Kant as Philosophical Theologian by Bernard G. Reardon

By Bernard G. Reardon

This e-book units out to give Kant as a theological philosopher. His severe philosophy used to be not just damaging of "natural" theology, with its try and end up devine life by means of logical argument, it additionally left no room for "revelation" within the conventional experience. but Kant himself, who used to be mentioned in Lutheran pietism, definitely believed in God, and will quite be defined as a spiritual guy. yet he held that faith will be established in simple terms at the ethical attention, and in his final significant paintings, "Religion in the Limits of cause Alone"ódiscussed the following in detailóhe interpreted Christianity only when it comes to ethical symbolism.

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And when this is recognized reason is free to engage in a very salutory work of constructive thought: able, that is, to correct our 'knowledge' of God - should it be possible to obtain such knowledge in some other way - to bring it into harmony both with itself and with all our other intelligible aims, purifying it from all that is inconsistent with the concept of a Supreme Being and any admixture of empirical limitations. 30 Although such a concept, Kant adds, is for purely speculative reason a sheer ideal, it still is a 'perfectly faultless' one, 'which completes and crowns the whole of human knowledge'.

The way of life he was to choose was the academic, and even as such it was to prove to be an unusually narrow one: the university in which he studied, in the city in which he was born and schooled, was to be that also in which he taught, year in and year out, first as Privatdozent and then as professor, until the failing powers of old age obliged him to retire. To all showing the university lectureroom and his own study provided but a very limited sphere, but they sufficed for the purposes of his life's work.

Not that Kant regards defect of logical proof as in itself a valid objection to religious belief, for as he says at the close of an essay published towards the end of 1762, Der einzig mogliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseins Gottes (,On the only possible Ground for a Demonstration of God's Existence'),8 'although it is unquestionably necessary to be convinced of God's existence, it is not quite so necessary that one should demonstrate it'. 9 To have faith, that is, is more important than to be able fully to substantiate it by rational inquiry.

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