Kant and His “Independence Model”

Kant’s independence model urges that religion and science are two independent discourses of a dualistic system. Kant urges that knowledge is anchored on in two separate causalities. There is the practical and theoretical knowledge. The practical knowledge involves the human capacity to start a sequence of events that cannot be accomplished by nature alone though the events conform to nature. On the other hand, the theoretical knowledge is governed by the physical causality.

Kant believes that our minds do not perceive things passively- they create experiences for individuals as they interact with the world. He disagrees with rationalists ideas that our mind possesses innate ideas such as God being perfect. According to Kant there are no such propositions etched on our minds. The mind only allows us to conjoin concepts into our judgment. The mind of a human being only makes an active contribution from our experiences therefore; we cannot have metaphysical knowledge about God. Kant says that religion involves knowledge beyond our realm – the empirical. We cannot claim that religion and science are one because our knowledge of religion is transcendental and ideal. It is not real for the human mind.

Religion and science are independent because in science there is sensibility that enables us to access objects. Therefore, we can only study science through experiencing objects. In science, the objects we study must be represented spatially which cannot be done in religion. This is because in religion, God has a intuitive consciousness yet our minds apprehend things sensibly. In science space and time is necessary yet they cannot be perceived directly. They are part of how we experience an object. Kant says that for us to understand we must have concepts of understanding. The concepts are the rules that enable us to identify what is universal or common under different representations. He goes on to say that without sensibility, we cannot perceive objects. In addition, without understanding we cannot think of objects. He says that thoughts that do not have content are empty and intuitions without concepts are blind. Yet religion has such ideas because it is prescriptive. Due to this fundamental difference between science and religion, the two fields must be studied and grouped differently. In science, we can understand things through application of concepts. On the other hand, this is not possible in religion because we deal with intuitions.

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