Kant's Deontological Theory

1813 Words8 Pages
Kant's Deontological Theory The existence of God is something that most people take for granted. In your upbringing you are taught that God is the most supreme being, the creator of all, infinite and eternal. Taking into account the type of society in which we live in and the fact that it is usually our parents who teach us about God, most people do not even question his existence. Many philosophers who believe in God have tried to prove his existence using many different types of argument. One of these arguments is the ontological argument. It was made famous by the 11th century philosopher Anselm. The ontological argument has three properties: 1. It is an a priori argument. 2. It treats existence as a property. 3. It is a reductio argument. The problem with this argument is that it treats existence as a first order property. Kant picked up on this flaw, and therefore criticizes the argument. Existence can not be a first order property. First order properties describe the object itself. Existence does not add to an objects description, it can not be added to the concept of the thing. It just posits the existence of such a thing. Let us now take a more critical look at Kant's argument (some things will have to be stated again.) In the concept of God we find the idea that he is a perfect being. From this idea alone the existence of God is supposed to follow a priori. It is not so hard to say that it is impossible for God not to exist. "But this yields no insight into the conditions which make it necessary to regard the non-existence of a thing as absolutely unthinkable. It is precisely these conditions that we desire to know, in order that we may determine whether or not, in resorting to this concept, ... ... middle of paper ... ...delines. If we base our moral actions on our feelings then we are not following the moral principles as they should be followed. We are subjecting morality to our own beliefs, therefore making it something else. Let us take the Golden rule as an example. The Golden rule says "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." The Golden rule is supposed to be moral, it implies that you should treat others in a good way. Now, let us say for example, that you are sadistic person and like to be treated harshly. If you take the Golden rule literally, you will treat others harshly so that you can be treated that way too. You have just taken the Golden rule, which is a moral law, and warped it according to your own beliefs. As you can see, moral laws can not be subject to your feelings. Again, if we subject them to our feelings we make them into something else.

More about Kant's Deontological Theory

Open Document