The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God (Der einzig mögliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseins Gottes) is a book by Immanuel Kant, published in 1763. It questions both the ontological argument for God (as proposed by Saint Anselm) and the argument from design. Kant argues that the internal possibility of all things presupposes some existence:

Accordingly, there must be something whose nonexistence would cancel all internal possibility whatsoever. This is a necessary thing.

Kant then argues that this necessary thing must have all the characteristics commonly ascribed to God. Therefore God necessarily exists. This a priori step in Kant's argument is followed by a step a posteriori, in which he establishes the necessity of an absolutely necessary being. He argues that matter itself contains the principles which give rise to an ordered universe, and this, according to his line of thinking, leads us to the concept of God as a Supreme Being, which "embraces within itself everything which can be thought by man." "God includes all that is possible or real."

"[T]he very substantial and favourable review published by Mendelson ... was responsible for establishing Kant's reputation in Germany as a major philosopher."



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