Fear of Forgiveness

Philosophy and Theology 3 (4):323-334 (1989)
I first argue that Kant must consider the question of forgiveness by tracing his thought from the concept of the purity of practical reason, through the postulate of God’s existence, and to the relations between God and humanity as both merciful and as just. I then examine the text where he recognizes the paradoxical relation of justice and mercy. Ultimately, the existence of the world displays a mercy which suspends strictest justice. Kant refuses to think through this paradox, and I argue that his refusal reflects his more basic compulsion to make ethics rational. The consequences of the paradox are a limitation of autonomy
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