The Moral Argument for the Existence of God and Immortality

Kierkegaard and Kant


  • Roe Fremstedal

Roe Fremstedal, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Philosophy, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway,


This essay tries to show that there exist several passages where Kierkegaard (and his pseudonyms) sketches an argument for the existence of God and immortality that is remarkably similar to Kant's so-called moral argument for the existence of God and immortality. In particular, Kierkegaard appears to follow Kant's moral argument both when it comes to the form and content of the argument as well as some of its terminology. The essay concludes that several passages in Kierkegaard overlap significantly with Kant's moral argument, although Kierkegaard ultimately favors revealed faith over natural theology in general and Kant's moral faith in particular. Whereas Kant uses the moral argument to postulate the existence of God and immortality, Kierkegaard mainly uses it as a reductio ad absurdum of non-religious thinking.