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Kant’s Moral Argument for God’s Existence

The existence of God supported by Kant’s moral argument.

Kant believed that the existence of God could never be proved by the cosmological or teleological arguments and thus thought that by getting rid of them he could produce his own arguments based on faith rather than reason, it is an inductive argument, not a deductive one.

Kant’s starting point was the premise that there is a general universal sense of justice and good. He argued that it is by and large applicable to the majority of people. An example of this would be if a person were to see another person being bullied, in the majority of cases, the aforementioned person would feel duty bound or obliged to help the victim. This leads o a general sense of morality throughout the World. Although this morality cannot necessarily be proven it implies existence of God.

Kant’s focus is on the aspect of obligation, that a person feels obliged to do good, knowing that it will bring about more good and overall more happiness this search for the higher goo is referred to as the Summum Bonum.. Kant also states that for his proposed theory to be feasible then there must be a universal moral law, that a person must fin through use of reason. Once this universal moral law is found then a person will feel a duty to follow it. This law become categorical, essential and it becomes imperative that everyone should follow it.

Another way of considering this moral argument is that man as a moral being has a duty to strive after the highest good, the Summum Bonum. That is to say that a man should realise happiness through moral perfection. This is arguing that we could not be happy without being morally good people as being morally good is part of the nature of human happiness. Kant argues that evil should be and is seen as dysfunctional, it is generally a universal agreement that evil is something that no one would want for themselves.

Kant moves on to say that if we accept that this instinctive duty of good deeds exists it must be capable of achievement It is fait to say that despite differing opinions of “good” we all have the urge to do it. Kant follows that no such urge could possibly exist for a thing that is completely non achievable.

He continues that it is apparent that humans cannot by their own means obtain happiness. The highest ideals of humanity still fail to accomplish the aim, disagreement within oneself over moral issues would cause conflict and thus unhappiness and thus our inner yearnings cannot be satisfied by human efforts.

Finally Kant summarises that if there is to be an eventual supreme happiness or Summum Bonum then we must postulate a perfect being that can bring about this supreme happiness and a life within which it can be achieved. This missing link that can bring humanity the means to achieve their own happiness fits the form of a perfect God.

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  1. Nelson Doyle

    On May 15, 2008 at 12:10 am


    Bravo! I couldn’t agree more with this argument. I would even take this argument a bit further, but I will save that for another day.

    God Bless,

    Nelson Doyle

  2. ads^_^

    On August 19, 2008 at 3:36 pm


    nice…!!! but did Emmanuel Kant mention about Summum Bonum??? i just wonder….but this is one nice article…. its just that i haven’t read about this Summum Bonum thingy…..hehehehhehe…but nice, though…

  3. PHILISOPHY FUN

    On November 15, 2008 at 6:46 am


    I THINK IT IS A NICE ARTICLE- BUT I THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BENEFICIAL TO EXPLAIN HOW JUSTICE IS ACHEIVED THROUGH IMMORTALITY AND AND HOW THIS POSTULATES EXISTENCE OF gOD

  4. Nissa Annakindt

    On December 9, 2008 at 9:08 am


    Good account of a good argument. Former atheist turned Christian C. S. Lewis used a similar argument in Mere Christianity as he explained his belief in God in a rational way.

  5. mike

    On January 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm


    I dislike the moral arguement for a number of reasons.
    Kant however, was a great philosopher.

  6. alex

    On March 25, 2009 at 5:22 am


    yep

  7. godrealized

    On February 10, 2010 at 7:16 am


    No matter how much we debate or discuss… the existence of God Almighty can never be denied! If we exist… if human beings exist so do God Almighty… the creator of all things cosmic! Why? Every human being primarily is a soul atman on its cosmic journey of 8.4 million manifestations (an earthly life cycle of 96.4 million years)! Every soul atman manifests the human form to work out its karma… remove dross impurities within!

    It is only when God Almighty explodes self with a big bang… the whole cosmos gets created! The simple definition of God Almighty is… the cluster of all purified souls atmans in the cosmos at a given moment of time! The sacred Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism is absolutely clear on this point!

  8. susan mical olulo

    On October 22, 2010 at 10:00 am


    Basically i think its the best way of bringing out God’s true nature as manifested in man but not whom He really is

  9. susan mical olulo

    On October 22, 2010 at 10:03 am


    Basically i think its the best way of bringing out God\’s true nature as manifested in man but not whom He really is

  10. CHIPMUNK

    On November 23, 2011 at 2:16 am


    an excellent topic but who knows of the existence

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