Kant on Religion and Happiness(<Special Issue>Religion and Happiness)

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  • カントにおける宗教と幸福(<特集>しあわせと宗教)
  • カントにおける宗教と幸福
  • カント ニ オケル シュウキョウ ト コウフク

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Abstract

According to Kant, religion consists in hope for happiness. However, his explanations of happiness are various, and it is not necessarily clear what kind of happiness he thinks is the happiness for which religion allows one to hope. In his arguments laying the foundation for ethics Kant defines happiness as "satisfaction of all inclinations" and "complete satisfaction with one's existence/condition." He argues that it can never provide the moral principle, and warns that one should not confuse it with "self-contentment" as a mere "analogue of happiness," which occurs based on consciousness of observing moral laws. In brief, he tries to purify morality from religion and happiness. On the other hand, when he discusses the happiness hoped for as the second element of the "highest good," its close connections with morality are redeemed. In this context, also, happiness is "complete satisfaction with one's existence/condition," but this can only be realized based on the above-mentioned "self-contentment," and the "satisfaction of inclinations" cannot but be abstracted (in the case of "beatitude" hoped for after death in a future world) or limited (in the case of "general happiness" to be realized in an "ethical community" which should be established in this world). Interestingly, Kant seems to argue that promotion of the "highest good" is obliged to human beings, but at the same time one may hope for the help of God in the same process to its realization.

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