Another great confusion in modern morality lies about the issue of human objects.
Are other humans to be considered reflexively, i.e. naturally bearing all characteristics which I hold. I am the center of the universe? Are they centers of their own universe in a reflective way, and what are our terms of engagement as owners of our own mutual universe?
Conversely – since other humans can be thought of without attending to their animate nature, and can be labeled, are other individuals correctly contemplated only as things?
The first morality, the mutual morality, is strongly emphasized in the monotheistic religions of the Middle East – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Persons are reflexive under the gaze of God; that gaze is equal upon all. Judaism especially dwells on Life and animate nature. This is the morality of the trading societies. Kant’s moral imperative regarding “others” requires the belief in reflexive “others.”
The second morality is the morality of the bureaucracy, the modern morality. People are animate only to the degree that it becomes necessary to recognize them as such. Otherwise, they are Taylorized, categorized, Fordized and labeled. People believe such attributes as IQ are real – his IQ is 117. Enumerations, categorizations and assertions about people are intrinsically believed to be epistemologically valid, quantifiable into real parameters. They believe with all the deference offered to High Priests, for instance, the statistical methods of describing human beings. The suggestion that these methods are largely bunkum is faced with the horror as in the old days that virgin sacrifice and such might just be a meaningless atrocity. This morality sets aside Kant’s thought and the Golden Rule – there are no “others” to do unto in a manner which I should be done unto. They are figments of the imagination, they are things; no atrocity can be attributed to what does to a thing.
Sartre’s existentialism is considered bleak, but only from the perspective of the bleak – that the Taylorist categorizations of human beings can be reduced to absurdity. All that is left really is the One – that which was before any measures could be taken. That is really the core of Christianity, and Sartre was hardly an anti-humanist.
p style=”text-align:justify;”>I believe that we are all deserving of identification as humans, and that dealing with other humans as objects is fraught with moral implications. I stand nearly alone in the onrushing New Medicine revolution, trying to stop the tide.