2 Answers

  1. It depends on what kind of humanity. I think it is impossible to lie “you will not die” to a patient in the fourth stage of cancer, because everyone has the right to calculate and plan their life, no matter how much it remains. Because I now know that I have about forty years left in my relatively active life, and I am building it on this basis – and if I had, roughly speaking, two weeks left, I would build it quite differently.

    But when Mother Maria (Skobtsova) issued fake baptismal certificates to Jews in Nazi – occupied Paris and sheltered Resistance members, it was quite a noble lie.

  2. Still, it should be noted that Kant's example suggests a very unusual answer. It is no coincidence that the essay, which examines the example given in the question, is called ” On the imaginary right to lie out of humanity.” Truthfulness in testimony turns out to be a person's duty, so lying is recognized by Kant as a significant violation of duty. Lying is unacceptable even to an attacker.

    Many copies have been broken in the debate about what prompted Kant to adopt such a radical “non-human” position. They often point to the clouded mind of the old Kant-the essay was written in 1797. But even in his” Principles for the Metaphysics of Morals”, written in 1785, Kant reflects on the problem of lying in much the same way – lies are always dangerous, because they are contrary to the morals and principles of the structure of human society.

    Of course, most authors do not accept Kant's overly radical position when talking about the necessity or sometimes even usefulness of lying. Here, however, the problem of determining the conditions justifying the possibility of turning to lies opens up.

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