Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
TRANSCENDENTAL LOGIC, SECOND DIVISION:
BOOK II: THE DIALECTICAL INFERENCES OF PURE REASON
Chapter III: THE IDEAL OF PURE REASON
Section 7: CRITIQUE OF ALL THEOLOGY BASED UPON SPECULATIVE PRINCIPLES OF REASON (p. 525)
Back to Section 6: The Impossibility of a Physico-Theological Proof of the Existence of God
- Theology: knowledge of the original being. It is based on reason or upon revelation.
- Transcendental Theology: reason thinks its object through transcendental concepts alone.
- Those who accept only transcendental theology are called deists.
- The deist represents the original being as the cause of the world.
- We could say that the deist does not believe in any God, or that he believes in a god.
- Cosmo-theology: transcendental theology which deduces the existence of the original being from an experience in general.
- Onto-theology: transcendental theology which deduces the existence of the original being from concepts alone.
- Natural Theology: reason thinks its object through a concept borrowed from nature - a concept of the original being as a supreme intelligence.
- Those who accept only natural theology are called theists.
- The theist represents the original being as the author of the world.
- We could say that the theist believes in a living God.
- Physico-theology: infers an author from the order exhibited in the world as caused by nature.
- Moral Theology: infers an author from the order exhibited in the world as caused by freedom.
- Theoretical Knowledge: knowledge of what is.
- Called speculative if it concerns an object which cannot be reached in any experience.
- Practical Knowledge: knowledge of what ought to be.
- There are practical laws which are absolutely necessary (i.e. moral laws), therefore, if these necessarily presuppose the existence of any being as the condition of the possibility of their obligatory power, then this existence must be postulated.
- If, in the field of theoretical knowledge, the absolute necessity of a thing were to be known, this could only be from a priori concepts, and never by positing it as a cause relative to an existence given in experience.
- The principle by which we infer a cause from what happens (viewed as an effect), is a principle of the knowledge of nature, not of speculative knowledge.
- All attempts to employ reason in theology in any merely speculative manner are fruitless. Consequently, the only theology of reason which is possible is that based upon moral laws or seeks guidance from them.
- Transcendental questions allow only transcendental answers, that is, based on concepts that are a priori, without any empirical admixture.
- The question under consideration is synthetic, calling for the extension of our knowledge beyond the limits of experience.
- Synthetic a priori knowledge is possible only in so far as it
expresses the formal conditions of a possible experience.
THEREFORE: All attempts to construct a theology through purely speculative reason are without result.
- Remember: all proofs are reduced to the ontological which is entirely transcendental.
Forward to Appendix: Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic
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