Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kant's Going to Hell for Proving God

A devilishly precocious and beautiful friend of mine recently shamed me into reading Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita". It's a bright-colored tragedy, where wit is often a fatal character flaw.

Yet best of all, it claims that Kant is in hell for proving God.

"But, may I ask," resumed the guest [the devil] from abroad after a moment's troubled reflection, "what do you make of the proofs of God's existence, of which, as you know, there are five?"

"Alas!" answered Berlioz regretfully, "all of those proofs are worthless, and mankind has long since consigned them to oblivion. Surely you would agree that reason dictates that there can be no proof of God's existence."

"Bravo!" exclaimed the foreigner [the devil], "Bravo! You've said just what that restless old sage Immanuel said about this very same subject. But here's the rub: he completely demolished all five proofs, and then, in a seeming display of self-mockery, he constructed a sixth proof all his own!"

"Kant's proof," retorted the educated editor with a faint smile, "is also unconvincing. No wonder Schiller said that only slaves could be satisfied with Kant's arguments on this subject, while Strauss simple laughed at his proof."

As Beriloz was speaking, he thought, "But, who is he anyway? And how come his Russian is so good?"

"This guy Kant ought to get three years in Solovki for proofs like that," blurted out Ivan Nikolayevich, completely unexpectedly.

"Ivan!" whispered Berlioz in consternation.

"Precisely so, precisely so," he cried [the devil], and his green left eye, which was focused on Berlioz, sparkled. "That's the very place for him! As I told him that time at breakfast, 'As you please, professor, but you've contrived something totally absurd! True, it may be clever, but it's totally incomprehensible. People will laugh at you.'"

Berlioz's eyes popped. "At breakfast... with Kant? What kind non-sense is this?" he thought.

"However," continued the foreigner [the devil], unflustered by Berlioz's astonishment and turning to the poet, "he can't be sent to Solovki for the simple reason that for more than a hundred years now he's been somewhere far more remote than Solovki, and there's no way of getting him out of there, I assure you!"

So be wary Alvin Platinga, and all those fancying themselves able to proof God's existence positively.


James said...

If I learned anything from the good doctor D. Stephen Long, peace be upon him, it is one immutable truth: KANT IS BAD!

All this fuss about proving the existence of God reminds me of that old song, "They will know we are Christians by our intellectual proofs of the existence of God."

Oh wait, I forgot, the song is...
They will know we are Christians by our love! Ah, the beauty of holiness is a wonderful thing!

I miss you man!

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I believe that from a closer reading of the text you would actually come to find out that Kant is really in heaven. This is because the devil clearly says that he is unable to send him to Solovki which implies that he is in a place that the devil can not access which would only logically be heaven. If Kant was in Hell the devil would easily be able to send him to wherever he would like because he is the ruler of Hell and would thus have power over everyone there. The Devil, by acknowledging his inability to move Kant clearly indicates he is in heaven.