Faith without belief II: moral faith
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Faith without belief II: moral faith book
I now turn to the two remaining conceptions of faith without belief, which interpret it as essentially a matter of moral commitment.
Now we come to the position which I think comes closest to being a coherent and worthy non-cognitive account of religion, that of Kant, on one reading of Kant (the ‘as if’ reading). I say on one reading, because there are three possible views which could be read into Kant. (i) If we take one crucial passage from the Critique of Practical Reason out of context, it looks as though Kant has an argument to prove the existence of God, a ‘moral argument’. However, several things he says about this argument suggest the interpretation (ii) that it is not an argument for the existence of God, though it is an argument for believing in the existence of God. But this seems to me to be an untenable position between (i) and (iii), the idea that while we can’t know whether God exists or not, we ought to act as if he did.