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Is Christ a Kantian?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

(My name is: Sim Yong Kiat. My email address is thegreatestchallenge@yahoo.com.sg. This work is on Kantian Ethics for university students.) Is Christ a Kantian? A Kantian must believe that happiness needs to be deserved, yet Christ says, "Ask and you will be given," not "Do and you shall deserve." Is the moral man really one who merely does moral acts? Remember Christ also says, wash the inside of the dishes and the outside will also be clean. Thus, Christ does distinguish between a moral man and one who merely acts morally. A moral man must do what Kantian Ethics says, for Kantian Ethics is indeed the correct description of ethics, though a man who obeys Kantian Ethics every time need not be a moral man at all. What I want to say is that, Kantian Ethics is only a description of ethics, rather than an explanation, for ethics is also about the man, not only about the act. Kantian Ethics can only be half-completed in answering the question, What is a moral act? The other half i.e. the question on, Who is a moral man? (or Why be moral?) is still unanswered. For as a human being, one needs not only to know, but also to be inspired. If the task of describing ethics is more important than the inspiring of man to be moral, Christ would have chosen to be a philosopher. And that is why Kant's contribution to ethical philosophy is as great as the contribution of Newton in Natural philosophy. For Kant has rightly seen an important truth in morality i.e. that man is capable of performing disinterested and dutiful acts, instead of merely prudent ones. Yet in making a distinction between a moral man and a happy man, Kant has also created a problem of dualism on happiness and virtuousness to arise, just as Descartes has caused the dualism of the mind and body. ...read more.

Middle

is none other than the perverted joy of pride i.e. the perverted joy of mere ownership. Although the goals are different, the motivation is the same i.e. the need to own something valuable. The Kantian moralist is thus prompted by pride, not in the sense of trying to gain fame through acting morally, but in the sense of wanting to enjoy the ownership of virtuousness itself. While he sees only that one ought to be compassionate, rather than to act compassionately, he would nevertheless choose to believe that there is a need to act compassionately. For only in this way can he develop an empirical way that would allow him to ascertain to himself that he owns virtuousness. He needs a way to ascertain to himself that he is moral, just as the rich man needs a to spend his money in order to ascertain to himself that he is rich. He refuses to choose faith (for hope is not something to be owned but rather a way of life to be led), and believes instead in free-will, which can help him satisfy his pride, for only if he is free to own can he say proudly that what he owns is truly his. (Now, do not confuse the motivation of pride with the motivation to gain fame. A prideful man can be as humble as anyone, desiring nothing even fame itself. Yet as long as he wants to be moral, then he is prideful, committing moral acts to ascertain to himself that he is such a person. For to be is to be prideful.) (Note that the general Happiness of an ethical man is the perverted joy of pride i.e. in owning, unlike the general Happiness of the aesthetic man which is security from suffering. Only when he has secured his pride can he continue on his life.) Yes, a moralist may be reluctant in carrying out moral acts, but doesn't the athlete also hope that the world record may be of a ...read more.

Conclusion

My answer is simple: The non-existence of moral truths doesn't imply in the least that there are no non-moral truths such as the truths of Physics. And the truth on the non-existence of moral truths is exactly non-moral in nature, just as the truths of Physics. Thus there is absolutely no logical inconsistency in believing the non-existence of moral truths. It seems difficult for ethical philosophers to give up the idea of a moral truth i.e. that which you ought to do solely for its own sake, rather than a prudent sake which involves only pragmatic truths. Yet the moralist needs only to ask himself, is the very concept of free-will really meaningful, for the concept of moral truth makes sense only if the concept of free-will is intelligible? Can the moralist ever give me a precise explanation or definition on what the concept of free-will and responsibility mean? If not, what justifies your belief in the existence of moral truths? Contrary to common belief, it is precisely those believing in the existence of moral truths who should worry about their own belief and dishonesty? This whole article attempts to say only this: You are a happy being, not a moral being. You are a faithful being (and thus powerful enough to move mountains), not a responsible being. It is of course not that you are an irresponsible being, but only that God has never created something called responsibility. Neither is there the wisdom of atheism and acceptance (except for the wisdom of happiness) too, since all is determined. There are only Power and Happiness, nothing more. Just as it is the pride in owning true knowledge that causes one to doubt that nature is fully deterministic though forever unknowable, it is also pride that causes one to believe in morality and free-will. For just as God does not play dice, He does not drink wine either i.e. He is not drunk and thus will create (and see) only one, never two. God is Power, and He created Happiness, and that is all. ...read more.

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