By Clement Charles Julian Webb
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Additional info for Kant's philosophy of religion
Did he, by his destruction of all proofs of the being of God, wish to show us clearly how miserable a thing it is to be able to know nothing of God's existence ? ' Although Heine is not alone in finding it difficult to believe that Kant's position in this matter could have been one of genuine conviction, I do not think we can genuinely doubt that in fact it was so. Not only did Kant himself, so far as all the evidence 30S3 H 50 Kant's Philosophy of Religion goes, always believe in the existence of God as a real Being, the source of the order and harmony of the world, notwithstanding his abandonment of all the speculative proofs offered thereof, not merely as actually fallacious but as in principle bound to fail; but also, for the greater part of his life at any rate (I will discuss later on the theory that his Opus postumum implies an alteration of his view at the end of it), he envisaged this God, in whom he never ceased to believe, after the fashion of the theism current in his youth.
U. 393 foil. 38 Kant's Philosophy of Religion The world in space and time is what we find it to be, not because things as they exist in themselves independently of us are interconnected in this way, but because our minds are so constituted as only to perceive things thus. The mathematical sciences are certain a priori because space and time, with which they are concerned, are forms of our sensibility, and metaphysical difficulties which may be raised about them are irrelevant, since they only relate to things as thus perceived* On the other hand, the conceptions of the understanding, by means of which we apprehend the intelligible or noumenal world, impart a genuine knowledge of this world, the validity of which is not to be questioned on account of difficulties in presenting what belongs thereto—such realities, for example, as God or the soul—under temporal or spatial forms ; for these forms are in no way applicable to these realities, which are objects, not of sense, but of the understanding only.
He seems to have been struck by the notion that the temporal and spatial order of which, we are cognizant, although its actual form of succession and mutual externality is due to the peculiar nature of our cognitive faculties, yet must point beyond itself to an ultimate unity, within which our mind and the external world are correlated with one another ; and to an infinite and absolute duration within which the succession of temporal changes takes place ; and thus reveals to us the omnipresent and eternal reality, without which the whole process of perception would be impossible.