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Anthony Rimai

Religious claims and ideas have never been the forte of Immanuel Kant. And there is no doubt that his works on philosophy of religion has been overshadowed by his mammoth Critical discourses. At the same time this does not necessarily conclude that he was never concerned of the religious claims or inclinations. Even though the three Critiques does not really resonate with an affirmation of serious religious inclinations, he did not deny the imminent role of religious concepts and its significance in his philosophy and, in general, mankind. It is an interesting fact to note that Kant in his second edition of the first Critique, made a conspicuous statement, I have denied knowledge in order to make room for faith. There are perhaps contentions as to the implication of this statement. But even though one may observe certain ambiguities in the statement, it also gave the needed toe hold for the persistence of religious concepts in his philosophical discourses. What came later as Kant’s matured work on religion entitled, Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason (henceforth, Religion) was then no surprise for Kantians who are inclined to his religious insights. In this paper, attempts will be made to consider how Kant was able to reconcile the apparently perennial debate on the conflicts between faith and reason. What seems to be an illusion, an inappropriate application of the theoretical ideas of the pure reason to an alleged object somehow finds its way back into the bosom of practical reason by affirming the religious inclinations through the moral discourse. From this perspective I will be arguing that religion is not an illusion and definitely not a psychological appease in Kants philosophical discourses. Rather it is an outward manifestation of the moral inclinations, the Categorical Imperative. To substantiate my move I will be mainly relying on the affinity between his moral discourse and religion, primarily from the perspectives of Religion, that, morality inevitably leads to religion coupled with the impact of the theory of radical evil nature of mankind.