Kant's wager. Kant's strong belief in extra-terrestrial life, the history of this question and its challenge for theology today

Losch, Andreas (2016). Kant's wager. Kant's strong belief in extra-terrestrial life, the history of this question and its challenge for theology today. International journal of astrobiology, 15(4), pp. 261-270. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S1473550416000112

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Kant was not the first in whom the ‘starry heavens’ above us inspired awe and wonder. For Kant, who was firmly convinced of the existence of inhabitants of other worlds, these heavens were inhabited. He is certain that ‘If it were possible to settle by any sort of experience whether there are inhabitants of at least some of the planets that we see, I might well bet everything that I have on it. Hence I say that it is not merely an opinion but a strong belief (on the correctness of which I would wager many advantages in life) that there are also inhabitants of other worlds.’ In this statement by Kant in no less a work than the Critique of Pure Reason one can, on the one hand, recognize a reflection of Kant's earlier convictions and expositions, on the other hand, the context of the citation and the contemporary background are, of course, relevant. Following the example of Kant, this paper investigates the meaning of such reflections about inhabitants of alien worlds, which due to advances in planetary astronomy are today again on the agenda. Consideration of this subject also represents a challenge for theology.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology > Institute of Systematic Theology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Losch, Andreas

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 190 Modern western philosophy
200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology

ISSN:

1473-5504

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Andreas Losch

Date Deposited:

07 Oct 2016 14:58

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 14:00

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S1473550416000112

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.88534

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/88534

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