Kant and the Sublime:
- The notion that reality possesses design is unprovable,
yet aspects of nature fit our own faculties of reason.
Our perception of reality is not comprehensive, but when
our minds fit into the structure of reality, our own
capacities are reflected in a universe which
- Darker aspects of a universe shot through with violence
are revealed in an instant of lightning or at the moment
of a volcanic explosion. These moments surpass any imaginable human
capacity to understand. Harmony is not part of the world but part of
our ability to approach it.
Kant's Categorical Imperative:
- Human Knowledge
is limited by senses and modes of perception.Our senses
severely limit our understanding of the world around us and our
minds must use conceptions of space and time, the linkage
between cause and effect, and distinctions between good and evil
to give order to our already limited access to the world as it
- Attempts to overcome human finitude are senseless railings
against what is so far beyond possibility that we cannot even
- But there are further moral objections to insisting on
systematic connections between virtue and happiness, evil and
suffering. If such understanding could be accomplished we would
relinquish our freedom and become nothing more than determined
- Instrumentalized action possesses neither freedom or
- True moral action, true virtue, is a leap into the unknown
without the benefit of complete confidence in your rectitude and
without the reinforcement of sure reward.
- Imagine that you are God, and that your moral choice in a
situation will actually become a natural law of the universe.
- A man is reduced to complete despair but still possesses his
reason. Should he decide to commit suicide?
- We are not God, yet we should act as if we were about to
create reality as we respond to each moral dilemma.