Leave Steve Jobs alone!

ARVE Error: no video ID

This is sick and wrong. I give it two thumbs up.

163 Responses to “Leave Steve Jobs alone!”

  1. SamG

    I think it is time that Steve Jobs became a superstar. Like Britney Spears.

    Heck, we have seen Bill Gates with a guitar on a stage. Why not Jobso?

  2. FBO

    And here I thought you’d post your off-the-record interview with the recently traded Manny.

  3. anonymous

    I’m liking you JUST as much as when you were “Fake Steve” If anything, you are funnier! Thanks for making this AAPL investor laugh in the face of share price frustrations!

  4. topazz

    It was funny, until the snot started coming out of his nose. Doesn’t anybody get the concept “less is more” anymore?

    Steve sure did.

  5. Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?




  6. Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?

    Oh great now it won’t stop raining until the eclipse is over. Who do I have to bribe in this fake Russian town to part the clouds?

    OK, I’m renting a plane to fly over the clouds, this is so ridiculous. Afterwards, I think me and the MFL is gonna’ go visit Borat, as Kazakhstan is to the southwest. It’s either that or Tuva, and who wants to a town where everybody sings like Popeye The Sailor?

  7. Steve Jobs

    This guy gives me the creeps. Besides, I invented the iPhone. Have you heard of it? Lyons, you frigtard- call me. All is forgiven.


  8. Bill

    This is funny? I’m sorry but what is funny about pancreatic cancer? What is funny about the radical surgery that’s needed to save the person’s life. What is funny about the chronic conditions that develop afterward? What is funny about a guy who out classes you, Dan, in every respect?

    Dan, I hope you never get diagnosed with cancer. I hope you never need radical surgery to cure it. I hope some nutjob with an evident personality disorder doesn’t start a blog with seemingly the sole purpose of making fun of your desire to keep your health matters private, especially if your not too tactful in trying to secure that privacy from a bunch of hacks on a death watch.

    I mean, really, Dan — you’re obsessive over this, maybe even deranged. Do you dress up as Steve Jobs at home? You know, in a Norman Bates kind of way.

    Dan, it’s over. You want to nail Jobs (maybe in more ways than one), but you got nothing else other than this phone call. Seriously, I get it. It’s fun to take down the high-and-mighty by pointing out their hypocrisy, but really what else are you going to nail Jobs on — that Leopard 10.5.5 will have a few bugs in it, that the camera on the iPhone 3G is subpar? Eh.

    Look, the options “scandal” fizzled out. I’m sorry. Anything else on the horizon? Anything?

    So Dan Lyons calls. He says, “You think I’m a pathetic, one-trick pony on a self-sabotaging Michael Richards’ meltdown, and I think you’re wise-ass commenter with way too much time on your hands.” Dan then went on to say that he wanted me to print that he is now on some sort of reverse-phoenix trip, hell bent on plunging into the ashes again and again and again. But he didn’t want to have anything attributed to him so he would only talk off the record and if I didn’t agree in three seconds he was going to publish yet another one of his “so-and-so called” routines. I screamed, “Bloody hell, no!!” Then I thought, yeah, like he’d be capable of doing anything else. So I said fine. Now, clearly I cannot tell you what Dan said, but nothing I heard from him contradicted reports printed elsewhere that he’s on a one-way flameout trajectory that would make Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse and Andy Dick gasp. Asked to comment, Newsweek editors said, “Dan who?”

    See? Anybody really *can* write this crap.

  9. umm


    …and that was possibly the funniest thing I’ve read in RDL articles or comments in at least several days.

    He’s right, Dan. Are you all snarked out, or is this just a phase you’re going though?

  10. SamG

    It was a tough week in the markets. Tough week on the blog too.

    Fruit falls when it is ripe
    Walking barefoot
    to Whole Foods

  11. Total Dork

    Bill – it was a joke you tool. Yes, my Aunt actually died from pancreatic cancer but I still found it funny. It was funny, OK? What are you Steve’s Mother or something?

  12. podunk

    Television has the phrase “jumping the shark”. Film has the phrase “nuking the fridge”. (*) Now the blogosphere has the phrase “milking the cancer”.

    Dan, you’ve milked.

    Stop stuffing wads of your remaining credibility into your crack pipe. You’ve burned enough of it already.

    (*) http://is.gd/1bCj

  13. Tony

    That was ffn funny. And theese itards dont even realize who is being made fun of. I think its great to make fun of the apple fanboiz.

    See how upset they get when you attack there dear leader. :-)

  14. podunk

    @Tony Of course we get who’s being made fun of here. I don’t mean to detract from your feeling of accomplishment (of having grasped it yourself) but it’s not a terribly advanced concept. Dan’s been doing it since the beginning.

    It was funny when he was in character, but now he’s just a ventriloquist without a doll — which, to be blunt, has reduced him to just another guy with an annoying speech habit and a non-correctible tic for repeating the tired catch phrases for which the audience once loved the dummy: (“siooma, siooma, siooma!…”)

    Dan, I hope you enjoy the half-witted demographic you’ve traded us for.

  15. Fukuba L. Succubus

    Yeah, speculation about cancer should be out of bounds. We should henceforth focus solely on Steve’s venereal diseases, of which he must have many. And certain strains of ghonorrea can have the same symptoms as pancreatitis.

  16. somebody

    Exactly. “Leave Britney Alone” is one of the “most famous” videos of YouTube. It has been spoofed by lots of people including Seth Green. And though many would describe Chris Crocker as a freak show, most people realize that the paparazzi aided media coverage of celebs that prompted his rant is in poor taste, just as hounding Steve Jobs about his health is annoying.

    This Steve Jobs parody is not making light of Steve’s Cancer, nor is it necessarily taking aim at the Apple faithful (his other videos show him using Apple products.) Mostly, it brings into focus how ridiculous the press is handling the issue.

  17. Fake Michael Richards

    How dare anyone unsubscribe from this blog, after what Dan Lyons has been through?

    He got exposed against his will, he lost his job at Forbes, he had his alterego removed.

    This man changed your blog reading habits! He invented Fake Steve Jobs… have you heard of it? He gave you something that you could look at when you were bored at work. He introduced us to bike helment girl. He created a gag that he could use over and over again.

    All you people care about is Fake Steve and a variety of jokes. All you people care about is leaving nasty comments on his blog, like you don’t care for his feelings at all.

    He’s a human. Well, a filthy hack. But he made Google a lot of money through the Adsense program.

    Look, just stay subscribed OK? He needs you. Now more than ever. Anyone who has a problem with Dan Lyons comes to me, and I’ll shove a pitch fork…

    Well anyway, just ease off on the man. OK?



  18. Wiley

    So… that was the extended director’s cut. I can’t wait for DVD commentary: “Here’s where are I really lose it. No, wait…*here’s* where I really freakin’ loose it…”

  19. Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?

    Great eclipse, the clouds broke just in time. Stunning. Beautiful. Retaining plane for trip to the real Kazakhstan.

    Saw video again.
    Ugh. Bah. Cringe.
    Like the Britney guy video.

    Not funny at all.
    But they can’t all be gems, can they?

    Anyone up for a Sumerian joke?

  20. suppositio.us

    I’m lookin’ for Fake Steve Jobs. Seen him anyplace? What, did he get Fake Cancer? It was funny. Why’d it stop?

    I suppose it got a little.. No, I really liked it.


  21. SamG Duo 2

    @Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up

    Great Sumerian joke, btw. :)

    Still, I think there is an older, undocumented joke, spoken when first hominids realized that grass is not greener below the trees, as noted by his significant hominid-a. So the hominid dude said to her, you know what, I am just gonna keep walking ’till I find what I am looking for and you go back into the tree with your mother.

    Which opens copyright issues for Bono. And a can of worms that has not been shut since.

  22. Sammy Palmisano

    Dan ol’ pal, how ya been? Me and the guys were finishing a round this morning and Manny Schecter mentioned your new blog. I’m glad to see you finally came to your senses and dropped that FSJ charade, and we still have a deal after that incident last year, right?

    Keep well Dan, it’s a scary world out there.

  23. Fake Hooters Girl

    I miss the part with mock phone dialogue. That is the best part of waking up, like folgers in my D cups.

  24. somebody

    well, someone went and did it…there is now a site called SteveisFine.com and the maker of the video is at channelkris.com

  25. colin


    Get over yourself. You just don’t seem to get humour. I think your irony gland may have been removed at birth.

  26. somebody

    That’s right. Those bill characters are lost. If serious=can’t make fun of it, then how do you explain Jesus jokes.

  27. Keith Kruger

    I keep desperately checking this blog with the hope of finding some sharp satirical humor to brighten my lowly existence only to find none….not even any lame humor for the past 4 days.

    Hey! Didn’t Fake Steve fire Fake Jerry Yang for not blogging anything for 3 days? Can we fire Real Dan and hire Fake Steve to take his place? We need FSJ.

  28. Bill

    @ Colin

    Oh, I get humor fine … when it’s funny. But this ad nauseum trope is rooted in an unseemly if not a disturbing preoccupation. This essay on CNET by Tom Krazit articulates it as well as I have read, so I’ll just excerpt the salient bits below:

    Crossing the line on Steve Jobs’ health

    ” … Presumably carrying the torch for concerned Apple investors, Henry Blodget of Silicon Alley Insider has apparently decided to make it his personal mission this summer to shame Apple into revealing whether or not Jobs’ pancreatic cancer has returned, aided and abetted by timely “hedge fund sources” from The New York Post who claim that Jobs is scaring business associates with his appearance and this despicable throw-away thought from CNET Blog Network contributor Matt Asay suggesting–without a shred of evidence–that the launch issues with MobileMe and the iPhone 3G might be the result of poor oversight from Jobs due to his health.

    ” … To repeat, there is no universal standard for how companies are expected to disclose the health issues of their executive officers, the way there are standards for how companies are required to disclose material financial information.

    “Corporate-governance experts generally agree that a company’s board of directors has the responsibility to determine whether the health of its CEO affecting his or her ability to run the company. Likewise, the CEO has a responsibility to be honest and up-front with the board of directors over the true state of their health.

    “That [Job's statement read by CFO Peter Oppenheimer] wasn’t enough for Blodget, who argued, “from a shareholder perspective, the ‘private matter’ response is simply unacceptable.” And later, in the comments attached to his post, he suggests: “I hate to be even more morbid, but I tend to agree with the assessment above: the ‘private matter’ statement makes it seem more likely that he’s seriously sick.”

    “… [What should Apple do?] Should Apple break out Jobs’ white-blood cell count on the earnings statement next to the number of iPods sold in Japan? Should Apple have to put out an 8-K every time Jobs visits an oncologist for a checkup? Taken more broadly, should Microsoft have to release the results of Steve Ballmer’s last physical because a shareholder points out that he’s a bit overweight and a bit high-strung?

    “One clear sign that this is an unseemly exercise: if those who keep pushing the issue feel they have to repeatedly apologize for seeming insensitive, they’re probably being insensitive. Yes, Jobs is the CEO of a $135 billion company that has dramatically changed the world of technology and made countless people rich. And, as I wrote the last time we covered this, Apple’s board of directors has a clear duty to avoid falling into a situation resembling Woodrow Wilson’s final days in office.

    “However, the only responsibility that Apple’s board of directors has to its shareholders is to make sure that Steve Jobs’ health is not a liability, and disclosing anything beyond that would be a mistake …

    “… This whole affair reminds me far too much of Star or US Weekly speculating about whether an actress is pregnant, or anorexic, or a drug addict, based on a picture. I’m sure that all those involved in those stories were genuinely concerned for Britney’s health, too.”

    Can anyone blame Jobs for wanting to keep his health private? Even that jackal at the NYT was force to confirm that it’s not an issue that threatens Jobs life nor his leadership of Apple. But that wasn’t enough and the witch hunt continued. “Tell us! Tell us!”

    There is plenty of stuff to rag on Jobs about: like when he says there will never be video in an iPod because people don’t want that, then he turns around and puts in video; or when he says Apple doesn’t “make junk,” but then he too uses substandard parts to cut cost, like the relatively crappy screens on the 20″ iMacs. And, yeah, you can have fun with the myth of Jobs, but he doesn’t so much actively cultivate that, in my opinion, as that is projected upon him by the fanatics.

    Basically, Jobs is a very private person when he’s not promoting Apple products; he rarely ever does interviews. Does anyone think it’s out of character or strange for him to seek privacy over his health? What was ironic about the FSJ blog is that it (putting his private self out in the public) is something he himself would NEVER do — that’s what made it especially funny. I miss that.

  29. Glenn Dixon


    Spot on. Proof of concept. If not for your comment, I wouldn’t be commenting as I just unsubscribed from this screed. Ah well.

  30. Timmy T Bone

    I am not getting the humor in this at all. Maybe I am dense. I know Jobs is a rockstar CEO and he did bring Apple back from the dead but I dont think this stuff about cancer is the least bit funny. My mom died from it. Ever been to a cancer ward in a hospital? Take a walk around and let me know what it made you feel like. There are lot more important things in life like life. Get a grip.

  31. colin


    I understand exactly what you are saying – taken in context of a serious conversation.

    However, this blog, and the content of it are satire. It is not making fun at Steve Jobs’ expense. It is not making minutiae of Jobs’ previous brush with death. Whilst I respect your opinions and your right to make them, writing a massive diatribe in a blog that is satirical in nature means than you simply don’t get it.

    I, for instance, am a survivor of adenocarcinoma and I am in no way offended by any of this. None of it.

    Now, as to whether Steve Jobs and the board should disclose? Yes. I am of the opinion that they should. Apple (Jobs) needs to stop using the Reality Distorter, and come clean. I am sure that he knows when he slips of this mortal coil, Apple is screwed so just get it over with. End the speculation – Apple is a publicly traded company, with peoples money and retirements, etc, tied up in the viability of the organisation.

    Also, the Cult of Jobs? It’s real, it exists and it’s been cultivated by Jobs for years. Or are you still caught in the Reality Distortion Field?

  32. Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?

    Enjoying the beautiful city of Astana in Kazakhstan (surprise! a very modern and prosperous country, Sacha Baron Cohen should do a documentary as himself visiting and exploring this astoundingly beautiful place), the government is not democratic but I don’t hear any complaints. Lots of former Russians and former Russian Germans (descendants of Germans and Prussians deported by Stalin from Kaliningrad, formerly Konigsberg) live here.
    Anyone suffering Scoble withdrawal check this story from Slate about FriendFeed, another ex-Google employee invention. Expect Squirrel Boy to scoop this up by end of 2009.

  33. jg


    Nooooooo, really? A totalitarian country and yet you, a tourist, don’t hear anyone complaining? Now then, people must be really happy there..

  34. SamG Duo 2


    Are you sure you are not on Apple campus? That sort of happiness under a dictatorship is possible only under Jobso.

    A hat tip to your yurta in Kazakhstan.

  35. Fake Hooters Girl

    2008-08-07 12:05 ET Dow -140.53 Dow Close 11515.38 Nasdaq -7.47 Nasdaq Close 2370.90 S&P -12.76 S&P Close 1276.27 NYAdv 905 NYDec 2080 NQAdv 1013 NQDec 1625

    [BRIEFING.COM] The stock market is posting a substantial loss at midday, with an increase in oil prices, disappointing employment data, disappointing same-store sales and a massive loss at AIG acting as the main selling catalysts. The market did recover from its opening lows, however, as a better-than-expected housing report helped limit some selling interest.

    In economic news, the number of new jobless claims rose to the highest level in six years, which increased concerns about the labor market. For the week ended Aug. 2, initial jobless claims rose 1.6% to 455,000, compared to the expected reading of 420,000 claims.

  36. Big Herb

    It looks like Fakesteve or Dan or whatever his name is doesn’t want to play any more. Thrown his toys out of the pram.

  37. Bill

    @ colin

    Well, part of the problem regarding the satire here is that on the FSJ site he may have been able to make something work because the entire site was presented and understood to be a vehicle for satire. Unfortunately, Dan never really established what this blog is suppose to be. I think at least some people assumed it was going to be just another tech blog with news bits and editorials, but Dan seems to want to continue FSJ as RDL (RealDanLyons), transplanting the FSJ character into another persona of sorts — and that’s tricky because with FSJ there was an implicit accompanying wink at the reader, a framing that said “this is satire,” but by infusing the FSJ persona with his own voice, one can’t always be sure whether the wink is there that says “this is satire,” this bombastic Dan diatribe is merely used for effect to make a point (It’s like when somebody says something but your not sure whether they meant it as a joke or not because you can’t read the inflection in their voice or detect a twinkle of the eye), or whether this bombastic diatribe is really Dan writing as Dan. The FSJ’s voice just doesn’t work for me coming out of Dan’s mouth. I mean, expletive laced rants work if the speaker is a (perceived) egomaniac, but are we to assume that mild manner, cubicle dwelling writer Dan has the gravitas of the Jobs persona? Eh.

    And as for the disclosure, the question is disclose what? If Jobs’ health was in serious jeopardy (like, say, he was terminal with cancer), then, yes, most people, I would assume, would like to see him disclose that, because that would be relavant to the future of Apple.

    But what if, as it has been speculated, that he is having nutrient absorption issues as a side-effect of the surgery he had to get rid of the cancer, but no cancer. So he has lost weight; this is a known side-effect and the follow-up surgery to help correct this is a known treatment. But other side-effects include frequent diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. Does he have to disclose this??? The interest here seems rooted more in prurient sensationalism rather than a warranted and justified need-to-know (and this, the prurient sensationalism, is what offended me – I don’t think Dan’s “satire” here is grounded in anything worthy – because most, I believe, are willing to give Jobs some slack for how he chose to handle it because it involves cancer, embarrassing side-effects few would want to discuss, and a sensationalized, prurient death watch worthy of the typical celebrity rags). I’m sure there are a lot of events that could affect a CEO’s performace. Say, Jobs was having marriage problems or his kid was on drugs — would he have to disclose that too? Hey, maybe if we’re lucky, thesmokinggun.com with post the juicy details.

    The NYT reporter said that what Jobs disclosed to him confirmed what they had speculated, that his problem is not cancer and does not carry the same implications. What more do people want? Dan seemed outraged — or was that satirical outrage — that Jobs disclosed it “off the record,” but doing it on-the-record would only make it within bounds for any reporter to bring it up over and over again. As such, I’m not surprised nor outraged that Jobs handled it the way he did. Really, what’s Dan’s beef that caused him to beat this same drum for over a week?

  38. Fake Hooters Girl

    Some Shakespeare while U wait…

    I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in’t; said to be something imperfect in favoring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like upon too trivial motion; one that converses more with the buttock of the night than with the forehead of the morning. What I think, I utter, and spend my malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as you are, — I cannot call you Lycurguses — if the drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I cannot say your worships have delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your syllables; and though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that tell you you have good faces. If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too? What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too? You know neither me, yourselves, nor anything. You are ambitious for poor knaves’ caps and legs. You wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a cause between an orange-wife and a forset-seller, and then rejourn the controversy of threepence to a second day of audience. When you are hearing a matter between party and party, if you chance to be pinched with the colic, you make faces like mummers; set up the bloody flag against all patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot, dismiss the controversy bleeding, the more entangled by your hearing. All the peace you make in their cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are a pair of strange ones. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall encounter such ridiculous objects as you are. When you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not so honorable a grave as to stuff a botcher’s cushion or to be entombed in an ass’s pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying Marcius is proud; who, in a cheap estimation, is worth all your predecessors since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the best of ‘em were hereditary hangmen. Good-e’en to your worships. More of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians. I will be bold to take my leave of you.

  39. colin


    I know I shouldn’t continue this, but you have a valid and lucid argument, it’s worthwhile.

    I think it would be foolish to think that Dan would not capitalise on Fake Steve Jobs to continue in the same vane. FSJ was popular, not just because he elucidated what Jobs would have thought (and you have to admit that he was uncannily accurate, whatever peoples perception) but it caught peoples attention as well – a lot of folk are more in tune with Silicon Gutter now than they may have been a few years ago.

    Dan has a voice, and although that may have been refined as FSJ, it’s still Dan, real or otherwise. It might just have been that FSJ was the vehicle that RDL needed to highlight to us the ridiculousness that is the Valley, and all that goes on there. What he did highlight to me, especially, was the fog of truth that surrounds Apple, what it is, what is was, and how the reality of the institution is wrapped around the mysterious persona of Chairman Mao ( I was going to say Der Fuhrer, but that would be in “Bad Taste”).

    Chairs and CEO’s of Valley companies are egomaniacs. They are so obsessed with the market, what the markets perception of them is, how they appear – it’s plastic to say the least. To provide a little bit of satire (and light humour) even as a journalist – and given that FSJ lived on even after the infamous outing – is a good thing. Jesus, comparing Larry Ellison to a 200 year old vampire was gold. Even you have to admit that.

    Regarding El Presidente’s condition – the deception committed on the voting public regarding El Jobso’s last brush with the “C” word was nothing short of unforgivable. To announce the condition after the fact, with the usual shrug of the Apple shoulders – “it’s no big deal, all over” was the Apple way of saying “Nothing To See Here, Move Along”. That’s OK for South Park, it’s not good enough for a company that has built a mythology around a man who is held up to be the next coming. No one else in the company announces products – it’s only Steve. He’s the man – he’s what Apple is, and Steve will not have it any other way.

    Regardless of the issues post surgery – and you have to remember that this surgery was now some 4 years ago, speculation will run rife.. Apple is hot stock. People want to know, especially when, as above, he’s the man. He wants to be the man. He demands to be. And when you demand, people want to know. The vomiting and the side effects have finished. If you’re still suffering the side effects, 4 years on, there is a deeper seated issue, and that is what people are asking about.

    And I reckon that is fair enough.

  40. somebody

    @ bill and colin

    Often times when a debate reaches the point where there is no clear winner (overall agreement that one side is more right than the other) that might indicate there is no right answer, and it is more a matter of opinion or personal preference. That seems the case re: Steve’s health. He has the right to keep it private. Period. There are no laws that he is violating. People may not like it, but he has that right.

    The people have had more than enough information, whether directly or suggested, so now they can sift thru that info and buy or sell Apple stock. The stock market is a risky place. If people have Apple stock in their plans and Steve passes, then maybe the stock would drop dramatically, but in the long run it would probably go back up before it mattered. Remember if one purchased Apple stock 5 years ago it was under $30, so even if the stock dropped from above $160 (today) to under $100, that is still more than $30.

    Re: the parody..it is so simple. The media went overboard with the Steve’s health story and the parody was just saying enough already. It is not making fun of Steve’s health — he did not make fun of the facts, ie (starting Next, having Cancer, etc.) — Chris Crocker may have been insane, but his message was not insane.

    And, who knows what Dan has planned re: FSJ, RDL and his current deal with Newsweek…it comes down to people wanting to see attitude from FSJ, but not from a writer they don’t know that well yet. I say keep it up Dan, I liked the Danitude from the beginning.

  41. SamG Duo 2

    This blog is working for Dan. He is on vacation and commenters just keep on commenting. Dang, sand got between my keys.

  42. Yawn....



    That “the world lieth in evil”.1 is a plaint as old as history, old even
    as the older art, poetry; indeed, as old as that oldest of all fictions, the
    religion of priest-craft. All agree that the world began in a good estate,
    whether in a Golden Age, a life in Eden, or a yet more happy community
    with celestial beings. But they represent that this happiness vanished like a
    dream and that a Fall into evil (moral evil, with which physical evil ever
    went hand in hand) presently hurried mankind from bad to worse with
    accelerated descent;* so that now (this “now” is also as old as history) we
    live in the final age, with the Last Day and the destruction of the world at
    hand. In some parts of India the Judge and Destroyer of the world, Rudra
    (sometimes called Siwa or Siva), already is worshipped as the reigning
    God–Vishnu, the Sustainer of the world, having some centuries ago grown
    weary and renounced the supreme authority which he inherited from
    Brahma, the Creator. More modern, though far less prevalent, is the
    contrasted optimistic belief, which indeed has gained a following solely
    among philosophers and, of late, especially among those interested in
    education–the belief that the world steadily (though almost imperceptibly)
    forges in the other direction, to wit, from bad to better; at least that the
    predisposition to such a movement is discoverable in human nature. If this
    belief, however, is meant to apply to moral goodness and badness (not
    simply to the process of civilization), it has certainly not been deduced from
    experience; the history of all times cries too loudly against it. The belief, we
    may presume, is a well-intentioned assumption of the moralist, from Seneca
    to Rousseau, designed to encourage the sedulous cultivation of that seed of
    goodness which perhaps lies in us–if, indeed, we can count on any such
    natural basis of goodness in man. We may note that since we take for
    granted that man is by nature sound of body (as at birth he usually is), no
    reason appears why, by nature, his soul should not be deemed similarly
    healthy and free from evil. Is not nature herself, then, inclined to lend her
    aid to developing in us this moral predisposition to goodness? In the words
    of Seneca: Sanabilibus grotamus malis, nosque in rectum genitos natura, si
    sanari velimus, adiuvat.1
    But since it well may be that both sides have erred in their reading of
    experience, the question arises whether a middle ground may not at least be
    possible, namely, that man as a species is neither good nor bad, or at all
    events that he is as much the one as the other, partly good, partly bad. We
    call a man evil, however, not because he performs actions that are evil
    (contrary to law) but because these actions are of such a nature that we may
    infer from them the presence in him of evil maxims. In and through
    experience we can observe actions contrary to law, and we can observe (at
    least in ourselves) that they are performed in the consciousness that they are
    unlawful; but a man’s maxims, sometimes2 even his own, are not thus
    observable; consequently the judgment that the agent is an evil man cannot
    be made with certainty if grounded on experience. In order, then, to call a
    man evil, it would have to be possible a priori to infer from several evil acts
    done with consciousness of their evil, or from one such act, an underlying
    evil maxim; and further, from this maxim to infer the presence in the agent
    of an underlying common ground, itself a maxim, of all particular morally-
    evil maxims.
    Lest difficulty at once be encountered in the expression nature,
    which, if it meant (as it usually does) the opposite of freedom as a basis of
    action, would flatly contradict the predicates morally good or evil, let it be
    noted that by “nature of man” we here intend only the subjective ground of
    the exercise (under objective moral laws) of man’s freedom in general; this
    ground–whatever is its character–is the necessary antecedent of every act
    apparent to the senses. But this subjective ground, again, must itself always
    an expression1 of freedom (for otherwise the use or abuse of man’s power
    of choicew in respect of the moral law could not be imputed to him nor
    could the good or bad in him be called moral). Hence the source of evil
    cannot lie in an object determining the willw through inclination, nor yet in a
    natural impulse; it can lie only in a rule made by the willw for the use of its
    freedom, that is, in a maxim. But now it must not be considered permissible
    to inquire into the subjective ground in man of the adoption of this maxim
    rather than of its opposite. If this ground itself were not ultimately a maxim,
    but a mere natural impulse, it would be possible to trace the use of our
    freedom wholly to determination by natural causes; this, however, is
    contradictory to the very notion of freedom. When we say, then, Man is by
    nature good, or, Man is by nature evil, this means only that there is in him
    an ultimate ground (inscrutable to us)* of the adoption of good maxims or
    of evil maxims (i.e., those contrary to law), and this he has, being a man;
    and hence he thereby expresses the character of his species.
    We shall say, therefore, of the character (good or evil)
    distinguishing man from other possible rational beings, that it is innate in
    him. Yet in doing so we shall ever take the position that nature is not to bear
    the blame (if it is evil) or take the credit (if it is good), but that man himself
    is its author. But since the ultimate ground of the adoption of our maxims,
    which must itself lie in free choicew, cannot be a fact revealed in
    experience, it follows that the good or evil in man (as the ultimate subjective
    ground of the adoption of this or that maxim with reference to the moral
    law) is termed innate only in this sense, that it is posited as the ground
    antecedent to every use of freedom in experience (in earliest youth as far
    back as birth) and is thus conceived of as present in man at birth–though
    birth need not be the cause of it.

    The conflict between the two hypotheses presented above is based
    on a disjunctive proposition: Man is (by nature) either morally good or
    morally evil. It might easily occur to any one,
    however, to ask whether this disjunction is valid, and whether some might
    not assert that man is by nature neither of the two, others, that man is at
    once both, in some respects good, in other respects evil. Experience actually
    seems to substantiate the middle ground between the two extremes.
    It is, however, of great consequence to ethics in general to avoid
    admitting, so long as it is possible, of anything morally intermediate,
    whether in actions (adiophora) or in human characters; for with such
    ambiguity all maxims are in danger of forfeiting their precision and stability.
    Those who are partial to this strict mode of thinking are usually called
    rigorists (a name which is intended to carry reproach, but which actually
    praises); their opposites may be called latitudinarians. These latter, again,
    are either latitudinarians of neutrality, whom we may call indifferentists, or
    else latitudinarians of coalition, whom we may call syncretists.*
    According to the rigoristic diagnosis,** the answer to the question
    at issue rests upon the observation, of great importance to morality, that
    freedom of the willw is of a wholly unique nature in that an incentive can
    determine the willw to an action only so far as the individual has
    incorporated it into his maxim (has made it the general rule in accordance
    with which he will conduct himself); only thus can an incentive, whatever it
    may be, co-exist with the absolute spontaneity of the willw (i.e., freedom).
    But the moral law, in the judgment of reason, is in itself an incentive, and
    whoever makes it his maxim is morally good. If, now, this law does not
    determine a person’s willw in the case of an action which has reference to
    the law, an incentive contrary to it must influence his choicew; and since, by
    hypothesis, this can only happen when a man adopts this incentive (and
    thereby the deviation from the moral law) into his maxim (in which case he
    is an evil man) it follows that his disposition in respect to the moral law is
    never indifferent, never neither good nor evil.
    Neither can a man be morally good in some ways and at the same
    time morally evil in others. His being good in one way means that he has
    incorporated the moral law into his maxim; were he, therefore, at the same
    time evil in another way, while his maxim would be universal as based on
    the moral law of obedience to duty, which is essentially single and
    universal, it would at the same time be only particular; but this is a
    To have a good or an evil disposition as an inborn natural
    constitution does not here mean that it has not been acquired by the to man
    who harbors it, that he is not author of it, but rather, that it has not been
    acquired in time (that he has always been good, or evil, from his youth up).
    The disposition, i.e., the ultimate subjective ground of the adoption of
    maxims, can be one only and applies universally to the whole use of
    freedom. Yet this disposition itself must have been adopted by free
    choicew, for otherwise it could not be imputed. But the subjective ground
    or cause of this adoption cannot further be known (though it is inevitable
    that we should inquire into it),1 since otherwise still another maxim would
    have to be adduced in which this disposition must have been
    incorporated, a maxim which itself in turn must have its ground. Since,
    therefore, we are unable to derive this disposition, or rather its ultimate
    ground, from any original act of the willw in time, we call it a property of
    the willw which belongs to it by nature (although actually the disposition is
    grounded in freedom). Further, the man of whom we say, “He is by nature
    good or evil,” is to be understood not as the single individual (for then one
    man could be considered as good, by nature, another as evil), but as the
    entire race; that we are entitled so to do can only be proved when
    anthropological research shows that the evidence, which justifies us in
    attributing to a man one of these characters as innate, is such as to give no
    ground for excepting anyone, and that the attribution therefore holds for the

    I. Concerning the Original Predisposition to Good in Human Nature
    We may conveniently divide this predisposition, with respect to
    function, into three divisions, to be considered as elements in the fixed
    character and destiny1 of man:
    (1) The predisposition to animality in man, taken as a living being;
    (2) The predisposition to humanity in man, taken as a living and at
    the same time a rational being;
    (3) The predisposition to personality in man, taken as a rational and
    at the same time an accountable being.*
    1. The predisposition to animality in mankind may be brought under
    the general title of physical and purely mechanical self-love, wherein no
    reason is demanded. It is threefold: first, for self-preservation; second, for
    the propagation of the species, through the sexual impulse, and for the care
    of offspring so begotten; and third, for community with other men, i.e., the
    social impulse. On these three stems can be grafted all kinds of vices
    (which, however, do not spring from this predisposition itself as a root).
    They may be termed vices of the coarseness1 of nature, and in their greatest
    deviation from natural purposes are called the beastly vices of gluttony and
    drunkenness,2 lasciviousness and wild lawlessness (in relation to other
    2. The predisposition3 to humanity can be brought under the general
    title of a self-love which is physical and yet compares (for which reason is
    required); that is to say, we judge ourselves happy or unhappy only by
    making comparison with others. Out of this self-love springs the inclination
    to acquire worth in the opinion of others. This is originally a desire merely
    for equality, to allow no one superiority above oneself, bound up with a
    constant care lest others strive to attain such superiority; but from this arises
    gradually the unjustifiable craving to win it for oneself over others. Upon
    this twin stem of jealousy and rivalry may be grafted the very great vices of
    secret and open animosity against all whom we look upon as not belonging
    to us–vices, however, which really do not sprout of themselves from nature
    as their root; rather are they inclinations, aroused in us by the anxious
    endeavors of others to attain a hated superiority over us, to attain for
    ourselves as a measure of precaution and for the sake of safety such a
    position over others. For nature, indeed, wanted to use the idea of such
    rivalry (which in itself does not exclude mutual love) only as a spur to
    culture.4 Hence the vices which are grafted upon this inclination might be
    their termed vices of culture;4 in highest degree of malignancy, as, for
    example, in envy, ingratitude, spitefulness, etc. (where they are simply the
    idea of a maximum of evil going beyond what is human), they can be called
    the diabolical vices.
    3. The predisposition to personality is the capacity for respect
    for the moral law as in itself a sufficient incentive of the will.w This
    capacity for simple respect for the moral law within us would thus be moral
    feeling, which in and through itself does not constitute an end of the natural
    predisposition except so far as it is the motivating force of the will.w Since
    this is possible only when the free willw incorporates such moral feeling
    into its maxim, the property of such a willw is good character. The latter,
    like every character of the free willw, is something which can only be
    acquired; its possibility, however, demands the presence in our nature of a
    predisposition on which it is absolutely impossible to graft anything evil.
    We cannot rightly call the idea of the moral law, with the respect which is
    inseparable from it, a predisposition to personality; it is personality itself
    (the idea of humanity considered quite intellectually). But the subjective
    ground for the adoption into our maxims of this respect as a motivating
    force seems to be an adjunct to our personality, and thus to deserve the
    name of a predisposition to its furtherance.
    If we consider the three predispositions named, in terms of the
    conditions of their possibility, we find that the first requires no reason, the
    second is based on practical reason, but a reason thereby subservient to
    other incentives, while the third alone is rooted in reason which is practical
    of itself, that is, reason which dictates laws unconditionally. All of these
    predispositions are not only good in negative fashion (in that they do not
    contradict the moral law); they are also predispositions toward good (they
    enjoin the observance of the law). They are original, for they are bound up
    with the possibility of human nature. Man can indeed use the first two
    contrary to their ends, but he can extirpate none of them. By the
    predispositions of a being we understand not only its constituent elements
    which are necessary to it, but also the forms of their combination, by which
    the being is what it is. They are original if they are involved necessarily in
    the possibility of such a being, but contingent if it is possible for the being
    to exist of itself without them. Finally, let it be noted that here we treat only
    those predispositions which have immediate reference to the faculty of
    desire and the exercise of the willw.

    II. Concerning the Propensity to Evil in Human Nature
    By propensity (propensio) I understand the subjective ground of the
    possibility of an inclination (habitual craving,
    concupiscentia)1 so far as mankind in general is liable to it.?A propensity is
    distinguished from a predisposition by the fact that although it can indeed be
    innate, it ought not to be represented merely thus; for it can also be regarded
    as having been acquired (if it is good), or brought by man upon himself (if
    it is evil). Here, however, we are speaking only of the propensity to
    genuine, that is, moral evil; for since such evil is possible only as a
    determination of the free willw, and since the willw can be appraised as
    good or evil only by means of its maxims, this propensity to evil must
    consist in the subjective ground of the possibility of the deviation of the
    maxims from the moral law. If, then, this propensity can be considered as
    belonging universally to mankind (and hence as part of the character of the
    race), it may be called a natural propensity in man to evil. We may add
    further that the will’sw capacity or incapacity, arising from this natural
    propensity, to adopt or not to adopt the moral law into its maxim, may be
    called a good or an evil heart.
    In this capacity for evil there can be distinguished three distinct
    degrees. First, there is the weakness of the human heart in the general
    observance of adopted maxims, or in other words, the frailty of human
    nature; second, the propensity for mixing unmoral with moral motivating
    causes (even when it is done with good intent and under maxims of the
    good), that is, impurity;3 third, the propensity to adopt evil maxims, that is,
    the wickedness of human nature or of the human heart.
    First: the frailty (fragilitas) of human nature is expressed even
    in the complaint of an Apostle, “What I would, that I do not!”1 In other
    words, I adopt the good (the law) into the maxim of my willw, but this
    good, which objectively, in its ideal conception2 (in thesi), is an irresistible
    incentive, is subjectively (in hypothesi), when the maxim is to be followed,
    the weaker (in comparison with inclination).
    Second: the impurity (impuritas, improbitas) of the human heart
    consists in this, that although the maxim is indeed good in respect of its
    object (the intended observance of the law) and perhaps even strong enough
    for practice, it is yet not purely moral; that is, it has not, as it should have,
    adopted the law alone as its all-sufficient incentive: instead, it usually
    (perhaps, every time) stands in need of other incentives beyond this, in
    determining the willw to do what duty demands; in other words, actions
    called for by duty are done not purely for duty’s sake.
    Third: the wickedness (vitiositas, pravitas) or, if you like, the
    corruption (corruptio) of the human heart is the propensity of the willw to
    maxims which neglect the incentives springing from the moral law in favor
    of others which are not moral. It may also be called the perversity
    (perversitas) of the human heart, for it reverses the ethical order [of priority]
    among the incentives of a free willw; and although conduct which is
    lawfully good (i.e., legal) may be found with it, yet the cast of mind is
    thereby corrupted at its root (so far as the moral disposition is concerned),
    and the man is hence designated as evil.
    It will be remarked that this propensity to evil is here ascribed (as
    regards conduct) to men in general, even to the best of them; this must be
    the case if it is to be proved that the propensity to evil in mankind is
    universal, or, what here comes to the same thing, that it is woven into
    human nature.
    There is no difference, however, as regards conformity of conduct
    to the moral law, between a man of good morals (bene moratus) and a
    morally good man (moraliter bonus)–at least there ought to be no
    difference, save that the conduct of the one has not always, perhaps has
    never, the law as its sole and supreme incentive while the conduct of the
    other has it always. Of the former it can be said: He obeys the law according
    to the letter (that is, his conduct conforms to what the law commands); but
    of the second: He
    obeys the law according to the spirit (the spirit of the moral law consisting
    in this, that the law is sufficient in itself as an incentive). Whatever is not of
    this faith is sin1 as regards cast of mind). For when incentives other than
    the law itself (such as ambition, self-love in general, yes, even a kindly
    instinct such as sympathy) are necessary to determine the willw to conduct
    conformable to the law, it is merely accidental that these causes coincide
    with the law, for they could equally well incite its violation. The maxim,
    then, in terms of whose goodness all moral worth of the individual must be
    appraised, is thus contrary to the law, and the man, despite all his good
    deeds, is nevertheless evil.
    The following explanation is also necessary in order to define the
    concept of this propensity. Every propensity is either physical, i.e.,
    pertaining to the willw of man as a natural being, or moral, i.e., pertaining
    to his willw as a moral being. In the first sense there is no propensity to
    moral evil, for such a propensity must spring from freedom; and a physical
    propensity (grounded in sensuous2 impulses) towards any use of freedom
    whatsoever–whether for good or bad–is a contradiction. Hence a
    propensity to evil can inhere only in the moral capacity of the willw. But
    nothing is morally evil (i.e., capable of being imputed) but that which is our
    own act. On the other hand, by the concept of a propensity we understand a
    subjective determining ground of the willw which precedes all acts and
    which, therefore, is itself not an act. Hence in the concept of a simple
    propensity to evil there would be a contradiction were it not possible to take
    the word “act” in two meanings, both of which are reconcilable with the
    concept of freedom. The term “act” can apply in general to that exercise of
    freedom whereby the supreme maxim (in harmony with the law or contrary
    to it) it is adopted by the willw, but also to the exercise of freedom whereby
    the actions themselves (considered materially, i.e., with reference to the
    objects of volitionw) are performed in accordance with that maxim. The
    propensity to evil, then, is an act in the first sense (peccatum originarium),
    and at the same time the formal ground of all unlawful conduct in the second
    sense, which latter, considered materially, violates the law and is termed
    vice (peccatum derivatum); and the first offense remains, even though the
    second (from incentives which do not subsist in the law itself) may be
    repeatedly avoided. The former is intelligible1
    action, cognizable by means of pure reason alone, apart from every
    temporal condition; the latter is sensible1 action, empirical, given in time
    (factum ph?omenon). The former, particularly when compared with the
    latter, is entitled a simple propensity and innate, [first] because it cannot be
    eradicated (since for such eradication the highest maxim would have to be
    that of the good–whereas in this propensity it already has been postulated as
    evil), but chiefly because we can no more assign a further cause for the
    corruption in us by evil of just this highest maxim, although this is our own
    action, than we can assign a cause for any fundamental attribute belonging
    to our nature. Now it can be understood, from what has just been said, why
    it was that in this section we sought, at the very first, the three sources of
    the morally evil solely in what, according to laws of freedom, touches the
    ultimate ground of the adoption or the observance of our maxims, and not in
    what touches sensibility2 (regarded as receptivity).

    III. Man is Evil by Nature
    Vitiis nemo sine nascitur.–Horace3
    In view of what has been said above, the proposition, Man is evil,
    can mean only, He is conscious of the moral law but has nevertheless
    adopted into his maxim the (occasional) deviation therefrom. He is evil by
    nature, means but this, that evil can be predicated of man as a species; not
    that such a quality can be inferred from the concept of his species (that is, of
    man in general)–for then it would be necessary; but rather that from what
    we know of man through experience we cannot judge otherwise of him, or,
    that we may presuppose evil to be subjectively necessary to every man,
    even to the best. Now this propensity must itself be considered as morally
    evil, yet not as a natural predisposition but rather as something that can be
    imputed to man, and consequently it must consist in maxims of the willw
    which are contrary to the law. Further, for the sake of freedom, these
    maxims must in themselves be considered contingent, a circumstance
    which, on the other hand, will not tally with the universality of this evil
    unless the ultimate subjective ground of all maxims somehow or
    other is entwined with and, as it were, rooted in humanity itself. Hence we
    can call this a natural propensity to evil, and as we must, after all, ever hold
    man himself responsible for it, we can further call it a radical innate evil in
    human nature (yet none the less brought upon us by ourselves).
    That such a corrupt1 propensity must indeed be rooted in man need
    not be formally proved in view of the multitude of crying examples which
    experience of the actions of men puts before our eyes. If we wish to draw
    our examples from that state in which various philosophers hoped
    preeminently to discover the natural goodliness of human nature, namely,
    from the so-called state of nature, we need but compare with this hypothesis
    the scenes of unprovoked cruelty in the murder-dramas enacted in Tofoa,
    New Zealand, and in the Navigator Islands, and the unending cruelty (of
    which Captain Hearne2 tells) in the wide wastes of northwestern America,
    cruelty from which, indeed, not a soul reaps the smallest benefit;* and we
    have vices of barbarity3 more than sufficient to draw us from such an
    opinion. If, however, we incline to the opinion that human nature can better
    be known in the civilized state (in which its predispositions can more
    completely develop), we must listen to a long melancholy litany of
    indictments against humanity: of secret falsity even in the closest friendship,
    so that a limit upon trust in the mutual confidences of even the best friends
    is reckoned a universal maxim of prudence in intercourse; of a propensity to
    hate him to whom one is indebted, for which
    a benefactor must always be prepared; of a hearty well-wishing which yet
    allows of the remark that “in the misfortunes of our best friends there is
    something which is not altogether displeasing to us” ;1 and of many other
    vices still concealed under the appearance of virtue, to say nothing of the
    vices of those who do not conceal them, for we are content to call him good
    who is a man bad in a way common to all; and we shall have enough of the
    vices of culture and civilization (which are the most offensive of all) to make
    us rather turn away our eyes from the conduct of men lest we ourselves
    contract another vice, misanthropy. But if we are not yet content, we need
    but contemplate a state which is compounded in strange fashion of both the
    others, that is, the international situation,2 where civilized nations stand
    towards each other in the relation obtaining in the barbarous state of nature
    (a state of continuous readiness for war), a state, moreover, from which
    they have taken fixedly into their heads never to depart. We then become
    aware of the fundamental principles of the great societies called states?-
    principles which flatly contradict their public pronouncements but can never
    be laid aside, and which no philosopher has yet been able to bring into
    agreement with morality. Nor (sad to say) has any philosopher been able to
    better principles which at the same time can be brought into harmony with
    human nature. The result is that the philosophical millenium, which hopes
    for a state of perpetual peace based on a league of peoples, a world-
    republic, even as the theological millenium, which tarries for the completed
    moral improvement of the entire human race, is universally ridiculed as a
    wild fantasy.
    Now the ground of this evil (1) cannot be placed, as is so commonly
    done, in man’s sensuous nature 1 and the natural inclinations arising
    therefrom. For not only are these not directly related to evil (rather do they
    afford the occasion for what the moral disposition in its power can manifest,
    namely, virtue); we must not even be considered responsible for their
    existence (we cannot be, for since they are implanted in us we are not their
    authors). We are accountable, however, for the propensity to evil, which,
    as it affects the morality of the subject, is to be found in him as a free-acting
    being and for which it must be possible to hold him accountable as the
    offender–this, too, despite the fact that this propensity is so deeply rooted
    in the willw that we are forced to say that it is to be found in man by nature.
    Neither can the ground of this evil (2) be placed in a corruption of the
    morally legislative reason–as if reason could destroy the authority of the
    very law which is its own, or deny the obligation arising therefrom; this is
    absolutely impossible. To conceive of oneself as a freely acting being and
    yet as exempt from the law which is appropriate to such a being (the moral
    law) would be tantamount to conceiving a cause operating without any laws
    whatsoever (for determination according to natural laws is excluded by the
    fact of freedom); this is a self-contradiction. In seeking, therefore, a ground
    of the morally-evil in man, [we find that] sensuous nature comprises too
    little, for when the incentives which can spring from freedom are taken
    away, man is reduced to a merely animal being. On the other hand, a reason
    exempt from the moral law, a malignant reason as it were (a thoroughly evil
    will2), comprises too much, for thereby opposition to the law would itself
    be set up as an incentive (since in the absence of all incentives the willw
    cannot be determined), and thus the subject would be made a devilish being.
    Neither of these designations is applicable to man.
    But even if the existence of this propensity to evil in human nature
    can be demonstrated by experiential proofs of the real
    opposition, in time, of man’s willw to the law, such proofs do not teach us
    the essential character of that propensity or the ground of this opposition.
    Rather, because this character concerns a relation of the willw, which is free
    (and the concept of which is therefore not empirical), to the moral law as an
    incentive (the concept of which, likewise, is purely intellectual), it must be
    apprehended a priori through the concept of evil, so far as evil is possible
    under the laws of freedom (of obligation and accountability). This concept
    may be developed in the following manner.
    Man (even the most wicked) does not, under any maxim
    whatsoever, repudiate the moral law in the manner of a rebel (renouncing
    obedience to it). The law, rather, forces itself upon him irresistibly by virtue
    of his moral predisposition; and were no other incentive working in
    opposition, he would adopt the law into his supreme maxim as the sufficient
    determining ground of his willw; that is, he would be morally good. But by
    virtue of an equally innocent natural predisposition he depends upon the
    incentives of his sensuous nature and adopts them also (in accordance with
    the subjective principle of self-love) into his maxim. If he took the latter into
    his maxim as in themselves wholly adequate to the determination of the
    willw, without troubling himself about the moral law (which, after all, he
    does have in him), he would be morally evil. Now, since he naturally
    adopts both into his maxim, and since, further, he would find either, if it
    were alone, adequate in itself for the determining of the will,1 it follows that
    if the difference between the maxims amounted merely to the difference
    between the two incentives (the content of the maxims), that is, if it were
    merely a question as to whether the law or the sensuous impulse were to
    furnish the incentive, man would be at once good and evil: this, however,
    (as we saw in the Introduction) is a contradiction. Hence the distinction
    between a good man and one who is evil cannot lie in the difference
    between the incentives which they adopt into their maxim (not in the content
    of the maxim), but rather must depend upon subordination (the form of the
    maxim), i.e., which of the two incentives he makes the condition of the
    other. Consequently man (even the best) is evil only in that he reverses the
    moral order of the incentives when he adopts them into his maxim. He
    adopts, indeed, the moral law along with the law of self-love; yet when he
    becomes aware that they cannot remain on a par with each other but that one
    must be subordinated
    to the other as its supreme condition, he makes the incentive of self-love and
    its inclinations the condition of obedience to the moral law; whereas, on the
    contrary, the latter, as the supreme condition of the satisfaction of the
    former, ought to have been adopted into the universal maxim of the willw as
    the sole incentive.
    Yet, even with this reversal of the ethical order of the incentives in
    and through his maxim, a man’s actions still may prove to be as much in
    conformity to the law as if they sprang from true basic principles. This
    happens when reason employs the unity of the maxims in general, a unity
    which is inherent in the moral law, merely to bestow upon the incentives of
    inclination, under the name of happiness, a unity of maxims which
    otherwise they cannot have. (For example, truthfulness, if adopted as a
    basic principle, delivers us from the anxiety of making our lies agree with
    one another and of not being entangled by their serpent coils.) The empirical
    character is then good, but the intelligible character is still evil.
    Now if a propensity to this1 does lie in human nature, there is in
    man a natural propensity to evil; and since this very propensity must in the
    end be sought in a willw which is free, and can therefore be imputed, it is
    morally evil. This evil is radical, because it corrupts the ground of all
    maxims; it is, moreover, as a natural propensity, inextirpable by human
    powers, since extirpation could occur only through good maxims, and
    cannot take place when the ultimate subjective ground of all maxims is
    postulated as corrupt; yet at the same time it must be possible to overcome
    it, since it is found in man, a being whose actions are free.
    We are not, then, to call the depravity of human nature wickedness 2
    taking the word in its strict sense as a disposition (the subjective principle of
    the maxims) to adopt evil3 as evil into our maxim as our incentives (for that
    is diabolical); we should rather term it the perversity of the heart, which,
    then, because of what follows from it, is also called an evil heart. Such a
    heart may coexist with a will which in general4 is good: it arises from the
    frailty of human nature, the lack of sufficient strength to follow out the
    principles it has chosen for itself, joined with its impurity, the failure to
    distinguish the incentives (even of well-intentioned
    actions) from each other by the gauge of morality; and so at last, if the
    extreme is reached, [it results] from looking only to the squaring of these
    actions with the law and not to the derivation of them from the law as the
    sole motivating spring. Now even though there does not always follow
    therefrom an unlawful act and a propensity thereto, namely, vice, yet the
    mode of thought which sets down the absence of such vice as being
    conformity of the disposition to the law of duty (as being virtue)–since in
    this case no attention whatever is paid to the motivating forces in the maxim
    but only to the observance of the letter of the law–itself deserves to be
    called a radical perversity in the human heart.
    This innate guilt (reatus), which is so denominated because it may be
    discerned in man as early as the first manifestations of the exercise of
    freedom, but which, none the less, must have originated in freedom and
    hence can be imputed,–this guilt may be judged in its first two stages (those
    of frailty and impurity) to be unintentional guilt (culpa), but in the third to be
    deliberate guilt (dolus) and to display in its character a certain
    insidiousness1 of the human heart (dolus malus), which deceives itself in
    regard to its own good and evil dispositions, and, if only its conduct has not
    evil consequences–which it might well have, with such maxims–does not
    trouble itself about its disposition but rather considers itself justified before
    the law. Thence arises the peace of conscience of so many men
    (conscientious in their own esteem) when, in the course of conduct
    concerning which they did not take the law into their counsel, or at least in
    which the law was not the supreme consideration, they merely elude evil
    consequences by good fortune. They may even picture themselves as
    meritorious, feeling themselves guilty of no such offenses as they see others
    burdened with; nor do they ever inquire whether good luck should not have
    the credit, or whether by reason of the cast of mind which they could
    discover, if they only would, in their own inmost nature, they would not
    have practised similar vices, had not inability, temperament, training, and
    circumstances of time and place which serve to tempt one (matters which are
    not imputable), kept them out of the way of those vices. This dishonesty,
    by which we humbug ourselves and which thwarts the establishing of a true
    moral disposition in us, extends itself outwardly also to falsehood and
    deception of others. If this is not to be termed wickedness, it at least
    deserves the name of worthlessness, and is an element in the radical
    evil of human nature, which (inasmuch as it puts out of tune the moral
    capacity to judge what a man is to be taken for, and renders wholly
    uncertain both internal and external attribution of responsibility) constitutes
    the foul taint in our race. So long as we do not eradicate it, it prevents the
    seed of goodness from developing as it otherwise would.
    A member of the British Parliament1 once exclaimed, in the heat of
    debate, “Every man has his price, for which he sells himself.” If this is true
    (a question to which each must make his own answer), if there is no virtue
    for which some temptation cannot be found capable of overthrowing it, and
    if whether the good or evil spirit wins us over to his party depends merely
    on which bids the most and pays us most promptly, then certainly it holds
    true of men universally,2 as the apostle said:3 “They are all under sin,–
    there is none righteous (in the spirit of the law), no, not one.”*

    IV. Concerning the Origin of Evil in Human Nature
    An origin (a first origin) is the derivation of an effect from its first
    cause, that is, from that cause which is not in turn the effect of another
    cause of the same kind. It can be considered either as an origin in reason or
    as an origin in time. In the former sense, regard is had only to the existence
    of the effect; in the latter, to its
    occurrence, and hence it is related as an event to its first cause in time. If an
    effect is referred to a cause to which it is bound under the laws of freedom,
    as is true in the case of moral evil, then the determination of the willw to the
    production of this effect is conceived of as bound up with its determining
    ground not in time but merely in rational representation; such an effect
    cannot be derived from any preceding state whatsoever. Yet derivation of
    this sort is always necessary when an evil action, as an event in the world,
    is referred to its natural cause. To seek the temporal origin of free acts as
    such (as though they were natural effects) is thus a contradiction. Hence it is
    also a contradiction to seek the temporal origin of man’s moral character,1
    so far as it is considered as contingent, since this character signifies the
    ground of the exercise of freedom; this ground (like the determining ground
    of the free willw generally) must be sought in purely rational
    However the origin of moral evil in man is constituted, surely of all
    the explanations of the spread and propagation of this evil through all
    members and generations of our race, the most inept is that which describes
    it as descending to us as an inheritance from our first parents; for one can
    say of moral evil precisely what the poet said of good:2 genus et proavos, et
    quae non fecimus ipsi, vix ea nostra puto.* Yet we should note that, in our
    search for the origin of this evil, we do not deal first of all with the
    propensity thereto (as peccatum in potentia); rather do we direct our
    attention to the actual evil of given actions with respect to its inner
    possibility–to what must take place within the willw if evil is to be
    In the search for the rational origin of evil actions, every such action
    must be regarded as though the individual had fallen into it directly from a
    state of innocence. For whatever his previous deportment may have been,
    whatever natural causes may have been influencing him, and whether these
    causes were to be found within him or outside him, his action is yet free and
    determined by none of these causes; hence it can and must always be judged
    as an original use of his willw. He should have refrained from that action,
    whatever his temporal circumstances and entanglements; for through no
    cause in the world can he cease to be a freely acting being. Rightly is it said
    that to a man’s account are set down the consequences arising from his
    former free acts which were contrary to the law; but this merely amounts to
    saying that man need not involve himself in the evasion of seeking to
    establish whether or not these consequences are free, since there exists in
    the admittedly free action, which was their cause, ground sufficient for
    holding him accountable. However evil a man has been up to the very
    moment of an impending free act (so that evil has actually become custom or
    second nature) it was not only his duty to have been better [in the past], it is
    now still his duty to better himself. To do so must be within his power, and
    if he does not do so, he is susceptible of, and subjected to, imputability in
    the very moment of that action, just as much as though, endowed with a
    predisposition to good (which is inseparable from freedom), he had stepped
    out of a state of innocence into evil. Hence we cannot inquire into the
    temporal origin of this deed, but solely into its rational origin, if we are
    thereby to determine and, wherever possible, to elucidate the propensity, if
    it exists, i.e., the general subjective ground of the adoption of transgression
    into our maxim.
    The foregoing agrees well with that manner of presentation which
    the Scriptures use, whereby the origin of evil in the human
    race is depicted as having a [temporal] beginning, this beginning being
    presented in a narrative, wherein what in its essence must be considered as
    primary (without regard to the element of time) appears as coming first in
    time. According to this account, evil does not start from a propensity thereto
    as its underlying basis, for otherwise the beginning of evil would not have
    its source in freedom; rather does it start from sin (by which is meant the
    transgressing of the moral law as a divine command). The state of man prior
    to all propensity to evil is called the state of innocence. The moral law
    became known to mankind, as it must to any being not pure but tempted by
    desires, in the form of a prohibition (Genesis II, 16-17). Now instead of
    straightway following this law as an adequate incentive (the only incentive
    which is unconditionally good and regarding which there is no further
    doubt), man looked about for other incentives (Genesis III, 6) such as can
    be good only conditionally (namely, so far as they involve no infringement
    of the law). He then made it his maxim–if one thinks of his action as
    consciously springing from freedom–to follow the law of duty, not as duty,
    but, if need be, with regard to other aims. Thereupon he began to call in
    question the severity of the commandment which excludes the influence of
    all other incentives; then by sophistry he reduced* obedience to the law to
    the merely conditional character of a means (subject to the principle of self-
    love); and finally he adopted into his maxim of conduct the ascendancy of
    the sensuous impulse over the incentive which springs from the law–and
    thus occurred sin (Genesis III, 6). Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur.1
    From all this it is clear that we daily act in the same way, and that therefore
    “in Adam all have sinned”2 and still sin; except that in us there is
    presupposed an innate propensity to transgression, whereas in the first man,
    from the point
    of view of time, there is presupposed no such propensity but rather
    innocence; hence transgression on his part is called a fall into sin; but with
    us sin is represented as resulting from an already innate wickedness in our
    nature. This propensity, however, signifies no more than this, that if we
    wish to address ourselves to the explanation of evil in terms of its beginning
    in time, we must search for the causes of each deliberate transgression in a
    previous period of our lives, far back to that period wherein the use of
    reason had not yet developed, and thus back to a propensity to evil (as a
    natural ground) which is therefore called innate–the source of evil. But to
    trace the causes of evil in the instance of the first man, who is depicted as
    already in full command of the use of his reason, is neither necessary nor
    feasible, since otherwise this basis (the evil propensity) would have had to
    be created in him; therefore his sin is set forth as engendered directly from
    innocence. We must not, however, look for an origin in time of a moral
    character1 for which we are to be held responsible; though to do so is
    inevitable if we wish to explain the contingent existence of this character
    (and perhaps it is for this reason that Scripture, in conformity with this
    weakness of ours, has thus pictured the temporal origin of evil).
    But the rational origin of this perversion of our willw whereby it
    makes lower incentives supreme among its maxims, that is, of the
    propensity to evil, remains inscrutable to us, because this propensity itself
    must be set down to our account and because, as a result, that ultimate
    ground of all maxims would in turn involve the adoption of an evil maxim
    [as its basis]. Evil could have sprung only from the morally-evil (not from
    mere limitations in our nature); and yet the original predisposition (which no
    one other than man himself could have corrupted, if he is to be held
    responsible for this corruption) is a predisposition to good; there is then for
    us no conceivable ground from which the moral evil in us could originally
    have come. This inconceivability, together with a more accurate
    specification2 of the wickedness of our race, the Bible
    expresses in the historical narrative as follows.* It finds a place for evil at
    the creation of the world, yet not in man, but in a spirit of an originally
    loftier destiny.1 Thus is the first beginning of all evil represented as
    inconceivable by us (for whence came evil to that spirit?); but man is
    represented as having fallen into evil only through seduction, and hence as
    being not basically corrupt (even as regards his original predisposition to
    good) but rather as still capable of an improvement, in contrast to a seducing
    spirit, that is, a being for whom temptation of the flesh cannot be accounted
    as an alleviation of guilt. For man, therefore, who despite a corrupted heart
    yet possesses a good will,2 there remains hope of a return to the good from
    which he has strayed.


    Concerning the Restoration to its Power of the Original
    Predisposition to Good

    Man himself must make or have made himself into whatever, in a
    moral sense, whether good or evil, he is or is to become. Either condition
    must be an effect of his free choicew; for otherwise he could not be held
    responsible for it and could therefore be morally neither good nor evil.
    When it is said, Man is created good, this can mean nothing more than: He
    is created for good and the original predisposition in man is good; not that,
    thereby, he is already actually good, but rather that he brings it about that he
    becomes good or evil, according to whether he adopts or does not adopt
    into his maxim the incentives which this predisposition carries with it ([an
    act] which must be left wholly to his own free choice). Granted that some
    supernatural cooperation may be necessary to his becoming good, or to his
    becoming better, yet, whether this cooperation consists merely in the
    abatement of hindrances or indeed in positive assistance, man must first
    make himself worthy to receive it, and must lay hold of this aid (which is no
    small matter)–that is, he must adopt this positive increase of power into his
    maxim, for only thus can good be imputed to him and he be known as a
    good man.
    How it is possible for a naturally evil man to make himself a good
    man wholly surpasses our comprehension; for how can a bad tree bring
    forth good fruit? But since, by our previous acknowledgment, an originally
    good tree (good in predisposition) did bring forth evil fruit,* and since the
    lapse from good into evil (when one remembers that this originates in
    freedom) is no more comprehensible than the re-ascent from evil to good,
    the possibility of this last cannot be impugned. For despite the fall, the
    injunction that we ought to become better men resounds unabatedly in our
    souls; hence this must be within our power, even though what we are able
    to do is in itself inadequate and though we thereby only
    render ourselves susceptible of higher, and for us inscrutable, assistance. It
    must indeed be presupposed throughout that a seed of goodness still
    remains in its entire purity, incapable of being extirpated or corrupted; and
    this seed certainly cannot be self-love* which, when taken as the principle
    of all our maxims, is the very source of evil.
    The restoration of the original predisposition to good in us is
    therefore not the acquiring of a lost incentive for good, for the incentive
    which consists in respect for the moral law we have never been able to lose,
    and were such a thing possible, we could never get it again. Hence the
    restoration is but the establishment of the purity of this law as the supreme
    ground of all our maxims, whereby it is not merely associated with other
    incentives, and certainly is not subordinated to any such (to inclinations) as
    its conditions, but instead must be adopted, in its entire purity, as an
    incentive adequate in itself for the determination of the willw. Original
    goodness is the holiness of maxims in doing one’s duty, merely for duty’s
    sake. The man who adopts this purity into his maxim is indeed not yet holy
    by reason of this act (for there is a great gap between the maxim and the
    deed). Still he is upon the road of endless progress towards holiness. When
    the firm resolve to do one’s duty has become habitual, it is also called the
    virtue of conformity to law; such conformity is virtue’s empirical character
    (virtus ph?omenon). Virtue here has as its steadfast maxim conduct
    conforming to law; and it matters not whence come the incentives required
    by the willw for such conduct. Virtue in this sense is won little by little and,
    for some men, requires long practice (in observance of the law) during
    which the individual passes from a tendency to vice, through gradual
    reformation of his conduct and strengthening of his maxims, to an opposite
    tendency. For this to come to pass a change of heart is not necessary, but
    only a change of practices.1 A man accounts himself virtuous if he feels that
    he is confirmed in maxims of obedience to his duty, though these do not
    spring from the highest ground of all maxims, namely, from duty itself. The
    immoderate person, for instance, turns to temperance for the sake of health,
    the liar to honesty for the sake of reputation, the unjust man to civic
    righteousness for the sake of peace or profit, and so on–all in conformity
    with the precious principle of happiness. But if a man is to become not
    merely legally, but morally, a good man (pleasing to God), that is, a man
    endowed with
    virtue in its intelligible character (virtus noumenon) and one who, knowing
    something to be his duty, requires no incentive other than this representation
    of duty itself, this cannot be brought about through gradual reformation so
    long as the basis of the maxims remains impure, but must be effected
    through a revolution in the man’s disposition (a going over to the maxim of
    holiness of the disposition). He can become a new man only by a kind of
    rebirth, as it were a new creation (John III, 5; compare also Genesis I, 2),
    and a change of heart.
    But if a man is corrupt in the very ground of his maxims, how can
    he possibly bring about this revolution by his own powers and of himself
    become a good man? Yet duty bids us do this, and duty demands nothing of
    us which we cannot do. There is no reconciliation possible here except by
    saying that man is under the necessity of, and is therefore capable of, a
    revolution in his cast of mind, but only of a gradual reform in his sensuous
    nature1 (which places obstacles in the way of the former). That is, if a man
    reverses, by a single unchangeable decision, that highest ground of his
    maxims whereby he was an evil man (and thus puts on the new man), he is,
    so far as his principle and cast of mind are concerned, a subject susceptible
    of goodness, but only in continuous labor and growth is he a good man.
    That is, he can hope in the light of that purity of the principle which he has
    adopted as the supreme maxim of his willw, and of its stability, to find
    himself upon the good (though strait) path of continual progress from bad to
    better. For Him who penetrates to the intelligible ground of the heart (the
    ground of all maxims of the willw) and for whom this unending progress is
    a unity, i.e., for God, this amounts to his being actually a good man
    (pleasing to Him); and, thus viewed, this change can be regarded as a
    revolution. But in the judgment of men, who can appraise themselves and
    the strength of their maxims only by the ascendancy which they win over
    their sensuous nature2 in time, this change must be regarded as nothing but
    an ever-during struggle toward the better, hence as a gradual reformation of
    the propensity to evil, the perverted cast of mind.
    From this it follows that man’s moral growth of necessity begins not
    in the improvement of his practices but rather in the transforming of his cast
    of mind and in the grounding of a character; though customarily man goes
    about the matter otherwise
    and fights against vices one by one, leaving undisturbed their common root.
    And yet even the man of greatest limitations is capable of being impressed
    by respect for an action conforming to duty–a respect which is the greater
    the more he isolates it, in thought, from other incentives which, through
    self-love, might influence the maxim of conduct. Even children are capable
    of detecting the smallest trace of admixture of improper incentives; for an
    action thus motivated at once loses, in their eyes, all moral worth. This
    predisposition to goodness is cultivated in no better way than by adducing
    the actual example of good men (of that which concerns their conformity to
    law) and by allowing young students of morals to judge the impurity of
    various maxims on the basis of the actual incentives motivating the conduct
    of these good men. The predisposition is thus gradually transformed into a
    cast of mind, and duty, for its own sake, begins to have a noticeable
    importance in their hearts. But to teach a pupil to admire virtuous actions,
    however great the sacrifice these may have entailed, is not in harmony with1
    preserving his feeling for moral goodness. For be a man never so virtuous,
    all the goodness he can ever perform is still his simple duty; and to do his
    duty is nothing more than to do what is in the common moral order and
    hence in no way deserving of wonder. Such wonder is rather a lowering of
    our feeling for duty, as if to act in obedience to it were something
    extraordinary and meritorious.
    Yet there is one thing in our soul which we cannot cease from
    regarding with the highest wonder, when we view it properly, and for
    which admiration is not only legitimate but even exalting, and that is the
    original moral predisposition itself2 in us. What is it in us (we can ask
    ourselves) whereby we, beings ever dependent upon nature through so
    many needs, are at the same time raised so far above these needs by the idea
    of an original predisposition (in us) that we count them all as nothing, and
    ourselves as unworthy of existence, if we cater to their satisfaction (though
    this alone can make life worth desiring) in opposition to the law–a law by
    virtue of which our reason commands us potently, yet without making
    either promises or threats? The force of this question every man, even one
    of the meanest capacity, must feel most deeply–every man, that is, who
    previously has been taught the holiness which inheres in the idea of duty but
    who has not yet advanced to an
    inquiry into the concept of freedom, which first and foremost emerges from
    this law:* and the very incomprehensibility of this predisposition, which
    announces a divine origin, acts perforce upon the spirit even to the point of
    exaltation, and strengthens it for whatever sacrifice a man’s respect for his
    duty may demand of him. More frequently to excite in man this feeling of
    the sublimity of his moral destiny is especially commendable as a method of
    awakening moral sentiments. For to do so works directly against the innate
    propensity to invert the incentives in the maxims of our willw and toward
    the re-establishment in the human heart, in the form of an unconditioned
    respect for the law as the ultimate condition upon which maxims are to be
    adopted, of the original
    moral order among the incentives, and so of the predisposition to good in all
    its purity.
    But does not this restoration through one’s own exertions directly
    contradict the postulate1 of the innate corruption of man which unfits him
    for all good? Yes, to be sure, as far as the conceivability, i.e., our insight
    into the possibility, of such a restoration is concerned. This is true of
    everything which is to be regarded as an event in time (as change), and to
    that extent as necessary under the laws of nature, while at the same time its
    opposite is to be represented as possible through freedom under moral laws.
    Yet the postulate in question is not opposed to the possibility of this
    restoration itself. For when the moral law commands that we ought now to
    be better men, it follows inevitably that we must be able to be better men.
    The postulate of innate evil is of no use whatever in moral dogmatics,2 for
    the precepts of the latter carry with them the same duties and continue in
    identical force whether or not there is in us an innate tendency toward
    transgression. But in moral discipline3 this postulate has more to say,
    though no more than this: that in the moral development of the
    predisposition to good implanted in us, we cannot start from an innocence
    natural to us but must begin with the assumption of a wickedness of the
    willw in adopting its maxims contrary to the original moral predisposition;
    and, since this propensity [to evil] is inextirpable, we must begin with the
    incessant counteraction against it. Since this leads only to a progress,
    endlessly continuing, from bad to better, it follows that the conversion of
    the disposition of a bad man into that of a good one is to be found in the
    change of the highest inward ground of the adoption of all his maxims,
    conformable to the moral law, so far as this new ground (the new heart) is
    now itself unchangeable. Man cannot attain naturally to assurance
    concerning such a revolution, however, either by immediate consciousness
    or through the evidence furnished by the life which he has hitherto led; for
    the deeps of the heart (the subjective first ground of his maxims) are
    inscrutable to him. Yet he must be able to hope through his own efforts to
    reach the road which leads thither, and which is pointed out to him by a
    fundamentally improved disposition, because he ought to become a good
    man and is to be adjudged morally good only by virtue of that which can be
    imputed to him as performed by himself.
    Against this expectation of self-improvement, reason, which is by
    nature averse to the labor of moral reconstruction, now summons, under the
    pretext of natural incapacity, all sorts of ignoble religious ideas (among
    which belongs the false ascription to God Himself of the principle of
    happiness as the chief condition of His commandments). All religions,
    however, can be divided into those which are endeavors to win favor (mere
    worship) and moral religions, i.e., religions of good life-conduct. In the
    first, man flatters himself by believing either that God can make him
    eternally happy (through remission of his sins) without his having to
    become a better man, or else, if this seems to him impossible, that God can
    certainly make him a better man without his having to do anything more
    than to ask for it. Yet since, in the eyes of a Being who sees all, to ask is no
    more than to wish, this would really involve doing nothing at all; for were
    improvement to be achieved simply by a wish, every man would be good.
    But in the moral religion (and of all the public religions which have ever
    existed, the Christian alone is moral) it is a basic principle that each must do
    as much as lies in his power to become a better man, and that only when he
    has not buried his inborn talent (Luke XIX, 12-16) but has made use of his
    original predisposition to good in order to become a better man, can he hope
    that what is not within his power will be supplied through cooperation from
    above. Nor is it absolutely necessary for a man to know wherein this
    cooperation consists; indeed, it is perhaps inevitable that, were the way it
    occurs revealed at a given time, different people would at some other time
    form different conceptions of it, and that with entire sincerity. Even here the
    principle is valid: “It is not essential, and hence not necessary, for every one
    to know what God does or has done for his salvation;” but it is essential to
    know what man himself must do in order to become worthy of this
    This1 General Observation is the first of four which are appended,
    one to each Book of this work, and which might bear the titles, (l) Works of
    Grace, (2) Miracles, (3) Mysteries, and (4) Means of Grace. These matters
    are, as it were, parerga to religion within the limits of pure reason; they do
    not belong within it but border upon it. Reason, conscious of her inability to
    satisfy her moral need, extends herself to high-flown2 ideas capable of
    this lack, without, however, appropriating these ideas as an extension of her
    domain. Reason does not dispute the possibility or the reality of the objects
    of these ideas; she simply cannot adopt them into her maxims of thought
    and action. She even holds that, if in the inscrutable realm of the
    supernatural there is something more than she can explain to herself, which
    may yet be necessary as a complement to her moral insufficiency, this will
    be, even though unknown, available to her good will. Reason believes this
    with a faith which (with respect to the possibility of this supernatural
    complement) might be called reflective; for dogmatic faith, which proclaims
    itself as a form of knowledge,

  43. cannot

    Kant’s System of Religious Perspectives

    … to have religion is a duty of man to himself. [Kt6:444]

    1. The Four Stages of Religion in General

    As a result of the highly abstract character of much of Kant’s theology, both in its positive and negative aspects [cf. IV.2-4 and AIV.1-3], there is a general consen­sus among those who have any opinion on the matter that ‘Kant’s God is, most aggressively, the God of the philosophers.’[1] It is a mis­take, however, to infer from Kant’s Critical theology (especially from the philo­soph­ical concept of God developed in the three Critiques) that his God is nothing but an abstract philosophical concept. On the contrary, Kant’s purpose in developing his Critical theology was to a large extent to defend the legitimacy of his fervent belief in the God of his youth, and to separate the genuine ele­ments of his par­ents’ Pietist tradition from the unnecessary trappings that tended to obscure its true value [see e.g., Kt8:132n(123n)]. Webb fully appre­ciates this point: ‘Not only did Kant … al­ways believe in the existence of God as a real Being …; but also …, he en­vis­aged the God, in whom he never ceased to believe, after the fashion of the the­ism current in his youth.’[2] Thus it is wrong to interpret Kant’s personal lack of participation in organized religion as a denial of the value of religion in general, or of Chris­tianity in particular. To do so would be as inap­propriate as to interpret his avoidance of the services of doctors and lawyers as an outright rejection of medicine and govern­ment. Instead, all of these can be explained in terms of his tendency to carry individ­ualism to an extreme: ‘Every man his own doctor, every man his own lawyer, every man his own priest,—that was the ideal of Kant’.[3]

    Kant’s theology is bound to give the impression of total abstraction to those who fail to recognize that its main purpose is ‘to form the basis of reli­gion’ [Kt1:656]. This might seem at first sight to pose an insur­mountable problem, however, in light of his conviction that all attempts to prove the exis­tence of God theoreti­cally ‘are alto­gether fruitless and by their very nature null and void’ and ‘do not lead to any theology whatsoever’ [664]. Neverthe­less, as we saw in IV.2-4, Kant avoids this problem by arguing that ‘the mere pos­si­bil­ity of such a being [viz., God] is sufficient to pro­duce religion in man’ [Kt26: 998(27)]. For ‘in religion … no assertorial knowledge is required (even of God’s existence)’; the only requirement is ‘an assertorial faith’ [Kt8:153-4n(142n)]. As long as we keep in mind the primacy of practical reason, the limitations of theoretical reason will not be a valid ex­cuse for living as though God does not exist, because a practical faith in God carries us ‘farther into the heart of reality than the purely speculative or scien­tific reason could ever take us’ [We26:69]. Although Kant’s concern for the au­tonomy of morality leads him to emphasize that ‘morality does not need religion at all … either to know what duty is or to impel the performance of duty’,[4] he would also admit that ‘without faith in God’, as Webb puts it, the moral law ‘must seem to be … a voice crying in the wilderness of an alien world, its pres­ence wherein must remain an inexplicable and baffling mystery’ [We26:86; see e.g., Kt4:129-30; Kt7:474]. The main aim of Kant’s Critical theology, therefore, is to provide the basis for a philosophically sound account of religion.

    In this chapter, we shall begin our discussion of Kant’s Critical religion proper—i.e., as the topic of Part Three, rather than the topic of this entire second volume of Kant’s System of Perspectives. My goal will be to demon­strate how a recognition of the theocentric and perspectival character of Kant’s Critical philosophy [see Part One], together with an appreciation of Kant’s true attitude towards God and theology [see Part Two], can shed new light on the implica­tions of his critique of religion, as it is laid out primarily in his two books on religion, Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason [Kt8] and The Conflict of the Faculties [Kt65], but also in scat­tered comments throughout his lectures [especially Kt26 and Kt35] and other writ­ings. I shall begin in this section by continuing Chapter VI’s discussion of the place of religion in Kant’s Sys­tem, focusing in particular on the structure of Kt8 and on the interplay be­tween pure (or ‘transcendental’) and empirical reli­gion. The remainder of this chapter will then examine in detail the systematic contents (i.e., what Kant could have called the ‘transcendental elements’) of religion, as set forth in Kt8. (These sections will apply to Kant’s system of religious perspectives the same architectonic mapping principles outlined in KSP1:III.3 and VII.1 for systemt and systemp: each stage will be analyzed in terms of a three-step, synthetic ar­gument, with the four stages related to each other as a 2LAR.[5] I shall therefore adopt the convention of referring to the religious system as ‘systemr’.) Follow­ing the synopsis of Kant’s argument given in VI.3, I shall present in VII.2 a detailed account of Kant’s treatment of the nature of and conflict be­tween good and evil. His views on the church and its service of God will be the subject of VII.3. Finally, I shall conclude in VII.4 with a summary of this architec­tonic, perspectival interpretation of systemr.

    By focusing in this chapter on outlining the transcendental elements of systemr, we shall be limiting our attention to the first of the two ‘experiments’ Kant refers to in the Preface to the second edition of Kt8 [see VI.3]. These two experiments actually corre­spond directly to the nature of pure and empirical re­ligion, respectively. The first experiment, Kant says in Kt8:12(11), concerns the ‘narrower’ sphere identified as ‘the pure religion of reason’, and aims at constructing a ‘pure ra­tional system of religion.’ The second, by contrast, con­cerns ‘the wider sphere of faith’, and aims at assessing one particular empirical religion by ‘start[ing] from some alleged revelation or other and … examin[ing]

    in a fragmentary manner this revela­tion, as an historical system, in the light of moral concepts’. Kant sug­gests the image of ‘concentric circles’ as a good model for picturing the rela­tionship between these two experi­ments. Following this suggestion gives us the map in Figure VII.1. After completing our exami­nation of the first experiment here in Chapter VII, we shall turn in Chapter VIII to the second, in which Kant tests the appli­cability of his theo­ry by using it to assess the rationality of the Christian

    Figure VII.1: Kant’s Two Experiments in Kt8

    religion. Part Three will then conclude with a chapter adopting the Perspective of the biblical theologian in order to provide a Christian response to Kant’s views on reli­gion in gen­eral and on Christianity in particular.

    The outline of Kt8, as shown in Table VII.1, is simpler than that of most other books in Kant’s System of Perspectives [cf. KSP1:III.2], with only nine different divisions (not counting the untitled introductions, the ‘General Obser­vations’ appended to each Book, and the numbered paragraphs within a few of the subsections). Its most important feature for our purposes is the initial two­fold division of Books Two through Four. In each case the first section/divi­sion/part relates more closely to the first experiment, while the main task of the second section/division/part is to perform the second experiment. Book One was initially published on its own as a journal article, so its format does not match that of the other Books; discussion of the two experiments is mixed throughout all four of the numbered sections.

    Another architectonically significant feature of Table VII.1 is its division of the main text into four ‘Books’. As we have seen, the first book deals with ‘the

    Table VII.1: Analysis of the Table of Contents to Kt8

    indwelling’ of ‘rad­i­cal evil in human nature’ [Kt8:19(15)]; the sec­ond, with ‘the conflict of the good with the evil principle for sovereignty over man’ [57(50)]; the third, with ‘the victory of the good over the evil principle’ [9 (85)]; and the fourth, with ‘service and pseudo-service under the sovereignty of the good principle’ [151(139)]. Regarding these as four stages in a systematic critique of religion enables us to correlate each with one of Kant’s four perspectives[6] and map them onto the quadrants of a circle, as shown in

    Figure VII.2:

    The Four Stages in Kant’s System of Religion

    Figure VII.2. The two 1LARs that combine to make up this 2LAR are dis­tinctions between (1) the relatively passive (-) functions of ‘indwelling’ or ‘victory’[7] and the more active (+) func­tions of ‘conflict’ or ‘service’, for the first term, and (2) the focus of Kant’s attention on either the individual (-) or social (+) requirements of religion, for the second term. The next two sections of this chapter are related according to the latter distinction,[8] while the twofold subdivision of each of those two sections is based on the former dis­tinction.

    With this in mind, we can now summarize (partially in anticipation) the basic perspectival or­ganization of systemr in a tabular form similar to the one used in KSP1:VII.1 for systemt, and in KSP1:VIII.1 for systemp [see Table VII.2]. Of all the books in Kant’s entire System, none fits more naturally into the four­fold pattern of Kant’s architectonic than Kt8, with its neat division into four ‘Books’. Labeling the four perspectives in systemr is somewhat more tenuous than for systemt, where Kant repeatedly uses the terms ‘transcen­den­tal’, ‘logical’, ‘empirical’, and ‘hypothetical’ in the corresponding sections of Kt1. In Kt8, by contrast, these terms rarely occur anywhere, so it would be difficult to assign perspectives based on word usage [cf. Table VI.1 of KSP1]. Instead, I shall try to demonstrate that, in spite of Kant’s lack of concern for using the same terminology, there is ample evidence that he adopts the same four

    Table VII.2: Basic Perspectival Relations in Systemr

    perspectives in Kt8 as he did in Kt1 and Kt4. The ‘gaps’ listed in brackets in the third column of Table VII.2 are elements reason compels us to include in systemr, yet (as we shall see) they surpass reason’s ability to explain.[9] Their explanation—and therefore the viability of systemr—requires some definite (material) input from an historical tradition. The key element bare reason can fully explain in each stage is specified in the same column, above each ‘gap’.

    Before beginning our analysis of systemr, it is important to note that Kant appends a ‘General Observation’ to each book in Kt8. The first of these (originally published separately along with Book One) sketches the solution to the problem of evil-heartedness that is then developed in more detail in Book Two. Near the end of the first General Observation, though, Kant introduces four by-products, or ‘parerga to religion within the limits of pure religion’ [Kt8:52(47)]. These ‘morally transcendent ideas’ [52(47)] tend to arise in his­torical religions, because of their empirical character, but can ac­tually be coun­terproductive to the purposes of pure religion if emphasized too strongly. He proceeds to discuss the first of these parerga, rather briefly, and then devotes the bulk of the other three General Observations to the task of discussing the other three in turn. Because Kant himself separates his main discussion of these topics from the rest of his text, I too shall make such a distinction: the four par­erga will be examined in detail in Appendix VII. At this point, it will suffice merely to give a brief, systematic description of each.

    In the order of the four books to which they correspond, the four ‘morally tran­scendent ideas’ Kant sees arising out of religion are: (1) ‘workings of grace’, or ‘imagined inward experience’, leading to ‘fanaticism’; (2) ‘miracles’, or ‘alleged external experience’, leading to ‘superstition’; (3) ‘mysteries’, or ‘a supposed enlightening of the understanding with regard to the supernatural’, leading to ‘illumination’; and (4) ‘means of grace’, or ‘hazardous attempts to op­erate upon the supernatural’, leading to ‘thaumaturgy’ [Kt8:53(48)]. These distinctions can be mapped according to the same 2LAR pattern as the four books them­selves:

    Figure VII.3: The Four Parerga to Universal Religion

    The two 1LARs that com­pose this 2LAR distinguish between internal (-) and external (+) and between ex­pe­ri­enc­ing God’s pres­ence (-) and understanding God’s nature (+). (‘Internal under­stand­­ing’ here means rational knowledge of a mystery; ‘external under­standing’ means using such knowledge ‘to bring about … an ef­fect’ on God [194(182)].)

    That Kt8 is organized according to such architec­tonic patterns[10] comes as no surprise, if, as I suggest in KSP1:96, this book constitutes part of Kant’s philosophical System. To view it as such—i.e., as an al­ternative, or comple­ment, to Kt7 [see notes III.11 and VI.14]—involves the as­sumption that its standpoint is judicial rather than practical (as Kant’s emphasis on morality seems at first to indicate [see VI.1-2]). As such, Kant’s critique of religion should turn out to be a philo­sophical account of the necessary conditions for religious experience—i.e., for making re­ligious judgments (just as Kt7 is all about the experi­ences of beauty and purposiveness that arise out of our aesthetic and teleologi­cal judgments). The extent to which this is the case will be discussed in Chapter VIII,[11] and the role of religious expe­rience as such (i.e., apart from its formal manifestation in specific or­ganized religious traditions) will be the main topic of Part Four. Our task in this chapter, however, is the more limited one of describing and interpreting the systematic ele­ments of pure religion, as set forth in Kt8.

    2. The Conditions of Religion in the Moral Individual (-)

    A. Radical Evil (–)

    Kant begins Book One of Kt8 by examining the issue of whether human beings are good or evil by nature.[12] First he samples the views of those who ar­gue that human nature develops from good to bad, and of those who argue for the more optimistic, bad-to-good development. Then he briefly considers two ways of settling for ‘a middle ground’, whereby ‘man as a species is neither good nor bad, or … [alternatively, is] partly good, partly bad’ [20(16)]. From the empirical perspective of our actual behavior, one or the other of the latter solutions might seem plausible.[13] Kant clarifies, how­ever, that the question he is interested in is not empirical but transcendental: it concerns not ‘actions that are evil (contrary to law)’ or good, but rather the maxims that are used as the basis for such actions [20(16)]. These maxims must have some ‘ultimate ground’ that is ‘inscrutable to us’, and so ‘cannot be a fact revealed in experi­ence’ [21-2(17)]. This ground, or ‘disposition’,[14] is ‘innate’ (‘antecedent to every use of freedom in experience’), so it must be ‘either morally good or morally evil’ [22(17)] and not a mixture of the two.

    Resolving the problem of whether human nature is essentially good or evil is Kant’s way of ‘distinguishing man from other possible rational beings’ [Kt8: 21(17)]. Before beginning to elaborate his solution, Kant makes one further clari­fication: his use of the generic term ‘man’ refers to ‘the entire race’, not to ‘the single individual’;[15] this means the question of whether or not there might be some exception(s) is a matter that ‘can only be proved [by evidence from] an­thropological research’ [25(21)]. (This will prove to be a crucial point when we consider Kant’s view of Jesus in VIII.2.B.) Kant’s full solution to the problem of mankind’s innate moral character occupies the entirety of Book One, and defines the basic elements in stage one of systemr.

    A proper understanding of Kant’s solution requires a clear awareness of his subtle distinction between a ‘disposition’ (the timeless ground of a person’s maxims at any given point of time) and a ‘predisposition’ (the timeless ground of a person’s maxims at the very outset of life, before any moral actions have been performed). For, after introducing the main problem of Book One and establishing that the good or evil disposition is the true topic under considera­tion, Kant ends up devoting the first numbered subsection to the discussion not of our disposition but of three aspects of our predisposition. The latter therefore marks the actual starting-point of systemr, with the positing of an ‘original predis­posi­tion to good in human nature’ [Kt8:26(21)].

    Kant finds evidence for this good predisposi­tion in the three basic voli­tional aspects of human nature: our animality, humanity, and personality. The fact that we are animals means we are ‘living’ beings, who engage in physi­cal forms of self-love; the fact that we are humans means we are ‘rational’ be­ings, who possess ‘a self-love which is physical and yet compares’; and the fact that we are persons means we are ‘accountable’ beings, who have ‘the ca­pacity for respect for the moral law’.[16] That Kant includes self-love as a natural source of the first two components of our good predisposition indicates that Treloar is mistaken to say [Tr89:345] ‘the evil act creates a state of self-love.’ The reverse is actually the case: our natural tendency towards self-love exists for a good purpose, yet makes us susceptible to committing evil acts. Thus, although various forms of vice can be ‘grafted’ onto our animality and humanity, Kant argues that all three aspects testify to the good purpose human nature has. ‘All of these predisposi­tions are not only good in negative fashion (in that they do not contradict the moral law); they are also predispositions toward good (they enjoin the ob­servance of the [moral] law). They are original, for they are bound up with the possibility of human nature’ [28(23)]. As ‘constituent elements’ in human nature, they are ‘necessary’.

    Towards the end of Book One, Kant explains that the predisposition to good means a person’s ‘original’ situation (i.e., before any actions are per­formed in time, at the very outset of systemr) is characterized by ‘a state of in­nocence’ [Kt8:41(36)]. This pro­vides a person with the potential to do good, not only in the first temporal act, but in any and every moral act throughout life: ‘every [evil] action must be regarded as though the individual had fallen directly from a state of innocence.’ As long as the action is freely per­formed, ‘it can and must always be judged as an original use of his will.’ We can therefore sum­marize the first step (using the apparatus intro­duced in KSP1:VII.1) as follows:

    The — component is especially appropriate because this part of Kant’s theory has no positive content; it merely establishes human nature’s pure poten­tial, be­fore anything actual happens. Its function is much the same as the transcen­dental object in step one of systemt and the good will in step one of systemp.

    The second and third steps in systemr are introduced and defended together in §§II-IV of Book One. The topics of these sections are (respectively) the nature, influence, and origin of what Kant calls ‘the propensity to evil in human nature’ [Kt8:28(23)]. First he distinguishes between our ‘propensity’ [Hang] and our ‘predisposition’ [Anlage]: whereas the latter is a necessary part of what it means to be human and consists in the potential to obey the moral law, the former is a self-imposed tendency to disobey the moral law. Hence, the human propensity, as ‘the subjective ground of the possibility of an inclination’, is evil and yet ‘belong[s] universally to mankind (… as part of the character of the race)’.[17] Though we cannot be praised for our pre­disposition to good, we can be blamed for our propensity to evil, even though it is in a sense ‘natural’, because the evil propensity is ‘brought by man upon him­self’.[18] In other words, our good predisposition is an analytic con­stituent of what it means to posit the subject ‘man’, whereas our evil propensity is a predi­cate that is synthetically added to that concept: ‘the proposition, Man is evil … by nature, means … that evil can be predicated of man as a species; not that such a quality can be inferred from the concept of his species’ [32(27)].

    The bulk of §II is devoted to a description of the ‘three distinct de­grees’ of this ‘capacity for evil’ in human nature [Kt8:29(24); s.a. 37(32-3)]. Although Kant does not explicitly draw attention to the parallels, these degrees are directly related (as corruptions) to the three aspects of human nature introduced in

    Figure VII.4: The Three Aspects of Human Nature

    as Corrupted by the Evil Propensity

    connection with the good predisposition [see Fig. VII.4], as well as to the faculties that operate in the first three stages of systemt. The cor­ruption of our animality (the exclusively physical side of our self-love, stemming from our sensibility) plagues us with ‘frailty’ (i.e., difficulty in resisting temptation), so that we sometimes follow our inclinations even when they op­pose a good maxim we have previously set for ourselves. The corruption of our humanity (the side of our self-love that is also rational, stemming from our understand­ing) causes us to act with ‘impurity’ (i.e., doing good for the wrong reasons), so that we sometimes perform objectively good actions only because they also satisfy our inclina­tions. And the corruption of our per­sonality (the properly moral side of our nature, stemming from our judgment) fills us with ‘wicked­ness’ (i.e., the will to do evil), so that our will ‘reverses the ethical order [of priority] among the incentives of a free will’.[19] The first two forms of corruption can and do oc­cur even within a person who has a good disposition (or ‘heart’); but the third is a cor­ruption of the moral disposition itself, so that ‘the man is hence desig­nated as evil.’[20]

    Kant’s goal is to prove that in some sense, ‘the propensity to evil in man­kind is universal’ [Kt8:30(25)], ‘that it is woven into human nature.’ Be­fore doing so, he clarifies that the evil in each degree of our evil propensity lies ‘solely in what … touches the ultimate ground of the adoption or the observance of our maxims [i.e., what touches the disposition], and not in what touches sensibility’.[21] In order to make this point, he finds it necessary to distinguish between two fundamentally different sorts of ‘act’: the ‘formal’ act ‘whereby the supreme maxim … is adopted by the will’ [31(26)]; and the ‘material’ act ‘whereby the actions themselves … are performed in accordance with the maxim.’ The former is timeless (elsewhere called ‘noumenal’), while the latter occurs in time (and is ‘phenomenal’).[22] The act of adopting an evil ‘supreme maxim’ therefore functions in much the same way as the pure intuitions of time and space do in systemt: just as the latter are actively imposed on the sensible data by a faculty that is essentially passive (sensibility being the faculty of ‘receptivity’ [see KSP1:VII.2.A]), so also the former must be actively chosen even though we are essentially passive recipients of the ‘indwelling’ of radical evil. As such, it constitutes the second (formal) step in stage one of systemr. The hypothesis being put forward for proof is that this noumenal act produces an evil propensity in all members of the human race.

    The coexistence of the good predisposition and the evil propensity in human nature is, as we shall see, the tension out of which religion arises. So Kant’s proof that mankind’s propensity really is universally evil is of crucial importance. He develops this proof in §III of Book One [Kt8:32(27-8)], point­ing out first that the act that produces the evil propensity must be, paradoxically, both ‘contingent’ (so that each individual person remains responsible for evil [s.a. 41(38)]) and yet ‘universal’ (so that the need for religion applies to everyone). This is possible only if we regard the act postulated in step two as ‘radical’, meaning that it corrupts ‘the ultimate subjective ground of all maxims’ (i.e., the disposition) [32(27-8); s.a. note VII.24]. That human evil is radical is a fact Kant thinks ‘need not be formally proved in view of the multitude of crying examples which experience of the actions of men puts before our eyes’ [32-3(28)]. Nevertheless, after calling attention to ‘a long melancholy litany of indictments against humanity’ [33(28)] that can serve as an empirical ‘confirmation’ [39n(34n)], he does attempt to provide such a proof, in order to show that our evil character ‘must be apprehended a priori through the concept of evil, so far as evil is possible under laws of freedom’ [35(31)].

    Unfortunately, Kant’s formal ‘proof’ of the universality of the evil propensity turns out to be little more than a restatement of his account of what it means to be evil.[23] As Figure VII.4 shows, human nature is such that all per­sons possess both moral in­centives (based on respect for the moral law, aimed at virtue) and amoral incen­tives (based on self-love, aimed at happiness). Either self-love or the moral law must be adopted ‘as the supreme condition of the satisfaction of the [other]’ [36(31-2)]. Human evil therefore normally consists not in basing one’s maxim solely on an incentive of self-love, but rather on the subtle ‘subordina­tion’ of the moral incentive to the amoral incentive. That is, the moral character of a person’s disposition (or ‘heart’) depends entirely on ‘which of the two incen­tives he makes the condition of the other.’ For this rea­son, Kant explains, a person need not be wicked in order to be regarded as having ‘an evil heart’: ‘Such a heart may coexist with a will which in general is good’, but is plagued by either ‘frailty’ or ‘impurity’ [37(32); s.a. 29(24)]. This ‘a priori proof’ really amounts to an important, though subtle, supplement to (or realization of) step two: the propensity to evil is now regarded (posited, really) as necessarily ‘radical’ and as establishing the material limit­ing condition for the realization of uni­versal reli­gion (thus completing stage one of sys­temr) in the form of an evil heart.

    A better a priori proof can be constructed more directly out of Kant’s definition of evil, as follows. All human beings start out with a predisposition to good (as previously proved). If this predisposition were the only basic element of human nature, then nobody could be praised for obeying the moral law, since there would not be any other real option. The will would not be truly free. According to Kant, evil ‘is original, or prior to all the good a man may do’; every human person’s moral development ‘started from evil’ [Kt8:72(66)]. This is true not merely be­cause radical evil dwells in us, but be­cause each individual inevitably succumbs to its tempting in­flu­ence, ‘for otherwise the beginning of evil would not have its source in free­dom’ [41(37)]. The will becomes free only when a person chooses to step outside of this basic (good) predisposition, and explore the other (evil) side of the boundary. Every human person’s first moral act (i.e., the first free act he or she can be held accountable for) must therefore be an evil act. There must be a ground for such a choice in human nature; this ground is the evil propensity.

    Kant’s a priori proof (even in its reconstructed form) leaves open the question of where this mysterious ‘radical evil’ comes from, so Kant makes this the main topic of §IV of Book One.[24] He devotes most of his attention to the task of assessing the biblical account of evil’s origin [see below, VIII.2.A]. In the course of doing so, he explains that to seek for the ‘origin’ of evil is to look for the ‘first cause’ of a given effect, and that, be­cause the propensity to evil is rooted in our rational disposi­tion, not in any tem­poral action(s) as such, this cause will turn out to be ‘an origin in reason’, not ‘an origin in time’ [Kt8: 39(34)]. ‘To seek the temporal origin of free acts as such … is thus a contra­dic­tion.’[25] Kant’s point is that we must not downplay the extent of our responsi­bil­ity for evil by blaming it on the details of our temporal situation. To say evil is radical is to say our responsibility for it originates with our own free, rational (hence, noumenal) choice. Beyond this, Kant confesses that any more detailed account of evil’s origin would need to appeal to something temporal. In other words, as far as systemr is concerned,

    the rational origin … of the propensity to evil, remains inscrutable to us … Evil could have sprung only from the morally-evil …; and yet the original predisposi­tion … is a predisposition to good; there is then for us no conceivable ground from which the moral evil in us could originally have come … [43(38)].

    Here Kant is admitting that bare reason cannot elucidate everything that calls for explanation in its account of what makes human beings need religion. In so doing, he opens up the first of four important ‘spaces’ (one in each stage of systemr) that a true religion must fill with historical, tradi­tion-bound content.

    This now puts us in a position to summarize Kant’s argument in §§II-IV of Book One in terms of the second and third steps of systemr. The systematic content of his presentation is, admittedly, not as clear as we might hope. Nev­er­theless, if we look back over the basic arguments presented in these sections, we can formulate out of them two steps that are directly parallel to the corre­sponding steps of systemt and systemp. Step two in systemt, the formal (–+) condition, is where the pure intuitions of space and time convert the undeter­mined transcendental object into a manifold of appearances; in systemp, this is where practical freedom converts the will into a manifold of desires. In both cases these elements serve to define the basic transcendental limits that must be placed on any material that enters the system. Step two of systemr should there­fore be identified as that whereby the mystery of radical evil somehow pro­duces in all human beings a propensity to evil:

    Radical evil is a mystery not unlike the mysteries of pure intuition and freedom, both of which Kant regards as basic facts of human nature that must simply be acknowledged, and cannot be proved or explained by reason. Radical evil con­verts our potential for good into virtually the opposite: the propensity to evil, which serves as the ‘raw material’ for any religion, in much the same way appearances do for empirical knowledge, or desires for moral action.

    Step three, as the synthesis of the first two (represented, as usual, by the –x component), can be expressed in terms of equally direct parallels. In systemt the goal of stage one (intuitive sensibility) is realized when the function of sensa­tion produces sensations out of appearances. In systemp stage one’s (free will’s) goal is realized when a person sets up a maxim by choosing an end. Step three of the first (material) stage in systemr (radical evil) follows the latter quite closely: the choice of an evil maxim as supreme realizes the human propensity for evil by producing an evil heart:

    Just as empirical knowledge cannot be obtained without being based on sensi­ble intuition, and moral actions cannot be performed without a person freely choosing a maxim of one sort or another, so the need for religion would never even arise were it not for the fact that human beings choose, at the very outset of their moral development, a maxim that corrupts their disposition and spoils their potential to adhere perfectly to the moral law (i.e., to realize the ideals set forth in systemp).

    Throughout Kt8 Kant repeatedly emphasizes that the only way to release oneself from the blame imputed because of one’s evil heart is to become a morally good person. He alludes to the possibility of divine assistance, but consistently presents it as something we must not count on as an ex­cuse for not having a change of heart.[26] For the ‘indwelling’ of evil in an (originally good) heart is what first gives rise to our sense of duty;[27] yet ‘grace stands in direct contradic­tion’ to the ‘absolute necessity’ required by ‘the idea of duty’ [Kt8: 23n(19n)]. Even an outwardly good life, without a change of heart, is not sufficient to meet the de­mands of the moral law: ‘The empirical character is then good, but the intelli­gible character [i.e., the disposi­tion] is still evil’ [37(32)]. What is required is a radical conversion of one’s disposition. Such a conver­sion must be possible, since ‘the moral law com­mands that we ought now to be better men’ (and ‘ought’ implies ‘can’[28]); yet Kant admits that the re­quirement to adopt such an unchangeable ‘new ground (the new heart)’ con­tradicts ‘the postulate of the in­nate corruption of man’ [50-1(46); s.a. 66-7(60)], at least as far as ‘our insight into [its] possibility … is concerned.’ For evil is ‘inex­tirpable by human powers’.[29] To establish how conversion never­the­less comes about is the purpose of the sec­ond stage in systemr. The only hope provided in stage one is to recall that the innocence of the first step (-) is con­tained in the synthesis of the third step (x), just as much as is radical evil (+), so that even in a person with an evil heart, ‘a seed of goodness still remains’ [45(41)]. ‘For man, there­fore, who despite a cor­rupted heart yet possesses a good will, there remains hope of a return to the good from which he has strayed.’[30]

    B. Conversion to the Good (+-)

    The change in perspective between the first and second books of Kt8 is most evident in Kant’s attitude towards redemption. In Book One, as we have seen, the role of any supernatural influence in conversion is down­played. Its purpose, as the material stage in systemr, is to establish the limita­tions evil imposes on any human attempt to realize the good predisposi­tion. This tran­scendental perspective is replaced in Book Two by something along the lines of a logical perspective—that is, by a set of formal conditions which, when applied to the limitations of the first stage, enable us to understand how the de­sired result (a good heart, leading to salvation) is possible. Each of the three steps in stage two will therefore have +- as the first two terms in the expression that symbolizes its function.

    The cornerstone of the new perspective in stage two is the ‘ideal of moral perfection’ that exists in every human person as an ‘archetype’ and ‘can give us power.’[31] Be­cause radical evil makes us unworthy even to pos­sess such an ‘ideal of a humanity pleasing to God’, it is ‘appropriate to say that this arche­type came down to us from heaven and has assumed our humanity’ [Kt8:61 (54-5)]. For the purposes of pure reli­gion, no prior empirical instantiation of this archetype is required:

    From the practical standpoint this idea is completely real in its own right, for it re­sides in our morally-legislative reason…. We need … no empirical example to make the idea of a person morally well-pleasing to God our archetype; this idea as an archetype is already present in our reason. [62(55-6)]

    Given the evil heart that arises out of stage one, there is no purely rational ex­planation for the presence of this archetype of a perfect person within us, other than to as­sume it is an in­scrutable gift from some higher moral power.[32] For al­though the archetype, as ‘a perfectly valid ideal for all men, at all times and in all worlds’, is universal, our attainment of it ‘will ever remain a righteousness not our own’ [66(59)]. With­out this gift as a starting point (-), conversion would be impossible. Hence this fourth step can be summarized as:

    As the very word ‘archetype’ implies, however, this ‘divine man within us’ does serve as the ideal model ‘for the complete determi­nation of the copy’—i.e., as the ‘standard for our actions’—once we adopt the judicial standpoint of univer­sal religion [Kt1:597; cf. VI.2, above].

    On its own the positing of the archetype of a perfect person does not over­come an evil heart. ‘For only a faith in the practical validity of that idea which lies in our reason [i.e., in the archetype] has moral worth’ [Kt8:63(56)]. Bor­rowing a biblical phrase for the description of this archetype, Kant goes so far as to say: ‘Man may … hope to become acceptable to God (and so be saved) through a practical faith in this Son of God’ [62(55)]. This practical faith en­ables a person actively to turn away from the evil heart within and obey the moral law. It does not depend on our awareness of any specific empirical examples because:

    each man ought really to furnish an example of this idea in his own person; to this end does the archetype reside always in the reason: and this, just because no exam­ple in outer experience is adequate to it; for outer experience does not dis­close the inner nature of the disposition but merely allows of an inference about it though not one of strict certainty. [63(56-7)]

    Practical faith, therefore, is more than just a declaration of repentance [see e.g., Wa72:148]; it gives rise to moral maxims as a sign of one’s repentance. Thus, Kant says ‘the first really good act that a man can perform is to forsake the evil … in his perverted maxim’ [Kt8:58n(51n)]. The positive rejection of evil (+) in this fifth step of systemr can therefore be expressed in the following way:

    Once we have glimpsed the archetype of perfection and incorporated it into a good maxim, a ‘conversion’, or change of heart, is all that is necessary before we enter ‘upon the road of endless progress to­wards holiness’ [Kt8:46-7(42)]. For we have now recognized the corrupting influence of radical evil within us. Thus Kant says: ‘Every man must guard against moral self-conceit, against be­lieving himself morally good and having a favourable opinion of himself. This feeling of moral self-sufficiency is self-de­ception; it is an incurable hallucina­tion’ [Kt35:(246); s.a. Kt8:68(62)]. It is ‘incurable’, that is, if one believes the appearance of virtue in one’s empiri­cal character, which can be ‘won little by little’, is sufficient, without ‘a change of heart’ [47(42)]. For ‘the moral out­come of the combat’ between good and evil that leads to conversion ‘is really not the conquering of the evil principle … but merely the breaking of its power to hold, against their will, those who have so long been its subjects’ [82-3(77); s.a. 93(85)]. This moral breakthrough requires ‘virtue in its intelli­gible character’, which

    cannot be brought about through gradual reformation so long as the basis of the maxims remains im­pure, but must be effected through a revolution in the man’s disposition … He can become a new man only by a kind of rebirth, as it were a new creation …, and a change of heart.

    … That is, if a man reverses, by a single unchangeable decision, that highest ground of his maxims whereby he was an evil man …, he is, so far as his principle and cast of mind are concerned, a subject suscep­tible of goodness … For Him who penetrates to the intelligible ground of the heart …, i.e., for God, this amounts to his being actually a good man (pleasing to Him) … [47-8(43); s.a. Wa72:147-8].

    Like the fall it re­verses, such an immediate conversion from evil to good is inexplicable from the standpoint of pure rational religion, except to say that it seems to require some form of divine assis­tance [see We26:111,120].

    The attitude of humility inherent in this account of the change of heart is to be maintained even after conversion, for the sixth step requires us to seek to make ourselves wor­thy of God’s assistance by actively resolving to do our duty. By this Kant does not mean to suggest (a view too often imputed to him) that we are actually ca­pable of making ourselves acceptable to God; on the con­trary, he is saying we have the responsibility to make ourselves worthy of be­ing made by God to be acceptable to him. For our obedience to God (via the moral law) ‘must be the effect of our own action and not … of a foreign influ­ence in the presence of which we are passive’ [Kt8:108]. ‘Granted that some supernatural cooperation may be necessary to his becoming good …, man must first make himself wor­thy to receive it, and must lay hold of this aid’ [44(40); s.a. 45(40-1)]. Yet in this context, ‘worthiness always has a merely negative meaning …, that is, the moral recep­tivity for such goodness’ [146n(137n)]. So our active attempt to obey God is our way of demonstrating our passive accep­tance of God’s accep­tance. And without such a demonstration, our acceptance of God’s acceptance would mean nothing at all. It would be ‘empty’, like a concept without an in­tuition in sys­temt; likewise, moral activity without an awareness of its religious implications would be ‘blind’, like an intuition with­out a concept [see Kt1:75].

    ‘We have been converted’, Kant declares in Kt35:(245), ‘if, no matter how long we may live, we firmly determine to live in virtue.’ This change of heart, which restores in us a good disposition, or a ‘good heart’, should not be viewed as a recovery of what was lost—‘respect for the moral law we have never been able to lose’—but as ‘the establishment of the purity of this law as the supreme ground of all our maxims’ [Kt8:46(42)]. It will inevitably be accompanied by considerable pain, inasmuch as it involves the reawakening and/or intensification of our conscience [73(67)]. This pain can be regarded as a kind of punishment for the past evil we have perpetrated [see AVI.2]. As the syn­thetic (x) condition of the second (formal) stage of systemr, we can therefore summarize this sixth step as:

    Since ‘conforming our course of life to the holiness of the law, is impos­sible of execution in any given time’, Kant suggests that God will judge our ‘moral constitution’ not by our actions but by our disposition [Kt8:66(60)]. That is, the ‘endless progress of our goodness towards con­formity to the law … [will be] judged by Him who knows the heart, through a purely intellectual intuition [see V.1], as a completed whole, because of the dis­position, super­sensible in its nature, from which this progress itself is derived.’[33] This Divine Perspective, however, cannot be adopted by human beings, so no amount of introspection can provide a person with ‘assurance concerning such a revolu­tion …; for the deeps of the heart are in­scrutable to [us]’ [51(46); s.a. 67-8(61), 190-1(179)]. We must always ‘guard against a relapse’ [77(71); s.a. 97(88)]. This is because our ‘empirical self-knowledge … yields no immediate insight into the disposition but merely permits of an estimate based upon our actions’ [75-6(70); s.a. Wa72:148]. Only an awareness of our moral progress justifies us in hop­ing for supernatural assistance (in the form of being judged by our disposition rather than by our actual deeds). Kant hastens to add, however, that, although theoret­ical certainty concerning the nature of our disposition ‘is neither possible to man, nor … morally beneficial’, the presence of a good disposition ‘creates in us, though only indirectly, a confi­dence in its own permanence and stability’ [Kt8:71(65); s.a. 76(70) and AVI.3, below].

    Well over half of Section One in Book Two of Kt8 presents Kant’s solu­tions to three ‘difficulties’ that arise out of his view of the role of conver­sion in pure religion. These difficulties loosely cor­respond to the traditional Christian doctrines of sanctification, assurance of salvation at the final judgment, and atonement, respectively. They do not function directly as ele­ments in sys­temr, but serve instead to clarify the implications of each of the three steps in stage two; I therefore examine them separately in AVI.2-3. Likewise, Section Two of Book Two, which is devoted entirely to Kant’s second experiment (that of as­sessing the extent to which the historical tradition of Christianity is compatible with sys­temr), will be discussed in VIII.2.B. For our present purposes, we shall turn our attention to Kant’s systematic treatment of how we are to deal with and finally overcome the influence evil still has over us, even after we experience a change of heart. That is the topic of stage three in sys­temr.

    3. The Conditions of Religion in the Moral Community (+)

    A. The Founding of a Church (-+)

    Although the change of heart required by stage two of sys­temr serves as an effective solution to the problem of personal evil within an individual’s life history, it does not do away entirely with the potentially destructive influence of evil. For the very notion of virtue ‘presupposes the presence of an enemy’ [Kt8:57(50)]) . As the titles of Books Two and Three suggest, having a good heart prepares a person to do combat with evil, but the question still remains how ‘the victory of the good over the evil principle’ [93(85), e.a.] is to be won. One of the deepest insights contained in systemr comes to the fore at this point: a philosophically sound approach to religion must not deny or ignore or explain away the reality of evil, nor should a religious person expect that being religious will provide a ‘quick fix’ to the problem; the struggle with evil has a purpose that is integral to the religious life. As we enter stage three of Kant’s religious system, we must therefore keep in mind that, although we are now investigating what happens to a person after conversion, the grace and faith of stage two do not erase the effects of evil, but transform it. For the religious person has now taken up a life-long challenge of self-improvement, intent on learning just what it means to be human in the face of the daily struggle between the competing forces of good and evil.

    This continuing influence of evil, Kant points out in the introduction to Book Three, comes primarily through human relationships: a ‘morally well-disposed man’ is continually ‘exposed … to the assaults of the evil principle’

    not because of his own gross nature, so far as he is here a separate individual, but because of mankind to whom he is related and bound…. Envy, the lust for power, greed, and the malignant inclinations bound up with these, besiege his nature … as soon as he is among men. [93-4(85)]

    This passage marks a crucial change in perspective: whereas Books One and Two treated religion as a phenomenon influencing ‘man’ as an individual representative of the human race, Books Three and Four will examine the social elements of religion [see notes VII.7-8]. (The logical apparatus represents this shift as a change from – to + in the second term of each component.)

    The only way to counteract the potentially destructive influence of society, Kant argues, is to form ‘a union of men under moral laws’, which he calls ‘an ethical commonwealth’ [Kt8:94(86)]. Without uniting in this way, an individual (whether good-hearted or evil-hearted) remains in ‘the ethi­cal state of nature … in which the good principle … is continually attacked by the evil which is found in him and also in everyone else’ [96-7(88)]. This con­cern for establishing a context for the expression of the good heart in the real world of experience in­dicates that Kant is adopting, here in stage three, an empirical religious per­spective.[34] Thus the function of each step of this stage will be symbolized with an expression be­ginning with the two terms -+ [cf. Fig. VII.2].

    Just as the seventh step in systemt provides a schema, or sensible concept, in the context of which empiri­cal knowledge can be realized, so also the sev­enth step here in systemr provides a ‘schema … of an invisible king­dom of God on earth’ [Kt8:131(122)] in the form of a visible, ethical com­monwealth, through which the victory of the good principle can be realized. That is,

    … the sovereignty of the good principle is attainable … only through the estab­lishment and spread of a society in accordance with, and for the sake of, the laws of virtue, a society whose task and duty it is rationally to impress these laws in all their scope upon the entire human race. [94(86)]

    Kant is careful to add that, although the idea of such a commonwealth ‘possesses a thoroughly well-grounded objective reality in human reason …, subjectively, we can never hope that man’s good will will lead mankind to de­cide to work with unanimity towards this goal.’[35] Else­where he tends to be less pessimistic, as when he says ‘we do not know whether, as such, it lies in our power or not’ [98(89)]. But in either case this first step in the empir­ical stage of systemt establishes the material (-) goal that everyone with a good heart (yet still in the state of nature) has a duty to strive for. It can be summarized in this way:

    Kant contrasts ‘an ethical com­monwealth’, based on laws of virtue, with ‘a political commonwealth’, based on ‘laws of coercion’ [Kt8:94-5(86-7)]. The two may well exist simultane­ously, but they must remain distinct. For ‘the very concept of [‘an ethical commonwealth’] involves freedom from coercion.’[36] Since moral and legal duties have a common root in practical reason, the consti­tution of an ethical commonwealth ‘shall contain nothing which contra­dicts the duty of its mem­bers as citizens of the state—although when the ethical pledge is of the genuine sort the political limitation need cause no anxiety’ [96(88)]. Re­ligion and poli­tics, then, should not be intermixed, but the laws they en­force should be com­patible. (Kant’s political theory will be discussed thorough­ly in KSP4. For a briefer treatment of its relation to religion, see Pa94b.)

    The next step rests on what can be called Kant’s ‘religious argument’ for the existence of God (though, of course, such an argument should not be re­garded as a theoretically valid proof). By explicating a few of Kant’s underly­ing assumptions, we can express his brief argument more formally[37] as follows:

    1. The highest good: The true end of human life on earth is to realize the highest good, by seeking to be worthy of happiness through obedience to the moral law. Working towards this goal is a human duty.

    2. Radical evil: Human beings on their own seem to be incapable of achieving the highest good, because of the radical corruption in the heart of each individual. At best, all we can say is that ‘we do not know whether … it lies in our power or not.’

    3. Ethical commonwealth: No organization based on externally legislated rules (i.e., no ‘political commonwealth’) can achieve this goal, because the moral law can be legislated only internally—i.e., through an ‘ethical commonwealth’.

    4. ‘Ought’ implies ‘can’: Anything reason calls us to do (i.e., any human duty) must be possible; if it seems impossible, we are justified in making assumptions that will enable us to conceive of its possibility.[38]

    5. Divine assistance: The only way[39] to conceive of a human organization that could succeed in becoming an ethical commonwealth (i.e., in promoting the highest good as ‘a social goal’) is to presuppose the assistance of ‘a higher moral Being through whose universal dispensation the forces of separate individuals, insufficient in themselves, are united for a common end.’ This Being legislates the moral law inter­nally to all individuals, thus insuring the harmony of their diverse actions.

    6. God exists. In order to work towards the fulfillment of the highest good, we must therefore presuppose that God exists as a gracious moral lawgiver, and that to obey the moral law is to please God. That is, the ethical commonwealth can succeed only if it takes a religious form.

    Kant’s version of this argument occupies little more than a few sentences. Never­­the­less, it marks an important turning-point in his discussion. For without it, his view of religion would be thoroughly anthropocentric (as it is typically assumed to be [see I.3]); but with it, the equally theocentric emphasis of his view of religion becomes apparent.

    The title of §III, the section immediately following the paragraph that de­velops the foregoing argument, is itself a concise restatement of the argument’s conclusion: ‘The Concept of an Ethical Commonwealth is [i.e., must be viewed as] the Concept of a People of God under Ethical Laws’ [Kt8:98(90]. Kant’s main aim in this section is to explain what the notion of a ‘highest lawgiver of an ethical commonwealth’ must involve. Such a being must be someone

    with respect to whom all true duties … must be represented as at the same time his commands; he must therefore also be ‘one who knows the heart’ [see Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24; 15:8] … Hence an ethical commonwealth can be thought of only as a people under divine commands, i.e., as a people of God [see 1 Pet. 2:10], and in­deed under laws of virtue. [99(90-1)]

    This emphasis on the need for God to govern the ethical commonwealth could give the impression that human beings are not responsible for its founding and successful implementation. To guard against this misunderstanding, Kant de­votes §IV to the task of explaining how ‘Human Organization’ (as the title, once again, puts it) must also play a role in all true religion in order for ‘The Idea of a People of God [to] be Realized’ [Kt8:100(91)]. Human organization on its own could never be sufficient, he reminds us [100(92)], for ‘[h]ow indeed can one expect something perfectly straight to be framed out of such crooked wood?’ He continues: ‘To found a moral peo­ple of God is … a task whose consummation can be looked for not from men but only from God Himself’; because we do not know exactly how God will choose to do this, however, each good-hearted person ‘must … proceed as though every­thing depended upon him’.[40]

    Resolving this paradox between human responsibility and divine assis­tance is Kant’s main aim in §IV. As the title itself suggests, the material of an ethi­cal commonwealth in the form of a people of God ‘can be realized (through human organization) only in the form of a church’.[41] Kant re­solves the paradox by distinguishing between the ‘church invisible’ and the ‘visible church’:

    An ethical commonwealth under divine moral legislation is a church which, so far as it is not an object of possible experience [cf. the ‘negative noumenon’ in step nine of systemt], is called the church invisible (… the archetype of what is to be es­tablished by men). The visible church is the actual union of men into a whole which … ex­hibits the (moral) kingdom of God on earth so far as it can be brought to pass by men. [101(92)]

    Kant then describes a set of archetypal principles of the invisible church, which any visible church must adopt in order to be ‘true’ (i.e., in order to make God’s kingdom real on earth). These principles follow the same 2LAR pattern as Kant’s famous table of categories, just as the principles in step eight of systemt [see KSP1, Fig. III.4]. They are: (1) its quantity is ‘Universality, and hence its nu­merical oneness … with respect to its fundamen­tal intention’; (2) its ‘quality’ is ‘purity, union under no motivating forces other than moral ones’; (3) its ‘relation’, both ‘of its members to one another, and … of the church to political power’, is determined by ‘the principle of freedom’; and (4) its ‘modality’ is ‘the unchangeableness of its constitution’, i.e., of cer­tain ‘settled principles’ that are ‘laid down, as it were, out of a book of laws, for guid­ance’.[42] The form of the true (universal) church, then, can be mapped onto the cross as shown in Figure VII.5. The two 1LARs that give rise to this 2LAR can be identified as distinguishing between characteristics con­cerned with laws

    Figure VII.5:

    The Archetypal Characteristics of the Invisible Church

    (+) or freedom (-) on the one hand, and between their external (+) or internal (-) manifestations on the other.

    Taken together, §§II-IV describe the eighth and ninth steps in systemr. Just as step eight of systemt introduces the principles of pure understanding as the key element in stage three that makes empirical knowledge possible, so also step eight in systemr introduces the principles of divine government that make a true church possible. These principles provide the form (+) enabling us to re­gard an ethical common­wealth as a People of God (i.e., an invisible church). The argument of this step can therefore be ex­pressed as:

    The third step in stage three, as usual, synthesizes (x) or real­izes, the two pre­ceding steps. Step nine, then, requires some form of human organization—i.e., a ‘public covenant’ [Kt8:105(96)] working in harmony with the archetypal prin­ciples of the invisible church to establish a true visible church. As this hap­pens more and more, God’s kingdom is gradually manifested on earth. In sum:

    The kingdom of God does for mankind here in systemr what moral action (i.e., virtue) does for individuals in step nine of systemp.[43] The empirical perspec­tive of systemr thus concludes in step nine by making ‘empirical faith’, also known as ‘historical ecclesiastical faith’, a necessary element of genuine religion.[44]

    In the remainder of Book Three (i.e., §§V-VII of Division One, and all of Division Two) Kant discusses a variety of issues relating to how the elements established here in stage three are to be applied in a real, historical religion.[45] We shall examine these issues in detail in VIII.3.A. For now it will suffice to point out that the perspecti­val difference between the first two stages and the last two stages is brought out forcefully by Kant in Kt8:104-5(95-6), where he gives two distinct answers to the question ‘How does God wish to be honored?’ For the first two stages, wherein this question is ‘answered in a way universally valid for each man, re­garded merely as man [i.e., as a solitary individual], … the legislation of His will ought to be solely moral; for statutory legislation (which presupposes a revelation) can be regarded merely as contingent …’. But in the third and fourth stages,

    when we regard ourselves as obliged to behave not merely as men but also as citi­zens in a divine state on earth … under the name of a church, then the question … appears to be unanswerable by reason alone and to require statutory legislation of which we become cognizant only through revelation, i.e., an historical faith …

    As we saw in step eight, this dependence on God and on a divine revela­tion plays ‘a significant role’, but not merely ‘in the distant past’, as McCarthy claims [Mc86:100]; for it is actually an element in systemr. Nevertheless, from the philosopher’s (Coperni­can) Perspective as such, this requirement remains empty:[46] like radical evil and the assistance-giving archetype in the first two stages, the details of the di­vine organiza­tion of the church must be ‘filled in’ by some historical tradition. It would be ‘presumptuous’, therefore, to regard our dependence on revelation as an excuse ‘to take the laws constituting the basis and form of any church as divine statutory laws … in order to save ourselves the trouble of still further improving the church’s form’: rather, ‘it is the divine will that we should our­selves carry into effect’ the church’s form by learning from past mistakes [105(96)]. The members of a church must humbly accept this task as ‘entirely committed to them alone’. Kant is not denying that God will guide human or­ganizers in this task. On the contrary, he warns that ‘it would be as great self-con­ceit to deny peremptorily that the way in which a church is organized may per­haps be a special divine arrangement, if, so far as we can see, it is com­pletely harmo­nious with the moral religion’ [105(96)].

    As hinted by the fourth characteristic for the organization of any true church (i.e., its unchangeable modality), Kant emphasizes the importance of a church treating a scripture as ‘an object of esteem’, and as more important than tradi­tion [Kt8:107(97)]. Along these lines he says [107(98)]:

    A holy book arouses the greatest respect even among those (indeed, most of all among those) who do not read it … [Yet] it has never been possible to destroy a faith grounded in scripture …, whereas the faith established upon tradition … has promptly met its downfall when the state was overthrown. How fortunate, when such a book, fallen into men’s hands, contains, along with its statutes, or laws of faith, the purest moral doctrine of religion in its completeness … [B]ecause of the difficulty of rendering intelli­gible according to natural laws the origin of such en­lightenment of the human race as proceeds from it, such a book can command an esteem like that ac­corded to revelation.

    Kant’s discussion of the proper method of interpreting scripture will be dis­cussed in VIII.3.A. Here it is sufficient to clarify the perspec­tive from which he believes a revealed scripture must be viewed. He explains in Kt8:109(100) that ‘a church dispenses with the most important mark of truth, namely, a right­ful claim to universality, when it bases itself upon a revealed faith…. Yet be­cause of the natural need and desire of all men for something sensibly tenable …, some historical ecclesiastical faith or other … must be uti­lized.’ In other words, the revealed scriptures used by ‘such an em­pirical faith’ [110(100)] should never be viewed as an end in themselves, but only as a means to the end of establishing a truly religious faith, even though (the histori­cal record [e.g., the Bible] … may itself be a miracle (a supersensible revela­tion)’ [85(79)]. The simultaneous need for both universality (–) and un­change­ableness (++) [see Fig. VII.5], despite their direct opposition, is conveyed in Kt8:112(103):

    The authority of Scripture, as the most worthy instrument, and at present the only instrument in the most enlightened portion of the world, for the union of all men into one church, constitutes the ecclesiastical faith, which, … cannot be neglected, because no doctrine based on reason alone seems to the people qualified to serve as an unchangeable norm.

    Hare rightly notes that Kant is ‘an agnostic about supernatural revelation’, but only ‘in the narrow sense that … the claim to have received supernatural revelation cannot be known to be true, in Kant’s restricted sense of “knowl­edge.”… It no more follows that we should not believe in supernatural revelation than that we should not believe in God.’[47]

    As long as ‘an historical faith …, having become ecclesiastical, enhances the principle of a continual ap­proach to pure religious faith, … [it] can at any time be called the tru

  44. Bill

    @ colin — I agree, Colin, that the original cancer situation was handled badly, if only because it contributed needlessly to the media’s suspicion. If I remember, it was only during the first day that Job’s thought he was a goner and then further tests revealed that it was operable. Should Apple have released a press release during that initial 24 hour period? I don’t know. If it’s less dire but there is uncertainty (say, for example, they told him he had a 5% chance of not making it out of the surgery) would disclosing that uncertainly thrust information or noise into the marketplace. Or should they wait till that uncertainty becomes less so. Same with the uncertainty of recovery — which could be why they waited 9 months. I don’t know. I guess we can agree that uniform guidelines might be needed to address this for all companies.

    As for Steve demonstrating everything, you may have noted that, uncharacteristically, during the last developers conference, he did hand the reins over to others for a majority of the presentation. Is it a Cult of Personality shop or does Jobs have a sober succession plan in place and a 20-year roadmap? People have written that unlike other CEOs who think quarter to quarter, Jobs seems to think in decades. Has he kept this all in his head (his Grand Plan) or is it written down somewhere? I think there are some basics to the business plan of Apple that would not go away if Jobs did (make the whole widget unlike Microsoft, sell upscale to people with more disposable cash and forget the low margins, cut-throat bottom) and some of Job’s decisions have been bad (the cube, the puck mouse) so not everything he touches is gold, and perhaps all the value that Jobs has to give has already been absorbed by Apple (NEXT technology, the computer as digital hub, first off with a workable implementation of cloud computing with MobleMe – if they get the bugs out, over the Net delivery of 1080p movies with the new rumored decoding chip, a true mobile computing platform with iPhone and iPod touch) – maybe once these all play out, that’s it. It’s tough to say what the impact would be, but retirement is inching closer for him (a decade?), so even if his health is fine that issue is beginning to loom regardless.

    Ok, I’m done here too. I think we’ve exhausted the subject.

    And I think we all can agree, Kant fan or not, that there needs to be a character limit in place for these posts … geez.

  45. Thomas

    So, Dan…you start out with a bang, then post nothing for 8 days. I’m supposed to sustain my interest….because…?

  46. Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?

    Nothing like having a major war (South Ossetia/Russia/Georgia) erupt a couple of thousand miles away to spoil your vacation. Oh wait a minute, there is that Afghanistan conflict still going on to the south. And there is that turmoil going on the eastern border in Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang, or as the local Kazakhs refer to as East Turkistan. Sympathetic though they are to their cousins across the border’s plight, they are not stupidly going to interfere. Yeah, I think I chose a great time to visit Central Asia, don’t you think? Not that rescuing feral cats in the South Pacific was my dream getaway (rescuing feral runway models in Milan is more like it).

    Nobody really complains about the government here (Kazakhstan) apparently is because everyone is benefiting from the oil revenues and the government is doing a “China” by encouraging tons of Western investment. Major presence of U.S. and Japan business and government interests. Actually, the locals, young and old, really do like the government, no internal conflicts, no civil wars, and personally, I’m not knocking it either, I’m on vacation and everybody and everything has been beautiful. It’s certainly not Costa Rica, but it’s very enjoyable (I have been told that after summer, it does get brass monkey cold in this place), not that I may plan to invest in any retirement property here.

    Saw the Olympic ceremony in lobby with locals, everyone cheered when local team appeared, great costumes, everybody whooped it up and cheered. I thought the French team were dressed as those bumbling Resistance members from “To Have or Have Not”. What the hell was the U.S. team dressed up for? They all looked like members of some New England country club going out on a pheasant hunt. But the Kazakhs liked the outfits. Four different guys nudged me and said, in English, “Hey! Ralph Lauren! Nice, eh?” Damn, they were right … the U.S. team is being dressed by Ralph Lauren!

    After ceremony, there was a lot of drinking and discussion (in Russian, German and English) about why Astana should host the games. They asked what I thought, and I replied, in my best Kinky Friedman imitation, “Why the hell not?”. Loads of people shouting, “Why the hell not?”. Then the manager quietly but sternly asked everyone to pipe down (in Russian, Kazakh, English), with an eye towards me, and a wagging finger and a ,” … you too, cowboy!”. I smiled and bowed my head.

    We’re jetting out Monday, we’ll be home stateside before Phillips completes his gold collection.

  47. Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?

    Who the hell are you the gatekeeper? Why don’t you go away? Can’t do it can’t ya’? Bet you have more than one handle, too.

  48. SamG

    @Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?

    I do this for breakfast.

    And yes, I have more than one handle.

    Brace yourself:

    SamG Duo 2 (totally unrecognizable, for ultrafast posting)

    Did you lose your sense of humor in Kazakh stepes?

  49. SamG


    You missed the most important thing from Kant’s exposition; that what we can know and that what we cannot (pun!) know, the uncertainty of every knowledge (incl. beliefs).

    This applies worldwide, incl. Kazakhstan (for our dude blogger from “kazakhstan”).

  50. US Soldier Observer @Tbilisi

    iPhone military mods work great in field, invaluable. Meanwhile, awaiting orders to either assist allies in field or pull-out to avoid direct confrontation with enemy troops. Shit! That was close … if any advisors injured or die in field, this may get ugly.

  51. Nafs

    Nafs is an Arabic word meaning self or psyche. It is first among the six Lataif (cleanliness) or Lataif-e-sitta.

    In Sufi teachings, it means more of false ego. When Sufis talk about opposing Nafs, they mean Nafs Ammara that is explained later. For psychological interpretations of Nafs, see Islamic psychological thought.

  52. Alhazen

    Therefore, the seeker after the truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration, and not to the sayings of a human being whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency. Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency

  53. ROI is where its at

    This is one of the strangest things I have ever seen. Thanks Real Dan?

  54. um does it matter

    Has the real dan fallen off a cliff? He hasnt updated this blog in 11 days.

  55. SamG Duo 2

    Dan is trying to get the Ruby on Rails off his iPhone. He could also be swamped with doing something more in the Kantian venue of things, such as thinking about thinking or non-thinking about, erm, non-doing.

  56. SamG Duo 2

    Has anyone checked FSJ blog? Maybe he is blogging there while we are waiting on Dan here.

    Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

  57. SamG Duo 2

    Where is this dude from “kazakhstan” who sends these scenic descriptions of local platitudes which could be even ripped out of woods in kentucky. Send us some pics of your yurta dude.

    Platitudinally speaking, Dan is a big fan of Georgian tea, for longevity and stuff. Not the Georgia on your mind, but other Georgia where Putin shows up like Spanish Inquisition).

  58. Bono and Dan are busy. Check back later


    U2’s first concert video, Live At Red Rocks, will be released on DVD next month, along with the accompanying live album, Under a Blood Red Sky.

    Recorded at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado on 5th June 1983, Live at Red Rocks will be available for the first time on DVD, and will include 5 previously unreleased songs, a director’s commentary, digitally re-graded pictures and a 5.1 mix.

    The remastered Under a Blood Red Sky album was originally released in November 1983, and consists of live recordings from three shows on the band’s War Tour through Europe and America.

    A deluxe version featuring the Under a Blood Red Sky CD and the Live At Red Rocks DVD will be available, as well as single disc formats of the CD and DVD. An LP version of Under a Blood Red Sky pressed on 180gm virgin vinyl will also be released.

    Here’s the full tracklisting:

    Gloria / 11 O’Clock Tick Tock / I Will Follow / Party Girl / Sunday Bloody Sunday / The Electric Co. / New Year’s Day / “40”


    Out Of Control / Twilight / An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart / Surrender / Two Hearts Beat As One / Seconds / Sunday Bloody Sunday / Cry/The Electric Co.
    / October / New Year’s Day / I Threw A Brick Through A Window / A Day Without Me / Gloria / Party Girl / 11 O’Clock Tick Tock / I Will Follow / “40”

    Both DVD and remastered album , will be released on 29th September 2008.

  59. Bono and Dan are busy. Check back later

    Rumours (Unfounded)

    Just a note to correct reports that tickets are becoming available for planned U2 shows.

    The reports are mistaken, there are no tour dates for the band at the moment – so please don’t buy tickets for U2 shows you see advertised.

    You can be sure any future live announcements will be made on U2.Com as soon as they are confirmed.

  60. Bono and Steve are busy remastering their products. Check back later.

    ‘It’s all hands on deck…’

    … to finish the new record, says Paul McGuinness, who also talks about the newly released editions of Boy, October and War in an interview with The Telegraph in the UK.

    ‘Thirty years since their Irish debut single, U2 have embarked on a comprehensive programme of remastering and reissuing. This week, their first three albums, Boy, October and War are released in deluxe editions that include previously unreleased songs.

    “We have treated it as an opportunity, not a chore,” says McGuinness. “I do not expect the CD to disappear in my lifetime, but I think artists and record companies have to put more effort into it, otherwise why would people want one over a download?…’

    The piece is written by Neil McCormick, who also wrote the sleeve notes for the remastered version of October.

  61. Grapevine

    CNET said Apple is being deluged by a “constant stream of complaints coming in” about the iPhone’s ability to stay connected to higher-speed 3G portions of AT&T’s wireless

    “In Monday’s edition of the Daily Debrief, I sit down with CNET News reporter Tom Krazit to discuss the grief he’s heard over dropped calls, flaky network signals, and unreliability of service. Tom says this is the most feedback he’s ever gotten about an Apple product flaw. Of course, AT&T points its finger at Apple and Apple point it right back at AT&T. Regardless, it adds up to one big consumer service snafu, on the heels of MobileMe’s glitches. Apple execs will likely be happy to put the summer behind them.”

  62. Immaturity spreads to iPhone chip set

    It could be the chip, according to GigaOm. “The issue may be with Infineon’s 3G chip, according to Richard Windsor, an analyst with Nomura Securities. In a research note today, he said: “We believe that these issues [3G issues] are typical of an immature chipset and radio protocol stack where we are almost certain Infineon is the 3G supplier.” That comment might cheer AT&T, but it’s bad news for Infineon, and perhaps a warning to the chip industry about quality control.”

    Last year Jobs and Apple appeared to be covered in Teflon or they enjoyed some magical force field protecting them from consumer derision over the slow-moving Internet browsing on the original iPhones that were equipped only to access the slower portions of AT&T’s wireless network. This year, the force field appears to be weakening.

  63. Jobso thinking about rolling up that zen mattress

    But if Jobs really has enough with all of this frustration, and wants to go with CDMA versions of the new iPhones – which could reach more than 120 million consumers just on the wireless networks of Sprint and Verizon alone, we’ll bet Hesse would take his call.

  64. Bill

    iPhone: The bet Steve Jobs didn’t decline
    Wed, Jul 16, 08

    Suppose you were the CEO of Apple in 2005 when a couple of intergalactic visitors with time-warping technology offered you this bet:

    Design and manufacture a small mobile device that seamlessly combines the functionalities of a cellular phone, a web surfer, an audio/video player and a small PC, and your company will double its market cap and establish a third mass-market computing platform after Windows and Macintosh.

    Would you take it?

    Before you say, “Are you nuts, why wouldn’t I?” ponder just a few of the issues involved:

    1. It won’t be possible to enter this market quietly or modestly and hope to grow slowly (like with Xserve a few years earlier). Yours will have to be a blockbuster entry. You are good in raising awareness and expectations around a product but that raises the consequences of failure exponentially.
    2. If you fail, it would be a public fiasco of the first order, likely lopping off at least a third of your market cap and seriously eroding financial sector confidence in your company’s ability to grow and diversify beyond the Mac and the iPod businesses.
    3. You will have to enter a highly-regulated, highly-contested, large-scale and capital-intensive industry of established players with deep pockets that you have never been involved with.
    4. You don’t have an operating system designed for mobile devices and adopting someone else’s OS doesn’t make business or technical sense.
    5. You’ll have to solve a very long list of vexing technical problems for mobile devices including power management, radio efficiency, miniaturization, storage, display, CPU utilization, multi-tasking, cloud computing, advanced graphics, data/sensory input, etc.
    6. While you’re beginning to appreciate logistic and component pricing advantages on volume-based products like the iPod, you won’t have similar advantages with this device especially at the start and against players like Nokia that sells hundreds of millions of units around the world each year.
    7. You may have thought dealing with music labels wasn’t much fun, now try changing handset acquisition and revenue sharing models of entrenched and oligopolistic carriers here and abroad to an extent never tried before.
    8. You may think Jonathan Ive can easily design the hardware, but you’ll have to invent a stunning UI and a truly innovative interaction paradigm so that it’ll give you at least a two-to-three year competitive cushion against other players, as you will surely need it.
    9. This device will likely require a bunch of proprietary service and content components (maps, email, media, games, etc) beyond your core competency, requiring lengthy negotiations and strategic partnerships.
    10. In order to create a sufficiently large and attractive platform you’ll have to entice developers with an array of inexpensive development tools and create a highly-lubricated marketplace unlike any other.
    11. As with the iPod, you’ll have to sell this device to a mostly Windows-oriented world.
    12. In order not to be quickly marginalized, you’ll have to distribute the device in most countries around the world, even where you have little or no Mac or iPod penetration.
    13. If you want to achieve iPod-scale (and you must) you’ll have to implement and operate a different, dedicated and larger sales and support network on a global basis.
    14. Clearly, this is a bet-the-company move and the anti-Apple brigades are ready and armed.
    15. Incidentally, you’ve recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

    Often, the anything-but-Apple choir doesn’t quite appreciate the immensity of the risks Apple took with the iPhone.

    So it’s 2005, will you still take the bet? Steve Jobs did …


  65. will the rdl plz stand up?

    Dude! I bookmarked you and everything! And now you haven’t written anything since July! What’s the deal?

  66. KeKlik

    to answer your question, lastangelman is in hospital now. As we stepped off plane, he collapsed. Yes, we did travel to Saipan, Novosibirsk and Astana. He’s a stubborn fighter, but I am frightened. He just went to sleep now. He was looking at this blog before he nodded off. He does tend to be “colorful” when he writes.

  67. I am using this blog as my storage cloud

    VMware CEO apologizes for ‘time bomb’ mess
    Issues patch so enterprises can power up virtual machines
    Gregg Keizer

    August 13, 2008 (Computerworld) Just minutes after VMware Inc. issued a patch late yesterday that allowed enterprises to start up crippled virtual servers, the company’s CEO said he was sorry for the snafu.

    “I want to apologize for the disruption and difficulty this issue may have caused to our customers and our partners,” VMware CEO Paul Maritz said in an open letter posted to the company’s Web site just before midnight EDT Tuesday.

    Yesterday, reports flooded VMware’s support forums from users unable to power up virtual servers that had been updated to the newest software, which was released in late July. Users said they were seeing error messages claiming that the virtualization software’s license had expired as of Aug. 12.

    Maritz, who was appointed CEO about a month ago, confirmed that VMware developers had left code in recent ESX 3.5 and ESXi Server 3.5 updates that prevented users from powering up virtual machines when the calendar flipped to Aug. 12. The code, he said, was left over from beta versions of the update.

    “We failed in two areas,” said Maritz in his mea culpa. “[We failed in] not disabling the code in the final release of Update 2 and not catching it in our quality assurance process.”

    Although it’s common practice for developers to code a time limit into their betas in order to force users to upgrade to the final version, the deadline — often called a “time bomb” — is supposed to be removed before the final version is released.

    “We have kicked off a comprehensive, in-depth review of our QA and release processes and will quickly make the needed changes,” said Maritz.

    Tuesday night, about two hours later than original scheduled, VMware issued a patch for the problem. The fix — available in separate versions for ESX 3.5 and ESXi Server 3.5 — works, according to reports by users to VMware’s support forum.

    “I updated one of my five hosts, and everything appears to be fine so far,” said a user named Robert Greenlee on a long support message thread. “Thanks for all the hard work getting this patch out. Unfortunately, I think you’ve gotten a serious black eye today. We were finally getting management happy with the idea of using ESX for production servers, and this set us back a little bit.”

    Greenlee wasn’t the only user on the support forum taking shots at VMware for the bug, which left virtual machines unusable for more than 20 hours.

    “As a VMware enterprise partner and VMware authorized consultant, I can tell you this is a big deal for VMware to release a product that has such grave consequences for even a relatively small portion of the total VMware user population,” said a user identified as “wwcusa” from Jacksonville, Fla. “This could have been prevented by not rushing an update to market which was intended to be free and compete with [Microsoft Corp.'s] Hyper-V. VMware ran face first into the very hurdle it was trying to clear.

    “This will cast doubt about the reliability of VMware in the enterprise,” the user added.

    VMware also quashed rumors that the time bomb was anything but a failure of its quality-control process. In an entry posted to a company blog Tuesday night, the company denied that the problem was security-related.

    “The ESX(i) 3.5 Update 2 power-on problem that surfaced today is not related to exploitation of a security issue on ESX,” said VMware. “Several customers have been worried that their ESX systems had been compromised by an attack and that this was the cause for not booting of their ESX update 2 Virtual Machines today.”

  68. Microsoft on a kill bit spree

    Microsoft kills more third-party ActiveX controls
    Stomps buggy HP, Aurigma controls with ‘kill bit’ update
    Gregg Keizer
    August 12, 2008 (Computerworld) Microsoft Corp. today issued “kill bit” updates for ActiveX controls from HP and a Washington state developer, the third time it’s disabled third-party add-ons in the last four months.

    One security researcher linked the release to a new program Microsoft announced last week that’s designed to help other vendors find and fix bugs in their own software.

    Microsoft disabled ActiveX controls from two companies, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Tacoma, Wash.-based Aurigma Inc., in its kill bit update, according to the security advisory issued today. The update was released through Windows Update, but it can also be downloaded from the Microsoft site.

    Both companies have acknowledged vulnerabilities in their ActiveX controls, and have, in fact, patched those controls. The HP software that Microsoft killed today were older ActiveX controls associated with a customer support application bundled with some of its PCs; the program, dubbed “HP Instant Support,” is meant to help users update key drivers and other HP software.

    HP patched its Instant Support in early June.

    Aurigma’s Image Uploader, meanwhile, also has a troubled past. In late January, security vendor Symantec Corp. reported multiple vulnerabilities in the software, which is licensed by sites such as MySpace and Facebook, to give their users a way to upload photos from within Internet Explorer.

    Aurigma quashed the bugs in a March 2008 update to Image Uploader.

    The first time Microsoft released a kill bit update for another vendors’ software was in April, when it disabled a buggy ActiveX control used by Yahoo Inc.’s music player. In June, it released a kill bit that crippled an ActiveX control used by Logitech International SA to retrieve updates for software for its keyboards and mice.

    In April, company officials said they would issue kill bit updates whenever asked by a vendor. “If an independent software vendor discovers that they have shipped a vulnerable [ActiveX] control, they should e-mail [us] to work with Microsoft to issue a kill bit, disabling that control,” Tim Rains, a spokesman for the Microsoft Security Response Center, said at the time.

    Setting the kill bit for an ActiveX control involves modifying the Windows registry. It does not patch the problem, and setting the kill bit means the control’s functionality is lost. In today’s cases, however, Microsoft was setting the kill bits for the older, vulnerable versions of the HP and Aurigma controls; users who had updated to the newer editions should not lose the programs’ functionality.

    “This is right in line with Microsoft’s presentation at Black Hat,” said Andrew Storm, director of security operations at security vendor nCircle Network Security Inc., referring to last week’s security conference. At Black Hat, Microsoft said it would launch Microsoft Vulnerability Research in two months. The program helps third-party developers of Windows applications and add-ons find and fix bugs in their software.

    “They said many times that they are working as a coalition to better secure the Windows operating system and everything which runs on it,” Storms continued. “While Microsoft has issued a few kill bits in the past for third-party products, this is something we are going to continue to see going forward.”

  69. Apple putting some new hooves on a Trojan horse

    Opinion: Why the iPhone is Apple’s Trojan horse
    Michael Gartenberg

    August 4, 2008 (Computerworld) Apple’s new iPhone 3G arrived a few weeks ago. Did you miss the news? Not likely. It was everywhere. There were rave reviews about the new hardware and features, all delivered at a much lower price than the original iPhone.

    The more interesting news for enterprises, though, involves the new iPhone and iPod Touch 2.0 software that comes installed on the 3G phone and is also available for the first-generation devices. That’s because the iPhone is a now a bona fide software platform.

    That’s good for Apple; everyone wants to be a platform. It’s a powerful way to generate revenue. But it’s good for you, too, because it means the iPhone is positioned to be a more enterprise-friendly device. You need it to be enterprise-friendly because, like it or not, it’s already a business device. Any technology your CEO wants to use is a de facto business device, and the iPhone has been very attractive to a lot of CEOs.

    All device vendors have to overcome a hurdle — a sort of natural catch-22 — to make their products into platforms. Developers won’t bother with a device until it has a solid base, something north of a million units. And vendors usually can’t get to that level very easily without third-party applications to back up their own software offerings. Apple broke this logjam by producing a device that was different, and sexy, enough to make millions of people want to buy it, even without the promise of much third-party gear to add on.

    One of the most important things that will make it much easier for Apple to get the iPhone into business users’ hands is support for Exchange. I had no problems syncing my Exchange data to the iPhone. A lot of folks are dependent on Exchange, so this new ability has made the iPhone a first-class corporate citizen.

    Apple also released tools to let IT managers remotely configure and control iPhones on their networks. In combination with Exchange syncing, that should allow Apple to make new inroads into the enterprise, with the iPhone acting as a Trojan horse for other Apple devices and services. IT departments of the world, you have been warned: Beware of geeks bearing gifts.

    Related Blog
    Seth Weintraub: Will the iPhone cause an Apple “enterprise halo effect”?
    Another important development is the App Store. It’s this store that heralds the arrival of the iPhone platform and all that that means — namely, thousands of developers to work on applications, and a large influx of venture capital to fund the ecosystem.

    Eventually, developers will greatly add to what the iPhone can do in ways that will attract both consumers and business users. There are already some interesting applications in the store, and I’m sure things will only heat up as developers really start to learn how to get the most from the platform. And who knows how corporate developers will take to the platform for line-of-business applications?

    By the way, if you really didn’t see any of those iPhone 3G reviews, I can tell you that it’s still a handsome device with good hand feel, despite the replacement of the metal backing with plastic. The 3G speed is impressive, and GPS has worked well for me in northern New Jersey. Sound is excellent, a notable improvement over the first generation.

    Battery life remains far from stellar. But that’s the thing about smart phones: We love to have them loaded with features, but those features severely cut into battery life. A removable battery would be nice, but I’ve learned to live with sealed batteries after years of iPod use. I’d like more Bluetooth profiles, but for most people, Bluetooth is just for hands-free use.

    Then there’s the lack of cut-and-paste. How hard could it be, Apple? (Well, actually, it took Microsoft three generations to get it into its smart-phone version of Windows Mobile.)

  70. KeKlik

    Apparently, lastangelman and all people who went to Sarigan to capture feral cats caught the hantavirus. I stayed over in Saipan, in hotel. The group leader almost died and four other members are also infected but will be okay. Rat droppings. Doesn’t affect the feral cats. Everyone lucky they got back to civilization before symptoms appeared. No more survivor vacations!

  71. yet another steve

    AAPL is worth more than GOOG… but no Fake Steve (or even Real Dan) to gloat.
    And we’re about to elect a president that no comedian will make jokes about.

    This country really needs to put the fun back in dysfunctional.


  72. Where's Colin. Where's Bill ??

    admit it, you’re the same guy, arguing with yourself. we’re so sorry, uncle albert.

  73. SamG

    If Dan is not back on Monday, I will request a copy of NewsWeek’s vacation policies. Nobody in America gets more than 2 weeks of uninterrupted vacation. Free-wheeling capitalism just could not take something like that. There is stuff to be done, computers to boot, software to upgrade, opinions to be written.

  74. SamG

    Dan, there is a blogging emergency dude. Scoble explains why he got into blogging and says midway through the rant “I remember being flattered by the first wave of PR.”

    awesome. Just how did we get to a point where publications such as “BYTE” got replaced by these hacks who get flattered by PR? Isn’t entropy rising in the universe when information is destroyed? With rising entropy, universe gets hotter and hotter. And that’s the Inconvenient Truth. It’s not carbon monoxyde folks. It’s carbon copying on blogs that melts the glaciers.

    Here is Scoble in his own words. Love it. Read it. Index it. Scratch that. :)

    “Scoble, you’re rambling, why did you get into blogging?”

    Oh, sorry. I got into blogging to celebrate the people who are improving our lives through technology and to hear their stories about how they developed it, so that we’d encourage other developers to bring us even more useful technologies.

    Scratch that. I got into blogging because Dori Smith and Dave Winer wanted to know what was happening behind the scenes while working at a computer magazine/conference company.

    Back when I started blogging I was helping plan a conference for programmers. I just told stories about what I was seeing and hearing and who was doing cool stuff. No one in PR told me about stuff, I just talked about what I was seeing. As my audience grew, more and more PR people started pitching me stuff. They started seeing me as a gatekeeper. The way I looked at those old-school journalists like Mossberg and Pogue and others.

    I remember being flattered by the first wave of PR. When Munjal Shah, CEO of Like.com, told me he’d rather have me write about his company than have Walt Mossberg write about it, I was flattered but remembered telling him that Mossberg was still more important (and still is, in my view).

    But that was flattering because only a few CEOs were like Munjal and I think he was pulling a little flattery on me to get me to pay attention. And, he knew that doing a different style of PR would get him noticed. It did, too. He now has millions of users and has been on MSNBC and CNN (he told me later that those brought huge numbers of users to his service).

  75. No signal. No Comment.

    Apple: “No comment”

    Users of the iPhone 3G complain they’re unable to get the faster connections available on so-called 3G, or third-generation, wireless networks even in some areas where 3G networks are in place. Owners also lament frequent shifting between high-speed and slower-speed networks during calls and Web sessions. The handoffs sometimes result in dropped calls. The problem is affecting 2% to 3% of iPhone traffic, the people say. That compares with a dropped-call rate of around 1% for all traffic for AT&T (T), Apple’s exclusive partner in the U.S. “This is a problem, but it’s not a catastrophe,” one of the sources says.

    Still, it’s causing enough disruption that the Internet is abuzz with complaints over the phone’s performance and speculation over how much blame lies with Infineon’s chips. Infineon spokesman Guenther Gaugler declines to comment on the chip’s performance in the iPhone 3G, but says the chips haven’t resulted in comparable problems in other phones, including those made by Samsung. “Our 3G chips are, for example, used in Samsung handsets and we are not aware of such problems there,” Gaugler says.

    Apple, which has refused to acknowledge there is a problem with the iPhone’s performance, declined to comment for this story. AT&T issued a statement saying, “Overall, the new iPhone is performing just great on our 3G network.”

  76. QA team has left the orchard

    Anonymous 3Gtard:

    Aug 14, 2008 3:34 PM GMT

    I just called AT&T and they tell me I have until September 1st to return my iPhone 3G canceling the contract. I very may end up doing just that. I have had nothing bout problems. This is supposed to be a second generation product running 2nd generation software. I am already on my second iPhone 3G and it crashes, apps quit and the 3G reception absolutely stinks, even in North NJ and NYC. I have yet another appointment today at the Apple Store as my iPhone crashed twice today. Many times when it crashes I am left with NO phone at all, When the iPhone works the 3G reception drops calls or you end up with garbled calls. I think the only tester was Steve Jobs. I am a long time Mac user and I think this is the worst product Apple has ever brought to market as it was NOT at all ready!

  77. vaporland

    this is great – a blog that writes itself – just read the comments…

    maybe dan has pancreatic cancer? maybe he has been kidnapped and is being held in a torture dungeon basement by a demented biker named “Zed”…

  78. Jesterpaul

    Jeez Dan, please get moderation happening. Some of these commentards ned to get a life!

  79. FBO

    Come back, Dan. Please come back.
    I’ve got nowhere else to go.
    I’ve got nowhere else to go.

    - Barry

  80. Will The Real Lastangelman Please Stand Up?

    Alive. Barely. In pain. But pissed. My Fair Lady misplaced Olympic memory cards containing video and photos of this adventure.
    If I didn’t feel like shit, I’d be volcanic.

  81. iKEANE

    RDL who? Maybe he’s in China covering the Olympics.
    Meanwhile, mad props Michael Phelps. Namaste. iHonor the place where your stellar talent brings the world together in admiration.

  82. Bill "Big Willie" Shakespeare

    I use a samsung phone. It’s grey in color and shiny. It has a crappy camera and good sound quality. It fits in my jeans coin pocket. Better than an iphone

  83. FBO

    Maybe he’s in China? So are we going to get a “So Michael Phelps just called to non-discuss his gold medals and about being the greatest olympian of all time” blog?

  84. Fake Dan Lyons

    This is the way I hold on to “The Audience Formerly Known as FSJ”!

    Keep you in suspense.

    Fifteen days without a new post.

    And you assholes are still coming here, looking for a tasty blog-snack!

    Will you never learn?

    I’ll give full details in nine months, when my new book ‘How I home-remedied my pancreatic cancer into full remission while inventing the iPhone and the MacBook Air’ story is excerpted in FORBES!

  85. Dead

    ‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This blog is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-blog!!

  86. Dan Lyons calls to non-comment on his ex-blog

    So there I was sitting around bored at work, when all of a sudden the phone rings and who is it, but Dan Lyons formerly known as Real Dan Lyons, formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs. He goes, “This is Dan Lyons you think I’m someone who might very well turn out to be a has-been because I was too courteous with dropping the Fake Steve Jobs persona, and I think you’re a never were or never was, however that goes.” He went on to tell me about what he’s been up to lately and some details with what’s happening with his blog. Then he mentioned going off-the-record and I hung up the phone.

  87. Bill "Big Willie" Shakespeare

    Just saw punch-drunk love on cinemax. Who knew Adam “the sandman” Sandler had such depth? I didn’t and you can bet Roger Ebert didn’t either.

  88. Worried about FBO

    After reading about love in the time of Rasputin, I can’t help but think that Obama’s (or FBO’s :) ground is a bit shaken. To deal with thugs of kgb caliber, we need to elect someone who routinely wins arm-twisting contests.

  89. Listen Fake Real Dan...

    Dont tell us where to put our ascii and we wont share ideas on where to put your ascii.

    blog in peace. namaste.

    PS. ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, for those of you who never type but smudge their screens.

  90. FBO

    Well then, Worried, I am clearly your guy. I was “All Around Arm-Twisting Champ” back in my younger days in Hawaii. Look at the other guy, he can’t twist anybody’s arm. He can’t even lift up his arms. Sure, it’s an old war injury from his days as a POW, but still, no arm twisting going on over there.

    It’s just that I miss doing peyote with Steve. I felt the love from that guy, there was some non-gay-man-on-man-love-action going on during our peyote sessions. Totally non-gay. Not that it makes you a bad person.
    But I just don’t feel the love from the new guy, and I’m longing for the hot, warm, sticky love I got from Steve, some non-gay love.

    - Barry

  91. SamG

    >>But I just don’t feel the love from the new guy, and I’m >>longing for the hot, warm, sticky love I got from Steve, >>some non-gay love.

    You gonna get some non-gay love from Hillary at the convention dude. it is going to be sticky too. Watch out, my man. I have a feeling she’s gonna trap Putin into meeting Angela Merkel and then she will be like “Angela, lemme handle this, you go girl get some donuts” and Putin will be like totally surprised and then Hillary will twist his arm with the firmest handshake there is and yelp “is this the change you can believe in?” Putin squirms will bring out his little teddy bear (medwedev. medwed is a bear. or so.) and he wont know what to do because he is a gentleman and women are usually running the kolhoz, so there is no messing around with them.

    Can you believe this guy Phelps? His swimming is better that Steve’s maccing (macking? burgerking? stephenking? larryking?)

    What matters is, we got this blog even though Real Dan left us without sayin nothin :) )))))))))

    Sergey and T-Mobile are bringing out the Dream-phone and there is not a word from Dan. I think he has falled behind the Curve (Blackberry’s and otherwise)).

  92. BrianS

    I read a rumor that ol’ Danny boy was seen doing open mic stand up comedy in Frisco. That would be so epic to see FSJ pouncing on frigtards with fresh live shit. Probably not gonna happen.

    When you coming back? Get real Dan.

  93. Cracker Kevin

    Dan must be stuck on some desert island along with the Team USA track & field sprinters and John Edwards’ girlfriend! None of them have been spotted in weeks!

  94. SamG

    Given that RealDan has removed his post about going RealDan from FSJ site (blog), we can now make an educated guess that the non-writing is just a social experiment.

    Web has thus enriched itself by a new species. A non-blogger blogger, a Deleter of real-blogs announcements from blogs with a fake persona.

    And there is also another update. I can google all this crap myself and laugh at Apple’s inroads into the enterprise on my own non-blogging time. Lenovo is kicking Apple where it hurts with the new ultraportable. Apple just can’t get it right: overcooked cores, low ram, few ports, but great looks. Whoever is buying a laptop for looks, get a face-tuck instead.

    Dan, we don’t need you non-blogging.

  95. iKEANE

    It is still summer, yes? He did comment on FSJ: “I really was hoping to just take the summer off and relax, but stuff keeps happening and I can’t resist blogging about it.”

    Apparently he’s learned to hum a syllable or whatever and resist.

    Chillax, he’ll be back.

  96. BilboB

    It’s not often I am moved to not non-comment on a non-blog, but some many others are not non-commenting, I just have to not stay away. Ok that’s it – not.

  97. um does it matter

    I think this blog is dead 18 days with out a post. Maybe the “Real Dan” has decided he doesnt have it in him any more.

    Well it was fun to read have a good one!

  98. SamG

    Yeah, he can blog to himself when he comes back.

    Namaste folks. I have many choices in blogs and now is the time to take advantage of them.

    Two eyeballs less on your blog Dan. Well done.

    And now off to fight this white sand between my toes.

  99. Wilmer Kaizer

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup.It in fact was a amusement account it.Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  100. flash photography gallery

    Such photographers are well known for the services that they provide.
    The best place to get inexpensive props are rummages and thrift stores.

    The battery life with heavy use is about 2-3 weeks and it takes 4 “AAA” batteries.

  101. Carri

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a fastidious opinion, post is
    pleasant, thats why i have read it entirely



  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>