The Existence of God
The Existence of God
Religion is a topic that has been always mentioned during the history of the humankind. The way this world was created always have worried a lot of people, including a huge amount of scholars, philosophers, and famous people. As a result, many cultures have devised the own version of the events that could happen to explain the process of the universe creation and the appearance of people. Every big nation has created the own pantheon of gods such as Greek or Scandinavian ones. These ones are now just a part of myths, but, in the same time, they were the idols for ancient human beings. Nowadays, there are a lot of religions and churches; and each of them considers their God real and true. Nobody could tell what the truth is. However, there were the philosophers that tried to explain their own vision of God. The famous German theorist, Immanuel Kant, also was interested in religion; and he tried to explain his attitude to the existence of God, as well as the creation of the world.
The creation of the world could have been done without God, as the universe is a chaotic cloud. When considering the problem of the universe origin, Kant refuses the first-glider and represents the original state of the world as a chaotic cloud of various material particles. These elements have an ability to move. As a result, they maneuver to each other without any push. At the same time, repulsive forces also act making these particles deviate from the original motion; and they receive circular motions (Watkins, 2009). Thus, the elements move both in parallel and along the edges. Light particles ignite and become a fireball known as the sun. Kant believed that by his work he had made a great discovery. Moreover, he tried to persuade others that if somebody gave him a matter, he would build the world out of it. He meant that with having the matter, he would show the others how the world could have been created.
Despite the fact that Kant recognized God as the creator of the world, his entire concept of development claimed the following issue. The world itself already contains the cause of origin and development of nature. This concept had no influence on the scientific thought of his time. For a long time, it had been not known because the publisher went bankrupt, and the entire circulation was lost (Firestone & Jacobs, 2008). As a result, Kant’s concept was called the Kant-Laplace nebular hypothesis. Laplace, though independently of Kant, advanced his version on the origin of the world (Watkins, 2009). Generally, Kant is referred to as an agnostic. This fact is related to his interpretation of the external world as things-in-themselves. Kant believed that the outer surrounding affects people`s feelings, filling them with a chaos of sensations. However, after this chaos is arranged with the help of categories, individuals are dealing with a phenomenal being (Kant, 1999). In addition, his knowledge is not so much about the obstruction of reality as about the circumvention of human cognitive abilities, as well as universal rules and forms of the cognitive process.
The scientific picture of the world is made from phenomena. Therefore, progress in the field of scientific knowledge does not deepen the members of community into the essence of the universe. However, on the contrary, it is a goal of the one`s self-knowledge. After all, the laws discovered by science, mostly, are categorical schemes, which mean that they are the regulations of our thinking (Watkins, 2009). Nevertheless, science never goes beyond our experience, whereas metaphysics, on the contrary, aspires beyond its limits and comprehends the supersensible foundations of being such as the world, the soul, God, and freedom. However, within this, people`s mind falls into the contradiction referred to the transcendental dialectics of Kant.
The antinomies of pure reason and moral duty assist in explaining the existence of God.
The human mind with a necessity proves that the world, as a whole, is infinite in space and time. In addition, he states that this universe is finite. This kind of contradictory statements on the same occasion Kant calls the antinomies of pure reason (Firestone & Jacobs, 2008). Antinomy, according to the theorist, connects the ineradicable desire of the human mind to cross the border, behind which the last essence and the last foundation of existence lie. Nevertheless, he was not able to cross this particular limit (Watkins, 2009). In the form of antinomies, the strength and powerlessness of mind is manifested. He is so strong to reach the border though not powerful enough to cross it.
Antinomies, according to Kant, cannot be solved at all. In the striving of the mind to comprehend the supersensible foundation of the world, he saw a positive meaning. People will never know whether God and the immortal soul really exist or not, and Kant emphasized this statement. However, people have a reason to assert that God, the soul, and the world, as a whole, act in the role of some regulative ideas that bring to one`s sensory experience in the moment of integrity and systemic harmony (Watkins, 2009). Although, these same ideas have a different role, Kant believed in the following fact. When thinking about this particular part, people must leave the field of theory and turn to the sphere of human actions.
According to Kant, if a person wants to be free the behavior should be guided by such matter as moral duty. The philosopher distinguished between the laws of nature and the laws of freedom. Moreover, although the individual belongs to both worlds, he became the person precisely when he started to be guided by duty as a special moral rule (Petrescu, 2014). As a result, people must again turn to the idea of God, since the moral law of Kant is intrinsically connected with the faith in the divine nature (Watkins, 2009). The theorist denied the traditional evidence of the existence of God. However, in rejecting the well-known theoretical facts, Kant argued that he decided to limit his mind to give a place to faith. In other words, the existence of God cannot be understood with the help of science, the individual can only believe in it (Firestone & Jacobs, 2008). Although rejecting the certain evidence of Gods existence, the theorist immediately proposed a new proof. It is known as maintained by Voland in M. Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita, he told Berlioz that he completely repeated the thought of restless old man Immanuel on this matter. There is the curiosity in this concern because he completely destroyed all five concepts of the evidence, and, then, as if mocking himself, he built his own sixth proof.
The fact is that in the ethics of Kant God is such a moral ideal, without aspiration to which a man turns out to be a beast. Another famous novel should be recalled The Brothers Karamazov by F. M. Dostoyevsky. There is a question of Gods existence initiated in it. It is exactly how Kant used to argue that God acted in the role of the embodied moral law. Therefore, the fact of the existence of morality becomes a proof of the existence of the divine being (Palmquist, 2009). In this case, in the philosophical ideas of the theorist, the question of faith and morality have turned out to be the same question. The postulates God exists and My soul is immortal have become also ethical ones. According to Kant, the principles of practical reason (Petrescu, 2014). Having liberated the rigorous science from the solution of theological questions, the philosopher moved them into the ethics sphere. However, insisting that faith in God was a basis of morality and His existence was an axiom of moral consciousness, Kant created new problems. Moreover, some of them have been already realized by the philosopher. In one of the later works, Kant noted that the hope for the afterlife reward and the all-righteous organizer of the world distorted the purity of the moral motive (Watkins, 2009). Generally, a moral debt does not imply any additional desires and hopes. In other words, Kant’s moral rigor has turned out to be difficult to reconcile with the religious consciousness of his contemporaries. The theorist did not support Christianity in some questions, as he claimed that charity humiliated the person and deprived them of an initiative.
The idea of God is a main part of pure reason. Considering the content of rational theology, the philosopher stressed on the following fact. The idea of God is an ideal of the all-real essence, as well as pure reason. According to Kant, the ideal is the delusion, appearance, and illusion of reason (Palmquist, 2009). To justify this thought, the philosopher criticized the evidence of the existence of God ontological such as cosmological and physic-theological ones. However, he introduced a moral proof; the highest good in the world was possible only because it was recognized as the highest cause of nature. Therefore, it was God (Firestone & Jacobs, 2008). People must recognize the moral cause of the world and the Creator of the world, which means to assume that the divine being exists. However, Kant observed that this moral argument does not mean to give an objectively meaningful proof to the existence of God. This argument is rather sufficient for moral beings.
Kant’s idea was that humanity finally entered the age of majority, the main feature of which was an ability to use the own mind. Before that, the existing forms of social life such as philosophy and religion, being based on authority, should be replaced by the new forms that are based on reason. Morality is freedom, and, conforming to it, a man is related to the will of the divine being (Petrescu, 2014). However, the theoretical knowledge of God for a person is excluded that is a great blessing for him. If the scientific mind was unlimited, people would turn into puppets but there were no lives in the figures (Palmquist, 2009). Therefore, happiness is that the theoretical mind cannot achieve its goal. The justification of its limitation leads the individual first to prove the primacy of the morality over the theory and then religion. The latter one, according to Kant, is the cognition of all duties as God`s commandments or the inalienable laws of every free will itself. Thus, the philosopher was eager to prove that the content of religion was practically not different from morality because it concerned the duty, in general.
Religion differs from morality only in its form, giving the moral law influence on human will not directly, but through an idea of God. It should be considered that this concept of Gods existence was created by the mind itself. Kant believed that nothing could be acceptable to the divine being, except a good way of life with the faith and morality. As a consequence, the rest worships are only a religious illusion. According to Kant, there is no need to hope for the help of supernatural forces as there are no miracles going beyond experience. The belief in God is the hope for one’s own moral strength. However, Kant was an internally religious person and did not take away the hope of posthumous retribution (Firestone & Jacobs, 2008). He urged people to act as if in the other world they would receive a reward. According to the theorist, it might not even exist, but individuals still had to act morally. There is an essential fact that religious faith, which may be associated with morality, is not primary in relation to it though secondary and derived from it. Kant emphasized that the idea of God was triggered by morality and was not its basis (Petrescu, 2014). It is very important that despite all rational arguments about God, He exists for an individual believing in Him. Since there are those people who have the sincere faith in the divine being, the world of faith occupies the special place.
Every person tries to find an explanation to the complicated and important questions, such as the existence of God and the creation of the world. Since the beginning of the universe, people chose something to believe in in order to feel better and not lonely. The philosopher tried to explain the existence of the divine being from their point of view. The famous German theorist Immanuel Kant believed that God existed, but in the same time denied Him. He claimed that He was alive only in the sphere of morality, as he was not needed to explain the natural phenomena. Therefore, there are always such people who believe in him and are waiting for their reward after the death for the good actions. The God only exists for those individuals that believe in Him, as faith is beneficial for them.