Kant’s Model for Building the True Church: Transcending “Might Makes Right” and “Should Makes Good” through the Idea of a Non-Coercive Theocracy

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Stephen Palmquist

Abstract

Kant’s Religion postulates the idea of an ethical community as a necessary requirement for humanity to become good. Few interpreters acknowledge Kant’s claims that realizing this idea requires building a “church” characterized by unity, integrity, freedom, and unchangeability, and that this new form of community is a non-coercive version of theocracy. Traditional (e.g., Jewish) theocracy replaces the political state of nature (“might makes right”) with an ethical state of nature (“should makes good”); non-coercive theocracy transcends this distinction, uniting humanity in a common vision of a divine legislator whose legislation is inward: the law of love binds church members together like families.

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How to Cite
Palmquist, Stephen. 2018. “Kant’s Model for Building the True Church: Transcending “Might Makes Right” and ‘Should Makes Good’ through the Idea of a Non-Coercive Theocracy”. Diametros 54 (54):76-94. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.54.2017.1134.
Section
Special Issue "Enlightenment and Secularism"
Author Biography

Stephen Palmquist, Hong Kong Baptist University

Prof. Stephen Palmquist (龐思奮)
Department of Religion and Philosophy
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
CHINA

E-mail: stevepq@hkbu.edu.hk

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