“ I perceive God in the starry heavens above or the moral law within.” “Two things fill the mind with ever new increasing admiration and awe… the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me” CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON 1791.
POSTULATE means makes most sense MAXIM roughly means laws
His argument for the existence of God follows: We all have a sense of innate moral awareness – from this we are under obligation to be virtuous An ‘average’ level of virtue is not enough, we are obliged to aim for the highest standard possible True virtue should be rewarded with happiness There is an ideal state where human virtue and happiness are united – this Kant called the ‘ Summum Bonum’ Moral statements are prescriptive – ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ Humans can achieve virtue in a lifetime but it is beyond us to ensure we are rewarded with happiness. Therefore there must be a God who has power to ensure that virtue and happiness coincide in an afterlife.
Moral qualities exist as separate entities. We are contingent and flawed beings and cannot achieve summum bonum (HIGHEST MORAL GOOD) Summum bonum must be achievable Morally necessary to postulate Gods existence. God is required for morality to reach its end.
Kant rejects PURE reason - Crtitique of Pure reason (1791) Develops idea of PRACTICAL reason – a common sense approach, based on a reflection of what it means to be human <ul><li>Four premises of practical reason </li></ul><ul><li>All human being accept that we ought to be as good as possible (summum bonum) [think about ‘inhumane’; being a human being implies being “good” </li></ul><ul><li>“ ought implies can ”; therefore summum bonum is possible to achieve (CAN BE ACHIEVED) </li></ul><ul><li>Summum bonum – highest good - we can think of must include two things VIRTUE + HAPPINESS </li></ul><ul><li>We can be obligated ONLY to be virtuous (practical reasons would suggest that we cannot have an obligation to be happy – it does not make sense to say you MUST be happy or you OUGHT to be happy </li></ul>
THREE postulates of practical reason <ul><li>If we have an obligation, this implies responsibility; this implies human freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Happiness and virtue are NOT necessarily aligned in this life; this implies that there is life after death (where happiness is aligned with virtue) </li></ul><ul><li>If happiness is to be aligned with virtue, then there must be some mechanism, force, or person that makes this happen – this is God . ie there must be some potent thing / person / force that aligns happiness with virtue. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Therefore it is morally necessary to assume the existence of God.” </li></ul><ul><li>IMMANUEL KANT </li></ul>
<ul><li>Kant’s argument is inductive and a posteriori because his premises are based on a series of observations and seek to prove Gods existence with high probability. </li></ul>
Criticisms of Kant: <ul><li>Why must virtue be rewarded with happiness? </li></ul><ul><li>Morals are clearly inconsistent from the OT to the NT E.g. In OT we have a God who orders a massacre through Joshua but in the NT we have the forgiveness and agape of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Morality could be man made? </li></ul><ul><li>This argument only strengthens a belief in God for those who already believe? </li></ul><ul><li>Our conscience could be part of our moral upbringing? </li></ul><ul><li>There is no proof for objective laws actually existing. </li></ul><ul><li>The existence of morality may be due to a being that is not God, or at least the Judeo – Christian God. </li></ul><ul><li>Objective laws exist through human construct not from God. </li></ul>
SUPPORTERS OF MORAL LAW THEORY: Based largely on 4th Aquinas Way – There cannot be infinite regress of goodness. It must have a purely good source. H.P Owen – “It is impossible to think of a command without also thinking of a commander” Moral laws cannot explain themselves. Assume objective moral laws exist Cardinal Newman – “If the cause of these emotions doesn’t belong to the visible world the objects to which the perception is directed must be supernatural and divine” Conscience must have come from somewhere – Voice of God. C.S Lewis – “I think Kant argues that our sense or morality implies that the world is ordered in a moral way – and this in turn implies the existence of God.
Winston Churchill <ul><li>“ Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men” </li></ul><ul><li>What WC is saying is that to follow a objective law rigidly and slavishly without lovingly being concerned with the consequences is almost inhumane. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Catholic moral teaching </li></ul>
Cultural Relativism Morality varies from culture to culture and questions the exsitence of an innate moral law. <ul><li>Emotivism </li></ul><ul><li>Express your emotion at a given situation or option BUT not an objective fact. </li></ul>