Maturity

Immanuel Kant is the philosophical ancestor of the Post-Modern Western world though most of us could probably not say much of what he thought. Kant moved God to a much lower place on the ladder of intellectual authorities, mostly depersonalized God and authored this thought about Truth; Truth is actually just information filtered through one’s own needs and intellectual abilities.

Kant makes things difficult, you see, for the unexamined, or even the simply unexplained, religious “thinker.” He lays the groundwork for Individualism as Isolationism, wherein my Truth, inviolable to me, is Un-Truth to you, or even anti-Truth. We are wrong to say Kant has no answer to the question, “Who is to say what is real, truthful, solid or relative…”

Kant would have answered, “I am to say.”

More interesting, perhaps, is what Kant has to say about maturity. Maturity, for Kant, is the result of Enlightenment, by which means Man (sic) “…emerges from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when it cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another.”

And, yet, I hold to this Truth, which, according to Kant cannot be less than his even if it be other, that all Humankind requires guidance, particularly guidance from God. Admittedly, divine guidance may be non-verifiable, which must bother many Individualist/Isolationists, who have enough uncertainty as it is, but non-verifiable does not mean un-real, any more than mythological means false.

I hold this thought, that Kantian thought has to be seen in light of his culture and its perverse lack of liberty. Perversity gives rise to perversion, as it authenticates self-absorption. Liberty, whether it is personal or corporeal, is to be desired, but, before I go to the old argument about liberty as license (which Kant did not hold), let me stop and write this; personal self-government is not guaranteed to be democratic, anymore than benevolent authoritarianism is always autocratic.

So, I believe that guidance from Above is as necessary to Humankind as personal authority replayed from within oneself. In fact, grace from Above, played out within, may be the most liberating (thus, maturing) of the divine act.s

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.