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Old 03-06-2007, 10:47 PM   #75
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism


You've made reference to Kant's Critie der reinen Bernunft but did you read the book? Having only bought the book today, I was quite amused to come across this passage in the preface to the first edition:

I have not evaded its questions by pleading
the insufficiency of human reason. On the contrary, I have
specified these questions exhaustively, according to
principles; and after locating the point at which, through
misunderstanding, reason comes into conflict with itself, I have
solved them to its complete satisfaction. The answer to these Axiii
questions has not, indeed, been such as a dogmatic and
visionary insistence upon knowledge might lead us to expect --
that can be catered for only through magical devices, in which
I am no adept. Such ways of answering them are, indeed, not
within the intention of the natural constitution of our reason;
and inasmuch as they have their source in misunderstanding,
it is the duty of philosophy to counteract their deceptive
influence, no matter what prized and cherished dreams may have
to be disowned. In this enquiry I have made completeness
my chief aim, and I venture to assert that there is not a single
metaphysical problem which has not been solved, or for the
solution of which the key at least has not been supplied. Pure
reason is, indeed, so perfect a unity that if its principle were
insufficient for the solution of even a single one of all the
questions to which it itself gives birth we should have no
alternative but to reject the principle, since we should then no
longer be able to place implicit reliance upon it in dealing
with any one of the other questions.

While I am saying this I can fancy that I detect in the face
of the reader an expression of indignation, mingled with Axiv
contempt, at pretensions seemingly so arrogant and vain-glorious.
Yet they are incomparably more moderate than the claims
of all those writers who on the lines of the usual programme
profess to prove the simple nature of the soul or the necessity
of a first beginning of the world
. For while such writers pledge
themselves to extend human knowledge beyond all limits of
possible experience, I humbly confess that this is entirely
beyond my power. I have to deal with nothing save reason itself
and its pure thinking; and to obtain complete knowledge of
these, there is no need to go far afield, since I come upon them
in my own self. Common logic itself supplies an example, how
all the simple acts of reason can be enumerated completely
and systematically. The subject of the present enquiry is the
[kindred] question, how much we can hope to achieve by
P 011
reason, when all the material and assistance of experience are
taken away.
(Copied from here.)

I haven't gotten past the preface, but my understanding is that Kant's real critique is of the supposed limits of human knowledge, not the process of logic itself directly. Read the article criticizing Kant's critique here.
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