Kant’s Moral Argument: 1) Kant claims Human beings are rational, moral decision makers. 2) Morality is a matter of doing ones moral duty. However: 3) Kant rejects the idea that God’s commands are the basis of morality, he emphasises reason is the basis of morality. 4) In which case how, if at all, does God fit into Kant’s system?
Kant’s rejection of other forms of argument for God’s existence
Kant argued that the existence of God is beyond human conception, therefore arguments such as the Cosmological or Design arguments.
What does ‘God as a Postulate of pure reason’ mean?
Kant explained through rational moral reasoning we end up having to put forward the idea that God exists as part of our morality.
Kant uses the word ‘postulate’ to mean something which is thought of and put forward (postulated) as a way of solving a problem.
Kant and happiness
Kant said to do ones duty is to achieve the Summum Bonum (the highest good).
The highest good must be achievable.
What could make the highest good achievable? Answer: God
Kant did not say do the morally good action as it leads to happiness.
Kant said you do your duty because it is morally good to do it (a deontological argument).
Kant said your moral duty is to do what is right intrinsically moral and good. The wrong thing is to do what is good because it makes you feel good, this feeling of ‘self-satisfaction’ is not necessary.
The Summum Bonum * Kant argued the the Summum Bonum should be achievable. * He also argued that we should aim to achieve this highest good, but that does not necessarily mean that this is possible , or that some being such as God exists so that we have the possibility of achieving the highest good.
Does it matter if the Summum Bonum is unachievable?
Kants argument suggests tht the choice is between: 1) The Summum Bonum being achievable in reality and therefore moral behaviour is meaningful, and 2) The Summum Bonum being