I’ve been thinking about this issue a little while now, is Kant an atheist? What about Descartes?
I think an interesting case can be made for the atheism of Kant, Mannfried Kuehn poses a little bit of the case for this: most of the reasons appeal mainly to historical evidence about the character of Kant, I find, on the basis of personal reasons, and the general character of Kant’s metaphysics. what do I mean by personal reasons? I find the character of Kant in a similar vein to Hume, insofar as Kant is trying to overcome certain dogmatic tendencies. I found it somewhat amusing about the stories of Kant’s dislike of organised religion. Kant’s work religion within the limits of mere reason is very challenging; if we are to take tacit the Christian point of view, and we read Kant: we find very disturbing conclusion that we are led to. I think a lot more can be said about the possible atheism in Kant, one day perhaps we’ll have a definitive view on this issue. Like his views on teleology, Kant’s view of God is very unsatisfactory.
The case, Descartes is a very odd one, this comes from a very odd and perhaps the only commentator who addresses this issue. what motivation can we have to say that? we could look at the significance of the imprisonment of Galileo Galilei, a very very powerful event. I find it interesting, that’s Copernicus or Kepler didn’t get any persecution, but Galileo faced challenge of the church. Many people during the 16th century were worried about such persecution. But, when we look at Cartesian Sceticism and the meditations, we find the role of God very important. It almost seems as if by virtue of Modus Tollens, if the individual who can prove God a priori can refute the malin genie of scepticism, then, the individual who cannot find such a proof in God, is haunted by sceptical doubt; perhaps that is why epistemologists seem to be troubled so much, but I am just joking about that.
I’m just emptying my head to have some proper thought about atheism, which will come in my next post.