into the ideological straitjacket of theocentrist religion.
What he conjures out of an empty hat will enchant every coreligionist:
"The existence of God, the freedom of the will, and the immortality of
the soul are all necessary presuppositions of moral thought."
"God, freedom, and immortality are the three ideas of reason."
"Only Providence can insure justice, i.e. happiness proportional to
virtue, and has evidently not insured it in this life.
Therefore there is a God and a future life."
It comes as no surprise at all that Mr K*nt discovered that his own brand
of miserotic and sexist, monarchist and capitalist monotheism was the only
morally perfect denominational doctrine. It does come as a little bit of a
surprise, however, that later philosophers who were not of that brand
(such as agnostics and atheists) kept going off in a swoon for **nt as well.
But alas, also philosophers are susceptible to contagious diseases. Once the
conservative worship of a character has become common practise, it is also
hard for them to keep themselves aloof from where the reaction is. To
resist the temptation to have intercourse with philosophical beings who are
honored or praised out of proportion because of their service to
exclusivist, supernaturalist or other such institutions requires a tough
constitution and, perhaps, some recourse to masturbation now and then.