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FOR ALL OF PREDESTINATION AND FREEWILL,
RELATING TO THIS PART OF THE APPENDIX
We must now, conscientiously perhaps, but not without warrant, remorselessly face any implicit challenge which, for the reason above developed, we would expect to be implicit outside Kantian terms and special concepts. This we do all the more firmly in that the challenge evaporates when we dispense with Kantian concepts: a failure to do this, in our view, would leave for an inconsequential attack on the consistency of our terms, however indirect that attack may be, a most improperly plausible and undue appearance of validity. Nowhere is this more so than at that point in Kant's Antithesis where he appeals to some 'other' cause for freedom, in order to show that it cannot provide the answer in this language, thus leaving no redress to those seeking such a deliverance from his impasse.
We must however develop the position. Confined by a constitutive39* concept of causality, Kant faces contradiction when his Thesis side of the antinomy asserts for him that infinite chains of causation are impossible because they violate the postulates of empirical thought, thus requiring conceptual departure from the spacetime matrix to which his theory assigns the categories of thought, of which causality is cited as one. He faces further contradiction in that his Antithesis in any case denies the Thesis' assertion of some 'other' causation from which freedom proceeds and on which it depends.
His theories are still further involved when his Observation on the Thesis leads to absolute and numerous modes of beginnings, which "in respect of causality though not of time, must be entitled an absolutely first beginning of a series of appearances40* " : for the Observation on the Antithesis points out that "side by side with such a lawless faculty of freedom nature (as an ordered system) is hardly thinkable; the influences of the former would so unceasingly alter the laws of the latter that ... disorder and incoherence40 would result.
Now it is this last point, of course, which, scarcely novel but apt to our own considerations, is very much after the manner of the attack on Arminianism by the persistent predestinarian41* ; and it is, as we seek to show in Predestination and Freewill, readily resolved in such a frame.
One would avoid the first contradiction first by failing, as we have argued, to allow as valid such postulates of empirical thought; but also by facing a possible sidethrust with detrimental implications to the validity of our own approach. To this latter we must now attend.
Since causation in our Thesis is asserted not to imply a regulative mental investiture of a perceived manifold, but to have objective and knowable existence, no empirical limitation of its operation is appropriate. An instituted series, indeed the institution of the empirical with its series is thus a simple prima facie possibility If a backward series of this kind be a contradiction in terms when it is infinite, as Kant submit42* and we have a series of this kind extant, then necessarily our actual empirical series in fact was instituted, invented, and commenced with the constitution of its elements ab initio. To this we shall shortly revert.
This is nothing but consistency43* in the less esoteric but more workable view of the objective validity of the causality which, with the problems to which we earlier referred, Kant would prefer to enshrine in the mind.
To Kant's above noted Observation on the Thesis we must also give attention in a similar manner. Considered in relation to our terms, the position is beneficially bereft of the overspectacular. As we have been expounding it in the appropriate Section44* , human agents of subordinate initiation exercise nonautonomous45* powers restricted ultimately to alignment, and respective consequences follow for man. The order of the 'mechanistic' aspect of the cosmos is not violated but rather made more meaningful by the implementation of purpose within it; both the inanimate and the animate, the biological and the personal may have plan, order and destiny of a different order, within such order.
The predestinative drafting of plan for man and procedure for matter is likewise an interesting, if not somewhat fascinating, but perfectly selfconsistent matter in terms of the propositions of ChristianTheism. Proceeding in this revelatory frame, in a commonsense manner, we observe the departure of contradiction: but not without discerning the value of detailed study of the theological terms applicable. Reticence and revelation46* are the more reasonable alternative to antinomy and contradiction which, as we present, Kant merely finds more deeply in the considerations of his noumena.
In particular we must note that Kant's reference to some pseudotheological 'other' cause in his Antithesis is simply an endeavour to consider an ultimate magnitude of causal kind as bound and therefore without freedom, within47* the mechanical conceptualisation of causation; clearly you cannot evacuate a 'divine' entity outside your system while postulating him as within it! This 'other' would appear very much to be 'encore': not 'autre'.
When, however, we cease to think of cause in this way, and think of it simply as the reason for which something comes to be, it does not then have to possess any culturally dated conceptualisation [moreover, just as we argue that Kant implicitly retains in his system a causality not mentally created; so do we explicitly acknowledge it. cause can proceed from a natural object at a natural level, a moral reality at a moral level, through a spiritual entity in a spiritual sphere. This much we can say quite initially. If a cause is conceived merely as that which proceeds, and in its own manner of wording, brings about48* that which is to follow, one need not consider that such cause is destructive of freedom or even an embarrassment to it.
There can indeed be a cause for freedom quite directly intelligible as far as mere formality is concerned. If God should wish to create souls which have in some sense45* disposability of the will for or against Him, He is the cause of such freedom; and yet we do not say for this cause that freedom is annihilated: on the contrary, because of this, freedom is true, is freedom omprehensively defined49* , is established; and without it, as we have previously maintained, we could not even have freedom in a manner which we could regard as meaningful or accountable at all.
A consistently conceivable creation of serial causality thus confronts logic with no problem. Considering cause more amply, we can think of a first cause of the universe as a first reason: it can be an eternally predating existent. It does not have to be a part of a causal chain: there is no reason why it should be conceived essentially as such50* . It can be ultimate, being or rather constituting the reason behind anything coming to pass, mediately or immediately.
As such it can be productive of causality
of a strictly serial kind51*
example) when creating
that universe in which
the serially inclined is accorded its componential status. We envisage
therefore, in the terms of ChristianTheism, no difficulty in a first
cause which term we tend of course not to use, lest it confuse the
different grades of causation available for conception. Any attack on this
becomes weighty here only when framed in the rejected Kantian conceptions,
possessed as we have seen of other and internal disabilities.
SERVICE BY INDIRECTION PREDESTINATION.
Kant's system, then, whatever else it might be, we have found to be inconsistent with itself (Parts 1, 35, supra more specifically); and with experience (Part 2), as well as inadequate in its epistemology (Part 352* ). He succeeds neither in conditioning knowledge53* in the manner attempted (Parts 15), nor in effecting the downfall of the nonexperiential integrity of independently existent causality (Parts 3 et al.).
The Third Antinomy to which we have just adverted, specifically is no more helpful: that is, the alleged antinomy of pure reason, between causation and freedom. here however Kant is of some specific service: for, if somewhat indirectly, Kant shows quite simply and forcefully when we relate it to our terms in the Antithesis in this Antinomy, that predestination is a theological necessity; that there can be no question of any serially conceived 'states' of awareness 'conditioned' to merely consecutive influence upon the Supreme Being: that God must necessarily have knows all, determined all, disposed all, before all time, with ontological completion.
This might challenge the Arminian:
yet it cannot compromise, but merely emphasise the force of the doctrine
that God works all things after the counsel of His will, that His purposes
are eternal, that He has realised before anything is actualised, comprised
before anything is serialised, concluded before anything is begun. It has
been precisely the work of Section III of our thesis, Predestination
and Freewill, to show further the nature, the consistency, the cohesion
and the complete concord of these Scriptural doctrines, and the relevant
concept of freedom: both with the protested love of God.
THE GRACE OF PERSPECTIVE
Our purpose thus far has been almost entirely negative: it has been to isolate in a brief compass some marked inconsistencies in the Kantian system these forming one of our grounds for excluding it from our detailed review of inconsistency problems in the field of Predestination and Freewill. We have presented a view that Kant's problems concern his own system rather than our own, although in passing his wrestlings show us as we have just noted, certain areas requiring careful conceptualisation. We have further sought to show that Kant's system aspires to some areas where its failure is necessary.
It is not our task to evaluate Kant's system in its detail; but it may be satisfying intellectually if we add to our observations on consistency above, certain perspective.
Perspective provides a helpful way of evaluating and accounting. The thoughts of Kant, we have sought to shows deviate from consistency; they involve internal stresses: and we wonder why he should so pursue a plan contrary to a coordinated and constant system; why there are so many vital deflections, whatever may be the important contributions.
It is no difficulty in terms of the view presented in our Thesis, to account for Kant's complexities of this kind. They are not accidental; nor are they mere mental miasma. That aspect of Kant which it has been our business to investigate and pinpoint has in general ample reason for its existence, we would submit. He shall seek to show from the perspective adopted in our Thesis, that these Kantian defects are quite readily understandable as to ultimate cause.
First however an initial historical point may be helpful. Kant, faced with the appeal of intellectual security independent of the artifice of psychologists, needed a Leibnitzian assurance but one on a basis adequate to refute Hume54* ; indeed to subvert his premises.
His device was simple: he would make mental processing a way of achieving a constitutive though relative validity for thought. The mental world would be valid mentally because derived through the conditioning media of mental assimilation and correlation; and since all must be so processed to reach the human experient, all is systematic sui generis, free from the ravages of uncontrolled fact and unknown realities in the theoretical sphere. Let Hume resent mental categorisations such as causality; let him defy men to define them from observation. Yet it is not a priori with an observable world that we can be concerned: it is only with our observations of the world, which being ours, are autoderivative. We cannot think in other terms than those of the minds which imbue perception with their own terms indeed perception itself with form.
A 'simple' Kantian system thus arises and could plausibly perhaps confront the assault for example, of Hume.
The difficulty however is that this Kantian system has internal problems such as those outlined in the preceding sections of this Essay. It is here, in seeking to understand Kantianism that we could transcend what is merely a partial historical perspective, such as that just given: we must consider a view of the world in which history is relative to the Source of the world, of man and of history.
Thus Kant could have taken a simpler course. He could have noted against Hume that argument itself involves the causality of comprehension, the principle of sufficient reason; in that one, feature of the subject matter is shown to produce or be incompatible with another. The unsophisticated expedients of sequence cannot know what correctly must be said; or what forbids. If they do, they assert requirements of sequence past sequence, and on which sequence depends. lion can a subject discuss sequence if sequence is the constitutive totality of his experience? or reason for it? or exist, since his being must then involve a viewpoint, an orientative propensity and a power to investigate and evaluate in static knowable categories, themselves not sequence? Kant could have done this purely negatively.
He could moreover have pursued the obvious points developed by Franklin (inter alia ... in his Freedom and Responsibility, op.cit. pp.110121) regarding the explicatory nexus of hypotheses mutually selfattesting (pp.110118); and have distinguished cases of causality by differentiating sequence not said to be causally related from that which is said to be so related, thereby isolating initially the difference (pp.118119).
He could indeed have noted that the Humean method assumes a human ultimacy, commences with man and however illicitly, reasons outwards. Here Kant could have opposed a consistent alternative without contradictory implications such as those found in his on system, which accordingly is not commendable as an alternative. This touches the basic point which we wish to make.
Now Kant in fact does speak of God as a postulate. After developing an entire system, he allows God a degree of certainty subordinate to that of certain moral convictions. Our point is that this system necessarily will grow contradictory, when viewed from the standpoint of our Thesis, in such a style of development. To account for cause, he looks not to God for the groundwork of comprehension, the originative basis in terms of which understanding may be obtained: he looks within. He is, in a word, autoderivative logically while deo-derivative actually; and a logical procedure divorced from the ontological relationship must lead to precisely the sort of frustrated conceptualisation which we have noted above in our encounter with Kantianism.
He seeks for causality from himself and his race; not from God as ultimate.
He would embrace the institution and correlation of experience in his processes; but not in mediation from God as image-producer in man.
Hence he would impossibly as we hold, ascribe virtually a cause for the perception of causality, as if this were explanatory of causality (pp. 222226 supra);
he would have a cause of experiential ordering in "reason" which though unknowable by the categories of understanding it produces, is yet describable in cohesive explanatory accounts, in their terms (p.223 endnote 29supra);
he would keep a moral reality divorced from theoretical insight, and yet subjectible to refined substantive knowledge as of "assertorial fact" (pp. 212214, 215219 supra);
he would exclude the intrusion of the 'unknown' actuality into the tidy conceptual arena of his science and yet is faced with a whole order of intrusive data evincing noncontained, perceptible causative force (pp. 219222 supra), thus creating a breach birth into the intellectual hospital of sterilised Kantianised aseptic fact.
And so on.
He reaches constantly for the account of things without God as Procedural Preliminary - this it is which is vital; and he ends with a statement in which God as postulated posterior to his analysis, comes too late to ensure the proper quality and perspective to the Kantian components, the envisaged world "in the making".
The reason why Kant should in turn and in addition desire to avoid the priority proper to the Person eventually noted in his presuppositions, is not merely that this would challenge him to the most careful theological thought and to the hazardous dangers of unoriginality; but that it would provide peril to the presuppositions and proprieties necessary for "autonomous man" (cf. Predestination and Freewill, pp. l37-141, et supra p.175).
Now of "autonomous man" Kant has at
least the advantage of being a conceptual depicted in the keenest terms,
and indeed a self-confessed adherent. Since as we have consistently reasoned
in our Thesis, man is not able to be so related
to God, Kant must experience the logical difficulty
correlative to this assumption. It is the price he pays. It is a tribute
to the logical force of Christian-Theism that even a man of Kant's intellectual
stature could not avoid this.
OF END-NOTES FOR APPENDIX ON KANT,
FROM Part A
39 The relevant principle of pure understanding may indeed be said to be regulative, rather than constitutive, the term employed in the case of time and space "categories"; however, causality is, in Kant's work, formally constitutive (with its comembers) in experience of sensibilia, in that such experience is required to conform to the formal necessity of these principles and to be constructed through the functioning of the impress of these categories. Thus Kant can say: "Thus the understanding is ... the lawgiver of nature" (cf. p.180, endnote 26, supra).
40 Critique of Pure Reason, p.414.
41 Possibly this might suggest that if Kant had been a theologian, he might well have become a predestinarian, in a consistently Scriptural sense.
42 Ibid. pp.397, 401.
43 We perceived the simplicity and removed any appearance of contradiction in the view of origination of causality by a non-mechanical sufficiency. What we must pursue is the ontology minimally requisite in such a Creator of causality, in our own terms and demonstrate their sufficiency and consistency within the nonconflicting bounds of reticence to which we have more than once referred.
44 Predestination and Freewill, Thesis, Section II; also develops in Section III.
45 More fully expounded in Predestination and Freewill, in Section III, pp. l678: see also pp.856 supra et al..
46 Scriptural revelation in direct apologetics can be argued for independently and precisely, and this may be set forth cogently: the apologetic of the present work is purely indirect in assignation.
47 Kant presents a putative 'other' causation in his Antithesis in the Third Antinomy; but the serial, consecutive, non-perspicuous character assigned it would be in our terms a splendid example of a thoroughgoing, ideational anthropomorphism. It seems a somewhat arresting inversion of Deus ex machina: in fact, rather unfortunately, a machina in Deo.
48 More explicitly at the level of creation, we might prefer to put it: "is so adapted and sustained as to bring about." That point, however, is not here under stress. Cf. Colossians 1: Romans 8:39 & 11:36.
49 See Predestination and Freewill, Thesis, pp.1621, in particular reverting to the infinite regress there considered.
50 Essentially the contrary is necessarily the case. See pp.187189 supra et alii. . .
51 It is instituting what does not constitute it.
52 See esp.pp.181182 supra.
53 The removal of this attack is pari passu the removal of what consistently would have been an attack on revelation (cf.p.183 supra); one which Kant himself could not sufficiently effect, as we saw (cf. pp.176 ff. supra), in his moral realisation.
Sic semper tyrannus:
he did not subdue himself to his theory, which was a credit to him though
not to the theory it is also an unexpected and unintentional testimony
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