The Problem of God's Existence in the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships


Immanuel Kant comprehensively criticized and rejected the classical ontological, cosmological, and teleological proofs of God's existence on the grounds of their probabilistic status. He turned to the moral field for justification of the belief in God. His analysis of the summum bonum, or the highest good, yielded the notions of virtue and happiness. Since it is logical for virtue to be rewarded with happiness and since nature itself cannot bring this about, there must exist an omnipotent Being outside the world who harmonizes virtue with happiness. Kant identified this Being as God. This work critically examines Kant's dismissal of the classical metaphysical arguments and rejects the basis of his dismissal. This work asserts that empirical scientific evidence from Big Bang cosmology lends to these proofs a level of probability and plausibility high enough to restore their pre-Kantian integrity.