The philosopher Immanuel Kant’s (1724-1804) guidance to humans is aimed at their relationship with one another.
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
It is known as the Categorical Imperative, and a key illustration of this principle is his application of it to suicide.
To annihilate the subject of morality in one’s person is to root out the existence of morality itself from the world as far as one can, even though morality is an end in itself. Consequently, disposing of oneself as a mere means to some discretionary end is debasing humanity in one’s person.
If a person chose to kill themselves it would be a direct violation of the Categorical Imperative, because if everyone were to follow the example all humans would destroy themselves and the human species would become extinct. That would be a direct violation of life’s prime directives to a species, to survive and reproduce, and those directives are even more fundamental than Kant’s Categorical Imperative.
Two weeks ago I posted Moving our sentient life into the Universe. #2 , where the argument explores humanity’s responsibility to create a new life form that could propagate itself throughout the Universe. Concluding with: The artificial, man-made life is only needed to get this new evolutionary process started, but once it is working the Universe will start creating its own sentient self.
In this new extraterrestrial environment human limitations are transcended, and the responsibilities of these new beings go beyond Kant’s imperative, which he limited to humans. Now the Categorical Imperative would apply to all sentient beings, but the sentient beings would be limited to these new more intelligent beings, who are capable of living for billions of years into the future. Their value systems would transcend the current mortality-bound systems of organic living beings, because of the vastly greater time and space opportunities.
Ourora’s Categorical Imperative is to manifest a law that maximizes the Universe’s well-being.