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Natural Law
What is beyond?
Who is he?
Sapere Aude (Dare to be wise, dare to know)
Born in 1724 in Konigsberg, Prusia (Kaliningrad)
German philosopher
“It always remains a scandal of philosophy and
universal human reason that the existence of
things outside us ... should have to be assumed
merely on faith, and that if it occurs to anyone to
doubt it, we should be unable to answer him with
a satisfactory proof.”
Then he Proposed:
“Up to now it has been assumed that all our
cognition must conform to the objects; but ... let
us once try whether we do not get farther with the
problems of metaphysics by assuming that the
objects must conform to our cognition”.
Hans Kelsen is inspired by this Philosopher.
The Three Postulates
• There are incorporated into coherent and
meaningful ethical structure.
• A postulate is “a theoretical propositions which is
not as such demonstrable but which is an
inseparable corollary of an apriori unconditionally
valid practical law.”
• The postulate becomes part of the Kant’s ethical
structure but he makes it clear that the
postulates play no theoretical or explanatory role.
• As we have no intuitions to apply the concepts
of freedom, God and immortality; no
theoretical knowledge is possible.
• Kant makes it clear, “A postulate of practical
reason is an object of rational belief, but the
reasons for the belief are practical and moral.
Person needs the belief as a condition for
obedience to the moral law.”
• Freedom, God and Immortality: are not theoretical
dogmas  presuppositions: for practical reference.
The postulate can be considered as an attempt to limit
the theoretical and extend the practical so as to make
them stand together.
• God as postulate by Kant is not the God of religion. It
has origin in one’s own reason which would necessarily
mean that submitting to will of God is submitting to
one’s own reason. The need of God arises because the
relationship between moral law and happiness is not
guaranteed in this world. So here God comes to the
rescue and thus necessitates the compatibility of virtue
and realization of highest good, according Kant.
• Immortality is very much related with God. For Kant it
is very difficult for a man to be righteous without hope.
Immortality guarantees this hope and ensures that
there is a place sufficient for the reckoning of
happiness in proportion to worthiness to be happy.
• Freedom (Autonomy) is given a special position among
the other two postulates. It becomes the condition of
of the moral law which we do know. It is because of
freedom that God and Immortality gain objective
reality and legitimacy and subjective necessity.
Freedom (Autonomy) then can be considered as the
keystone of the structure of pure reason.
Its Relevance with Natural Law
• The assumption of natural law: Universality and
• System of thinking : transcendentalist
• There is another world consists of absolute entity
that determines the world of everyday life.
• Secular approach (rationality) and theological
approach (God as supreme and almighty entity).
• Natural Law’s perspective is transcendentalist in
nature because it believes the existence of what
is behind the appearance.
Conversation between two old friends
• Do you believe that there is life after this life?
• No, I do not believe it.
• But for what reason you will do good in your life? Don’t you
expect reward?
• No.
• So what makes you do good?
• Happiness. I do good because I am happy to do that.
• Isn’t that (happiness) a reward?
• No. That is a consequence of what I’ve done. If you speak
about reward then there would be “something” that gives
me such reward and in contrary a punishment if I do bad.
• So it is meaningless if I will relate reward with the life
afterlife or heaven as reward of your good behavior and
• Do people always need reward for doing good?
• If we make further reflection on “goodness”, does
goodness always anchor its existence in the hope for
reward in the future, especially good reward in the
afterlife? Isn’t that good is enough for good itself?
• If we take a look on law. Do you see that the logic of
law quite the same with such kind of logic? – reward
and punishment logic. Is it really necessary for applying
such logic in law so people will obey the law?
• What about common good? Do we need such logic for
achieving common good?