25 Mar 2020

Kant's concepts of war and peace

Image Kant's concepts of war and peace

The ambassador of peace, Prem Rawat, says that nowadays, what people need the most is peace. He is renowned for his unique message of peace, which says that peace is possible. According to him, if each individual achieved inner peace, the world would be at peace. This means that the establishment of harmony in the society and in the world mainly depends on each one of us.

Immanuel Kant is a German philosopher. He is famous for his essay on “Perpetual Peace”, which was published in 1795.Perpetual peace refers to a state or a situation where everlastingly peace is established in a specific region. However, several factors have to be taken into account in order to attain perpetual peace. Keep reading the article and know more about Kant's concepts of war and peace.

The moral theory of war and peace

Kant's theory is based on a deontological moral concept which supports that both war and peace are based on a moral theory. An individual acts right if they do what they are supposed to do. However, an individual acts wrong if they fail to achieve what has been expected from them.

In other words, the rightness or wrongness of an action mainly depends on the consideration that each person has accomplished or has failed to undertake their duties. Such supremacy over morality is referred to as The Categorical Imperative.

Each individual is responsible for war and peace

By neglecting the Categorical Imperative, we are subjected to disrespect the others and focus on their own interests. In other words, conflicts may arise if each individual neglects the others. The universal declaration of human rights is established to defend human rights and to show people what is right. It can be said that it aims at reinforcing the supremacy over morality in each individual, regardless of their origin, their beliefs, and their cultural or socio-economic backgrounds.

However, cases of human rights violation have been recorded for many years. This implies that the universal peace is still a utopia, as Immanuel Kant put it in his theory.

The concept of morality versus human rights

Achieving global peace is a long-term objective to accomplish. This is due to the fact that each individual has their own concept of peace. For example, in some nations, gender-based discrimination is still prevalent.

Women's rights are not fully respected; thus, once they violate the established social rules, they are sentenced to death or harsh punishment. Such is the case of girls who escape from forced marriages, which are always sentenced to honor killings in the Middle East. Strong morality over the established social rules contradicts with the declaration of human rights.

Another case in point is related to gang violence resulting from male supremacy in some culture. Many people die from such violence. In the rule of law, gang violence may be sentenced to imprisonment. Yet, it is difficult to put an end to such a deeply rooted practice, like in the southernmost part of Madagascar.

In brief, it is true that both war and peace are in each individual, as Prem Rawat says. Yet, the conflict over strong morality and human rights makes it challenging to establish sustainable peace in the world.