Sunday Meditations & Devotions: Immanuel Kant

“Since besides the physico-theological proof, the cosmological proof, and the ontological proof of the existence of a highest being no other road is open to speculative reason, the ontological proof, of pure concepts or reason alone, is the only proof possible, if indeed a proof is possible at all of a proposition towering so high above all emperical use of the understanding.” Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason

Have you ever noticed the Bible does not provide an argument for God’s existance?  “In the beginning God…”. That’s all we get. While many philosophers through out church history have offered certain proofs for God’s existence it is curious that the Bible never provides such a proof.

Kant (1724-1804)  says that such proofs are not even possible. The reason he gives is that in so doing he is making room for faith. Kant believed that all knowledge is a construct of the human senses. Spiritual questions like “does God exist” Kant says are not the same kind of questions and therefore cannot be seen as knowledge. However Paul in his letter to the Romans says that all that we experience in the world demonstrates God’s attributes and by virtue His existance. So how do we resolve this?

One thing I would like to point out. People do look at the physical world every day and don’t attribute it to God (Paul explains they surpress the truth about Him). Other’s can’t help but see God in everything (Big wave surfer Laird Hamilton says “anyone that can look at this [monster waves in Maui]and say there is no God needs to sit under a palm tree and think about it for a little while). In this respect I think Kant has overstated his claim.

 

 

 

 

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