In answering what “enlightenment” is, Kant claims that it is to think for and only for yourself and for no one else. In order to be “enlightened”, one must only consider their own feelings and disregard the feelings of others. For example, if someone were to make a large decision that would impact not only themselves but others around them, they should disregard everyone else and only think about what the impact will be on themself. This is interesting as most would see this as selfish or inconsiderate while Kant finds this to be freeing. This begs the question: Is thinking solely for oneself a selfish act or self-enlightening?
This philosophy can be seen today as birth rates are steadily declining and one of the major reasons for the decline is due to the cost and time of raising a child increasing. This has led to many would-be parents to choose not to have a child as it not only saves them a ton of time, but money and stress as well. The cost of raising a child has increased over the years as the cost of living and health insurance steadily increases while support systems such as parental leave continues to decline. However, many parents desire grandchildren for personal reasons and also to continue the lineage. If one refuses to have a child for financial and freedom reasons, would it be an act of selfishness to their parents or enlightenment to themselves?