The Enlightenment Period

Immanuel Kant

What was Immanuel Kant’s proof of God’s existence?

Kant rejected the ontological argument on the ground that existence is not a quality or characteristic of things. According to Kant, we cannot say that the sweater is red, wool, and it exists. He rejected the first cause argument as partly relying on the ontological argument; and he rejected the argument from design on the grounds that, at best, it proves only an architect or designer of the universe, and not a creator. Kant himself thought there was a moral proof for God’s existence because the moral agent knows that he cannot achieve his goals on his own without God. The resulting belief in God becomes a matter of individual, personal conviction—not “It is morally certain that there is a God,” but “I am morally certain that there is a God.”


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