Archive for the ‘Immanuel Kant’ Category

There are straight trees on the mountains ; no straight men in the world

October 16, 2009

There are straight trees on the mountains ; no straight men in the world.

Chinese saying

More eastern proverbs illuminating Biblical truth

Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.

Immanuel Kant


Human reason… is burdened by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer.

September 25, 2009

Human reason… is burdened by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

Hick’s neo-Kantian paradigm

September 17, 2009

for Kant God is postulated, not experienced. In partial agreement but also partial disagreement with him, I want to say that the Real an sich is postulated by us as a presupposition, not of the moral life [as in Kant], but of religious experience and the religious life, whilst the gods, as also the mystically known Brahman, Sunyara and so on, are phenomenal manifestations of the Real occurring within the realm of religious experience.

all that we are entitled to say about the noumenal source of this information is that it is the reality whose influence produces, in collaboration with the human mind, the phenomenal world of our [religious] experience.

John Hick, (1989) An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent. New Haven: Yale University Press., 243

Vinoth Ramachandra comments:

But in Kantian thought the phenomenal realm is the same for each of us in as much as our minds use the ame categories to interpret the noumenal input…and how does he know, ‘all we are entitled to say’ and no moer? How does he know there is a connection between the phenomenal religious experience and the noumenal realm?

See, Ramachandra, Recovery of Mission, p.121

My comment: perhaps the guru isn’t in touch with God but had bad fish, or marijuana.

What is man?

September 17, 2009

The field of philosophy in this cosmopolitan significance may, according to Kant, be marked off into the following questions. “1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope? 4. What is man? Metaphysics answers the first question, ethics the second, religion the third and anthropology the fourth.” And Kant adds: “Fundamentally all this could be reckoned as anthropology, since the first three questions are related to the last.” This formulation repeats the three questions of which Kant says, in the section of his Critique of Pure Reason entitled Of the ideal of the supreme good, that every interest of the reason, the speculative as well as the practical, is united in them. In distinction from the Critique of Pure Reason he here traces these questions back to a fourth question, that about the being of man, and assigns it to a discipline called anthropology…

Martin Buber,  Between Man and Man, p.149

So the key question is what is man? Answer this and the rest falls into place.

Nietzsche’s Perspectivalism

September 15, 2009

From now on, my philosophical gentlemen, let us protect ourselves better from the dangerous old conceptual fantasy which posits a “pure, will-less, painless, timeless subject of cognition”; let’s guard ourselves against the tentacles of such contradictory ideas as “pure reason,” “absolute spirituality,” “knowledge in itself”—those things which demand that we think of an eye which simply cannot be imagined, an eye which is to have no direction at all, in which the active and interpretative forces are supposed to stop or be absent—the very things through which seeing first becomes seeing something. Hence, these things always demand from the eye something conceptually absurd and incomprehensible. The only seeing we have is seeing from a perspective; the only knowledge we have is knowledge from a perspective; and the more emotions we allow to be expressed  in words concerning something, the more eyes, different eyes, we know how to train on the same thing, the more complete our “idea” of this thing, our “objectivity,” will be. But to eliminate the will in general, to suspend all our emotions without exception—even if we were capable of that—what would that be? Wouldn’t we call that castrating the intellect?

Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, Third Essay, 12

This statement is the death blow to the Enlightenment and the door to relativism. Only the Christian worldview can avoid the pitfalls of both these errors. On the one hand it gives The Perspective (God’s) any and all humans lack, providing certain, absolute truth. On the other hand, this revelation is limited and requires the kind of humility Enlightenment man is incapable of, to receive it.

Nietzsche is right at least this far, man is not a pure reasoning machine as if he had no emtions or pre-commitments looking at any subject.

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder

September 10, 2009

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe – the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, p.193, 259