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Shadows of Divine Things

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This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Kant and the ‘One Possible Way’ (Part 1)

In December of 1762 Immanuel Kant completed an important essay titled The One Possible Basis for a Demonstration of the Existence of God, which Kant himself declared was the result of long reflection. In this essay, Kant examines the current ‘proofs’ for the existence of God, with particular emphasis upon the ontological argument put forth by Descartes, and makes several declarations in an attempt to ‘clean up’ what Kant believed to be a metaphysical mess. The importance of this work cannot be overstated since it sets the stage for the development of Kant’s later assessments of the classical proofs for the existence of God put forth in The Critique of Pure Reason. Thus, scholars have aptly called the period in which Kant wrote his early essays, the pre-critical period.

The intent of this short series is to examine Kant’s pre-critical assertions regarding what Kant calls the ‘one possible way’ in which one might potentially demonstrate God’s existence. It should be pointed out at this stage of this article/series that Kant’s assessments and attempts to rework or improve what he thinks is lacking in the Cartesian ontological argument is purely speculative. In the end Kant does not fully embrace the possibility that God’s existence is something for which a demonstration is possible (except perhaps through the practical). This becomes more clear when Kant writes his famous Critique of Pure Reason. However, in this pre-critical period, Kant is at least playing with the idea that the ontological argument, while primarily faulty in its overall assessment, has some merit to it, and this is the very thing which occupies Kant in The One Possible Basis for a Demonstration of the Existence of God.

Since Kant’s essay was in part a response to the Cartesian ontological argument an examination and exposition of his contention with that argument will also be delineated. While there are other "proofs" for God’s existence which were asserted and used prior to Kant’s day, and which Kant responded to, it would be out of the scope and beyond the length of this series to probe Kant’s responses to those arguments. Thus, Kant’s pre-critical assessment of the ontological argument will be the basis of this series.


3 Comments:

Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

one of these days I'm going to have to have you explain to me all these philosophical things. A friend of mine invited me to a lecture at princeton... I didn't get it.

8:48 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

Who was speaking at the lecture?

9:12 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

http://thecubiclereverend.blogspot.com/2005/11/zizek-millinerd-cubicle-reverend-and.html

Here's the post on it.

You should check out Millinerd's blog. he's up your alley.

10:18 AM, February 09, 2006  

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