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Volume 161, 202312th Kant-Readings International Conference “Kant and the Ethics of Enlightenment: Historical Roots and Contemporary Relevance”
|Number of page(s)
|Enlightenment and Kant’s Ethics in Russia and the World
|08 March 2023
Kant’s ethical-theological argument for God’s existence in Fyodor Golubinsky’s rational theology
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Academia Kantiana, 14 Aleksandra Nevskogo st., 236016 Kaliningrad, Russia
* Corresponding author: DRozhin1@kantiana.ru
In the philosophy lectures of Fyodor Golubinsky (1797–1854)one can find among others the section “Ethical-theological Argument for God’s Existence according to Kant”. It is interesting that the Russian philosopher and theologian should take this ethical argument from Kant’s philosophy, seeing that it was unpopular at that time. Golubinsky goes as far as to shield Kant’s ethics from charges of egoism and prove that it is oriented against egoism. Kant’s argument for God’s existence is founded only upon his ethics since theoretical reason cannot prove God’s existence, but practical reason can. In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant claims that God is a regulative idea of reason, which has special meaning as a postulate in practical reason. This postulate arises when we speak about the Guarantor that can satisfy the main human requirement – achieving beatitude and, through it, moral perfection. Kant proves this by reasoning from people’s experience, namely that virtue during a person’s lifetime is not rewarded with corresponding happiness. Therefore, the one who can achieve this must exist. Golubinskiy took this reasoning as a proof of God’s existence. At first, he gives a free account whose original source is unknown, and then he gives two quotes from Kant’s works. Here it is important to understand two things: 1) the adequacy of this reception and 2) the source of Golubinsky’s free account. It is necessary therefore to compare Kant’s arguments for God’s existence which are given in his three Critiques with Golubinsky’s free account and try to reach clarity on these points.
Key words: Kant / Golubinsky / rational theology / God’s existence / moral argument / metaphysic / moral law / happiness
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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