A Kantian synergistic stance sees the value
and equality of human beings based off of the ability to reason that is possessed
by all humans. This ability to reason provides for a categorical imperative
that demonstrates the rules which humans must follow—as doing otherwise would
be irrational—, a deontology that gives any human, regardless of knowledge or
skills, the ability to make morally good choices.
Kant said that “humans are always an end and
never a means only” (Kant). This quote describes Kant’s belief that simply
being human is what makes a human valuable. He further supports the idea that a
human is inherently valuable simply because they exist by saying that this is
the case due to the ability of humans to reason. These two ideas, the fact that
mere existence and reason is what makes humans valuable, lead into Kant’s deontology
which is referred to as the “Categorical Imperative”.
This categorical imperative determines moral
duties based off of their rationality. As rational decisions are fairly cut and
dry, and distinguishing what’s rational requires no skills or knowledge, the categorical
imperative sets forth a rigid and easy to follow set of rules. This deontology
proves the worth and value of humans because they are all capable of fulfilling
Synergy is the sharing of ideas towards a
common ethical system, and it plays a role in Kant’s ontology for many reasons.
One main reason why Kant’s ethics has a synergistic stance is the fact that no religious
group is barred from or considered incapable of practicing the categorical
imperative, because all humans have the same reasoning skills. Another example
of synergy in Kantian ethics can be explained by John Courtney Murray’s idea of
“public consensus”, in that the common ability to reason can direct humans
towards a common goal (Lovin 47). Kantian ethics would believe similarly, as rationality
is an ability shared by every human and therefore consensus regardless of differences
can be attained. This makes all humans valuable because they must come to this
Kant, Immanuel. Groundwork of the metaphysic of morals.
Harper Perennial Modern Thought,
Lovin, Robin. An Introduction to Christian Ethics.
Abingdon Press, 2011.