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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Burke and Kant Defended

Immanuel Kant takes a beating on the Accepting Abundance blog today that is predictable.  Immanuel Kant's catagorical imperative is a secularized form of Christian morality that AA (no, not the twelve-step group) finds fault with.  I will defend Kant because he was a contemporary of Edmund Burke who I always thought had some affinity with the thought of that great parliamentarian.  If you reject Christianity (and there were many such characters in the time of Burke and Kant, from Collins and Voltaire to D'Alembert and Bolingbroke), your arguments cannot be answered by simple recourse to "the Bible says thus-and-such" or "the Catholic Church says thus-and-such."  If there were no athiests and revolutionaries in the eighteenth century, there would not have been a need for a Burke or a Kant to try to defend Christian morals without explicit appeals to revelation.  Kantian ethics are one fork in the road, and the scary thing is that the second fork in it is Hegelianism--the unapologetic embrace of atheistic statism instead of traditional modes of government.  Incidentally, another favorite of Estase's, the great Samuel Taylor Coleridge was Britain's first popularizer of Kantianism.

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