Discussion 300 Years of Kant: Kant and the question of God

300 Years of Kant: Kant and the question of God © Goethe-Institut Indonesien / Each Other Company

7 PM

Komunitas Salihara

Join us in celebrating Immanuel Kant and his lasting principles, this time with Simon Petrus L. Tjahjadi on the topic of Kant and the question of God.

What can I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope for? – In the pursuit of answers to these three questions, Kantian philosophy is directed. The first question pertains to the theory of knowledge (epistemology) concerning the reality that can be understood by pure reason. The second question concerns the realm of morality and philosophy of law in the light of practical reason. And the third question is directed towards what has not yet occurred, opening the dimension of the future and the meaning of human life and its world, as well as about religion, as far as religion provides alternative answers to that question.

So, where does the matter of God lie? Kant answers that the matter of God lies within these three domains of human reason. His thesis states: Although God is merely an idea of pure reason and in this sense not an object of human sensory knowledge (in the realm of the first question), yet through practical reason, we can "experience" God through morality (in the realm of the second question), namely as the giver of absolute duties to our conscience and simultaneously as the guarantor that morality does not end absurdly, but ultimately leads to our eternal happiness (in the realm of the third question).

How does Kant's line of argumentation lead to this stance? What are the consequences and relevance of his philosophy for modern views on God? What are the strengths of his thinking that deserve appreciation? Where are its limits?

Simon Petrus L. Tjahjadi
born in Jakarta on June 13, 1963, is a Diocesan Priest of the Indonesian Catholic Church ordained on August 18, 1992. He specializes in Western Philosophy, particularly German Philosophy, Eastern Philosophy, specifically philosophy, culture, and history of Japan, and Nusantara Philosophy, particularly Javanese Ethics. He completed his Master's studies in German Philosophy in Munich in 1997, with a thesis on Kant's Critique of Religion. In 2004, he obtained his Ph.D. in Modern Atheism from Goethe-Universitat, Frankfurt. Since 1997 until now, he has been a lecturer at STF Driyarkara. From 2015 to 2018, he conducted research on Japanese Culture and History in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagasaki. In 2023, he studied Zen in Tokyo.

Zen Hae
writes short stories, poetry, play scripts, essays, and literary and theater criticism. His latest book is the omnibus Secrets of the Old King's Mastery (Padrão Buku Abadi, 2022) and the collection of essays Nine Five Four (JBS, 2021). Previously, he published the short story collection Marriage House (KataKita, 2004) and the poetry book Pink Whale (AKAR Indonesia, 2007). Zen is the co-editor for two volumes of The Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Short Stories and the Indonesian Short Story Anthology (Yayasan Lontar, 2017). He is also a co-editor for the second series of the BTW Book publication released by Yayasan Lontar ahead of the London Book Fair 2019. In addition to serving as an Idea Curator at Komunitas Salihara, he also strengthens the editorial team of Yayasan Lontar and serves as the chief editor of the literary criticism website tengara.id (2021–2023).