Kant’s “Moral Proof”: Defense and Implications

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Kant’s “moral proof” for the existence of God has been the subject of much criticism, even among his most sympathetic commentators. According to the critics, the primary problem is that the notion of the “highest good,” on which the moral proof depends, introduces an element of contingency and heteronomy into Kant’s otherwise strict, autonomy-based moral thinking. In this paper, I shall argue that Kant’s moral proof is not only more defensible than commentators have typically acknowledged, but also has some very interesting implications (e.g. the moral proof is “circular” and thus implicitly self-validating). My account shall proceed in five stages: 1. Preliminary Discussion of the Moral Proof 2. the Argument of the Moral Proof 3. Critics of the Moral Proof 4. Defense of the Moral Proof 5. Implications of the Moral Proof: Circularity and Self-referentiality.”
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