Kant on Radical Evil: A Pragmatic Reading
Keywords:Radical Evil, Propensity, Predisposition
One of the primary concerns of Immanuel Kant in his major works on philosophy of religion is the doctrine of radical evil. He was greatly perplexed by the conundrums of this doctrine. Although Kant claimed it to be a universal trait, he failed to give a formal proof (evidence) supporting it. However, he asserted that the conducts of human beings are enough to demonstrate the nature of radical evil. The complexity of the doctrine is further fuelled by introducing the idea of the need of divine intervention for one to overcome such moral-religious predicament. Critical responses from both Christian and secular scholars reflect interesting take on his ethico-religious discourse.
One of the prominent criticisms to Kant’s doctrine of radical evil is its relapse to religious absurdity reflecting the Christian doctrine of the ‘fall of mankind’ as narrated in the first book of the Bible. Consequently, the seriousness of the criticism not only affects the moral maxims but also the portrayal of its strong religious affinity, rendering the doctrine even more allusive and perplexing. The article intends to throw some light on the pragmatic perspective of the doctrine with special focus on the universality of the radical evil nature of human.
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