Front Page Titles (by Subject) § 86.: Of Ethico-theology - The Critique of Judgement
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§ 86.: Of Ethico-theology - Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgement 
Kant’s Critique of Judgement, translated with Introduction and Notes by J.H. Bernard (2nd ed. revised) (London: Macmillan, 1914).
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The commonest Understanding, if it thinks over the presence of things in the world, and the existence of the world itself, cannot forbear from the judgement that all the various creatures, no matter how great the art displayed in their arrangement, and how various their purposive mutual connexion,—even the complex of their numerous systems (which we incorrectly call worlds),—would be for nothing, if there were not also men (rational beings in general). Without men the whole creation would be a mere waste, in vain, and without final purpose. But it is not in reference to man’s cognitive faculty (theoretical Reason) that the being of everything else in the world gets its worth; he is not there merely that there may be some one to contemplate the world. For if the contemplation of the world only afforded a representation of things without any final purpose, no worth could accrue to its being from the mere fact that it is known; we must presuppose for it a final purpose, in reference to which its contemplation itself has worth. Again it is not in reference to the feeling of pleasure, or to the sum of pleasures, that we think a final purpose of creation as given; i.e. we do not estimate that absolute worth by well-being or by enjoyment (whether bodily or mental), or in a word, by happiness. For the fact that man, if he exists, takes this for his final design, gives us no concept as to why in general he should exist, and as to what worth he has in himself to make his existence pleasant. He must, therefore, be supposed to be the final purpose of creation, in order to have a rational ground for holding that nature must harmonise with his happiness, if it is considered as an absolute whole according to principles of purposes.— Hence there remains only the faculty of desire; not, however, that which makes man dependent (through sensuous impulses) upon nature, nor that in respect of which the worth of his being depends upon what he receives and enjoys. But the worth which he alone can give to himself, and which consists in what he does, how and according to what principles he acts, and that not as a link in nature’s chain but in the freedom of his faculty of desire—i.e. a good will—is that whereby alone his being can have an absolute worth, and in reference to which the being of the world can have a final purpose.
The commonest judgement of healthy human Reason completely accords with this, that it is only as a moral being that man can be a final purpose of creation; if we but direct men’s attention to the question and incite them to investigate it. What does it avail, one will say, that this man has so much talent, that he is so active therewith, and that he exerts thereby a useful influence over the community, thus having a great worth both in relation to his own happy condition and to the benefit of others, if he does not possess a good will? He is a contemptible Object considered in respect of his inner self; and if the creation is not to be without any final purpose at all, he, who as man belongs to it, must, in a world under moral laws, inasmuch as he is a bad man, forfeit his subjective purpose (happiness). This is the only condition under which his existence can accord with the final purpose.
If now we meet with purposive arrangements in the world and, as Reason inevitably requires, subordinate the purposes that are only conditioned to an unconditioned, supreme, i.e. final, purpose; then we easily see in the first place that we are thus concerned not with a purpose of nature (internal to itself), so far as it exists, but with the purpose of its existence along with all its ordinances, and, consequently, with the ultimate purpose of creation, and specially with the supreme condition under which can be posited a final purpose (i.e. the ground which determines a supreme Understanding to produce the beings of the world).
Since now it is only as a moral being that we recognise man as the purpose of creation, we have in the first place a ground (at least, the chief condition) for regarding the world as a whole connected according to purposes, and as a system of final causes. And, more especially, as regards the reference (necessary for us by the constitution of our Reason) of natural purposes to an intelligent World Cause, we have one principle enabling us to think the nature and properties of this First Cause as supreme ground in the kingdom of purposes, and to determine its concept. This physical Teleology could not do; it could only lead to indeterminate concepts thereof, unserviceable alike in theoretical and in practical use.
From the principle, thus determined, of the causality of the Original Being we must not think Him merely as Intelligence and as legislative for nature, but also as legislating supremely in a moral kingdom of purposes. In reference to the highest good, alone possible under His sovereignty, viz. the existence of rational beings under moral laws, we shall think this Original Being as all-knowing: thus our inmost dispositions (which constitute the proper moral worth of the actions of rational beings of the world) will not be hid from Him. We shall think Him as all-mighty: thus He will be able to make the whole of nature accord with this highest purpose. We shall think Him as all-good, and at the same time as just: because these two properties (which when united constitute Wisdom) are the conditions of the causality of a supreme Cause of the world, as highest good, under moral laws. So also all the other transcendental properties, such as Eternity, Omnipresence, etc. [for goodness and justice are moral properties1 ], which are presupposed in reference to such a final purpose, must be thought in Him.— In this way moral Teleology supplies the deficiency in physical Teleology, and first establishes a Theology; because the latter, if it did not borrow from the former without being observed, but were to proceed consistently, could only found a Demonology, which is incapable of any definite concept.
But the principle of the reference of the world to a supreme Cause, as Deity, on account of the moral purposive destination of certain beings in it, does not accomplish this by completing the physico-teleological ground of proof and so taking this necessarily as its basis. It is sufficient in itself and directs attention to the purposes of nature and the investigation of that incomprehensible great art lying hidden behind its forms, in order to confirm incidentally by means of natural purposes the Ideas that pure practical Reason furnishes. For the concept of beings of the world under moral laws is a principle (a priori) according to which man must of necessity judge himself. Further, if there is in general a World Cause acting designedly and directed towards a purpose, this moral relation must be just as necessarily the condition of the possibility of a creation, as that in accordance with physical laws (if, that is, this intelligent Cause has also a final purpose). This is regarded a priori by Reason as a necessary fundamental proposition for it in its teleological judging of the existence of things. It now only comes to this, whether we have sufficient ground for Reason (either speculative or practical) to ascribe to the supreme Cause, acting in accordance with purposes, a final purpose. For it may a priori be taken by us as certain that this, by the subjective constitution of our Reason and even of the Reason of other beings as far as we can think it, can be nothing else than man under moral laws: since otherwise the purposes of nature in the physical order could not be known a priori, especially as it can in no way be seen that nature could not exist without such purposes.
Suppose the case of a man at the moment when his mind is disposed to a moral sensation. If surrounded by the beauties of nature, he is in a state of restful, serene enjoyment of his being, he feels a want, viz. to be grateful for this to some being or other. Or if another time he finds himself in the same state of mind when pressed by duties that he can and will only adequately discharge by a voluntary sacrifice, he again feels in himself a want, viz. to have thus executed a command and obeyed a Supreme Lord. Or, again; if he has in some heedless way transgressed his duty, but without becoming answerable to men, his severe self-reproach will speak to him with the voice of a judge to whom he has to give account. In a word, he needs a moral Intelligence, in order to have a Being for the purpose of his existence, which may be, conformably to this purpose, the cause of himself and of the world. It is vain to assign motives behind these feelings, for they are immediately connected with the purest moral sentiment, because gratitude, obedience, and humiliation (submission to deserved chastisement) are mental dispositions that make for duty; and the mind which is inclined towards a widening of its moral sentiment here only voluntarily conceives an object that is not in the world in order where possible to render its duty before such an one. It is therefore at least possible and grounded too in our moral disposition to represent a pure moral need of the existence of a Being, by which our morality gains strength or even (at least according to our representation) more scope, viz. a new object for its exercise. That is, [there is a need] to assume a morally-legislating Being outside the world, without any reference to theoretical proofs, still less to self-interest, from pure moral grounds free from all foreign influence (and consequently only subjective), on the mere recommendation of a pure practical Reason legislating by itself alone. And although such a mental disposition might seldom occur or might not last long, but be transient and without permanent effect, or might even pass away without any meditation on the object represented in such shadowy outline, or without care to bring it under clear concepts—there is yet here unmistakably the ground why our moral capacity, as a subjective principle, should not be contented in its contemplation of the world with its purposiveness by means of natural causes, but should ascribe to it a supreme Cause governing nature according to moral principles.— In addition, we feel ourselves constrained by the moral law to strive for a universal highest purpose which yet we, in common with the rest of nature, are incapable of attaining; and it is only so far as we strive for it that we can judge ourselves to be in harmony with the final purpose of an intelligent World Cause (if such there be). Thus is found a pure moral ground of practical Reason for assuming this Cause (since it can be done without contradiction), in order that we may no more regard that effort of Reason as quite idle, and so run the risk of abandoning it from weariness.
With all this, so much only is to be said, that though fear first produces gods (demons), it is Reason by means of its moral principles that can first produce the concept of God (even when, as commonly is the case, one is unskilled in the Teleology of nature, or is very doubtful on account of the difficulty of adjusting by a sufficiently established principle its mutually contradictory phenomena). Also, the inner moral purposive destination of man’s being supplies that in which natural knowledge is deficient, by directing us to think, for the final purpose of the being of all things (for which no other principle than an ethical one is satisfactory to Reason), the supreme Cause [as endowed] with properties, whereby it is able to subject the whole of nature to that single design (for which nature is merely the instrument),—i.e. to think it as a Deity.
[1 ][Second Edition.]