Kant's Teleological Argument

Superior Essays
Among important intellectual currents and historical change during the onset of 'modernity ' and the Englightenment, is the pressing question over the existence of a rationalist notion of 'god '. In the quote that will be analyzed in this discussion, the importance of metaphysics or what is 'transcendental ' for Kant will be the focus. In the age of the Enlightenment, and in a response to important skeptical arguments made by Hume and others, god 's very existence is at stake for Kant. Kant want 's to have a 'perfect god ' but also a 'perfect moral law ' bound to metaphysics, but a god that is empirically grounded in metaphysics. He uses the conceptional and rational capacity of human 'consciousness ', which is meta-physical or 'beyond …show more content…
To understand how he achieves this, and its relevance to the quote, some important points about the 'teleological ' argument must be outlined. The distinction between 'happiness ' and 'virtue ' is one that is teleological. In a teleological framework, we do some actions for the sake of themselves, and some actions or choices we do for further purposes. Teleology is the study of purpose. We might seek the 'end ' of wealth, but it is for the sake of happiness. And, happiness is not something we seek for any other end. It is an end in itself. He argues that 'virtue ' is done for the sake of happiness, but that is not an end that can ever be achieved. To achieve this, would be to achieve what he says is 'moral perfection '. Happiness can never be in a "perfect harmony" with “virtue”.( ) If happiness is in an end in itself, and virtue is not, it follows that they cannot or ever be, identical. However, we achieve the understanding of the non-identity through experience, and this is where he connects Leibniz with Hume. Antinomies for Kant, entail that opposites cannot exist without eachother. To be apolitical is to be against politics in the same way that 'non-identity ' and 'identity ' are antinomies. Being apolitical supposes some idea of the politics that are being opposed or negated. Non-identity supposes its antinomy which is …show more content…
Virtue is a contingency, but we have the freedom to choose. That freedom or its existence is 'necessary ', and not 'contingent ' . Free-choice means that a 'connection ' between 'identity ' and 'non-identity/contingency ' exists in 'consciousness '. Thought and sensory action come together in our freely chosen movements/actions. Further, the 'necessity ' of free-choice shares the metaphysical status of this 'god ' for Kant. The necessity of freedom cannot be acquired through experience, but it is excercised through sensory experience. In this regard, he argues along with Hume that identity is not a portion of the soul with a different ontology. It is not a problem of metaphysics, and so Kant is a true champion of the Enlightenment. At least in his goals and attempt. However, he knows that it fails nonetheless. To fall short of perfection or to negate identity, is to know the very 'antinomy ' that is being negated. One cannot say 'x is not yellow ' without knowing apriori, what 'yellow ' is. Or, one cannot be a-political without supposing the 'political ' in some way. The quote being analyzed in this discussion states: "Religion is the recognition of all duties as divine commands, not as sanctions, i.e., arbitrary and contingent ordinances of a foreign will, but as essential laws of any free will as such". 'Essential laws ' supposes a

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