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Kant, Morality, and Christianity

Before we begin this section, I need to say first that I did not know any of this when I was doing my work on Christianity. I had studied Kant in general terms before, but not in detail, and I did not realize that he had done such extensive writing about Christianity.

I say this because there is a major overlap between my analysis of Christianity and Kant’s theory about Christianity. If I had started from his writings and attempted to modify them, I might have been led astray. However, by following an independent path and then comparing my theory of Christianity with that of Kant, I can look much more intelligently at the differences these two models.

Kant took a very similar path to that of mine: he was raised in a strict Christian upbringing, and he attempted to rebuild Christianity upon an entirely rational foundation starting from a theory of the mind. But, viewed from an orthodox Christian standpoint, the religion system of Kant would be regarded as heresy. And, historically speaking, the writings of Kant did lead to the liberal theology of 19th century Germany. However, if you add a few critical factors, I suggest that you end up with a theory that is both intellectually superior and far more orthodox.

The Categorical Imperative

Kant bases his system of morality in what he calls the categorical imperative. In essence, this says that an action can only be regarded as moral if it can be generalized into a universal law. For instance, suppose that I steal. If everyone stole, then there would be nothing left to steal, and nobody would be able to steal. Therefore, stealing cannot be stated as a universal law.

In the language of mental symmetry, this defines morality in terms of Teacher universality and Perceiver truth. It takes a Perceiver principle and then asks if it can be turned into a universal Teacher theory. If it can, then it is a valid moral law.

This concept flows naturally from the theory of mental symmetry. In fact, when I first thought of this idea a few years ago, I felt that I had come up with an original insight, and then I found out that Kant had described the same concept over two hundred years earlier.

In my analysis of Christianity, I suggest that an image of God emerges when universal Teacher understanding touches personal Mercy identity. I also suggest that a valid mental image of God must be constructed out of the bricks of conscience. If moral rules can be stated as universal Teacher theories, then Kant and I are saying the same thing, because we are both suggesting that conscience is ultimately rooted in the mental image of a Universal God. I have not looked in detail at all of the moral laws that Kant derived using this principle, but I suspect that they would be totally consistent with the Bible and with the theory of mental symmetry.

Kant also defines the Christian concept of ‘being born in sin’ in terms of the categorical imperative. He says that the natural tendency is for humans to act in ways that violate a universal law in order to get a specific advantage. Therefore, stealing only works if some people do it within an environment of overall honesty. As long as only a few individuals steal, then stealing is possible. But, if everyone were to steal, then stealing would become impossible.

This idea also follows naturally from mental symmetry. Personal identity resides within Mercy thought. In the human, Mercy strategy deals with individual experiences. Mercy and Teacher feelings struggle with each other. Mercy thought feels good when ‘me’ acquires specific good experiences, whereas Teacher strategy feels good when it discovers principles of universal order. Teacher thought wants a rule to apply everywhere; Mercy strategy is always looking for a personal exception. Reconciling these two conflicting mental modes forms a key element in my analysis of Christianity. God wants a rule to apply everywhere; I do not want the rule to apply to me.

So far, Kant and I are saying the same thing. However, I suggest that the interaction between the physical body and the mind provides at least a partial explanation for why a person is ‘born in sin’. As I mention elsewhere, the physical body fills Mercy strategy with experiences of physical pain and pleasure. When a strongly emotional experience comes in, Perceiver thought is mesmerized into ‘believing’ that this specific experience defines ‘truth’, while the strong emotions give Teacher thought the feeling that it is universal. Thus, not only does the Mercy exception violate the categorical imperative, but it ends up fooling the mind into ‘knowing’ and ‘feeling’ that this exception is a categorical imperative.

Is this a sufficient explanation for ‘being born in sin’? Possibly. However, I suspect that there may be an additional, deeper factor, which I do not believe that I have mentioned elsewhere. Behind the mind appears to reside an invisible life force which drives the mind, commonly known as the human spirit. It appears that the type of spirit which humans presently have predisposes them to pursue shortcuts to personal pleasure. Theologically speaking, I would relate this to the ‘fall of mankind’ and the ‘serpent in the garden’. I make this suggestion tentatively, but include it here for the sake of theological completeness.

Personal Transformation

Kant talks about an ‘old me’ and a ‘new me’, just as I do, and his definition of these two is also quite similar to mine. The old ‘me’ follows personal exceptions which violate the categorical imperative; the new ‘me’ submits to the categorical imperative. Using the language of mental symmetry, the old ‘me’ is based upon defining Mercy experiences and naturally violates universal Teacher order. The new ‘me’, in contrast, submits to the moral rules that are consistent with universal Teacher understanding.

Kant and I both agree in calling this sort of behavior righteous. In terms of mental symmetry, righteousness is Server action that is consistent with universal Teacher understanding. Again, I would agree with Kant when he distinguishes between righteous behavior and moral behavior. In the language of Kant, normal moral behavior is motivated by selfish reasons. It follows the rules in order to avoid punishment and gain personal reward. True righteousness, in contrast, is motivated solely by the categorical imperative. It acts in a certain way purely because this describes universal morality, and not because of any personal reward.

Stating this in the language of mental symmetry, normal moral behavior submits to Perceiver rules of cause and effect in order to have good Mercy results and avoid bad ones. Righteousness, in contrast, does not deal in the right hemisphere with Mercy experiences and the Perceiver link of cause and effect that ties them together. Instead, it is a left hemisphere relationship between the Server action involved in cause and effect and the Teacher theory that is supported by that Server action. (Contributor strategy ties these two together by connecting Perceiver links of cause and effect with Server actions.)

Why would a person choose to act morally even when he receives no personal reward? Kant says that this is the highest form of morality, but why? It appears that when the mind is given a choice, it will always choose the lowest strategy. Therefore, a higher mental strategy will only develop when a lower mental strategy fails. If I follow a moral rule for personal reward, I may say that I am following a categorical imperative, and I may be able to understand and describe exactly which categorical imperative I am obeying, but the mental pathway of righteousness will not become activated. My actions may be consistent with my words, but my actions are not being driven by my words. These two paths may be parallel, but they are not integrated.

In terms of MBTI®, this is the type of step that is needed to integrate Sensing with iNtuition. I should emphasize that this is not the step that occurs when a person ‘dies to childish identity’. That step involves the split between Thinking and Feeling, bringing head and heart together, or accepting Perceiver facts about ‘me’ in Mercy thought. As far as I can tell, integrating Sensing and iNtuition is the third step which occurs after Thinking and Feeling are first brought together and then after Perceiving and Judging are unified. Therefore, when Kant refers to this as the highest level of morality, I would agree.

It is with the next step that I would disagree with Kant. Kant insists that personal reward must always remain out of the equation and that morality must continue to be driven only by the categorical imperative. In contrast, I suggest that the purpose of following the categorical imperative in a righteous way is to integrate the mind at a higher level. Once this mental integration has been achieved and the new mental connections are sufficiently solid, then it is possible to reintroduce personal reward.

Redeeming the Old ‘Me’

And this is where I suggest that Kant is being misled by his pietist upbringing. He talks about constructing a new ‘me’, but he then abandons the old ‘me’ instead of redeeming it. In terms of mental symmetry, he describes letting go of a childish identity that is driven by childish Mercy feelings and living within a new personal identity that is guided solely by universal Teacher understanding. That is good, but it is only the first half of the journey. The next step is to allow this new identity to rebuild the connections of the childish ‘me’.

That is because the problem with childish identity is not the Mercy experiences and their feelings. Those are fine. Rather the problem lies with the way in which these experiences are tied together and the actions that are taken to reach these experiences. Therefore, once a person reaches the stage where his behavior is guided solely by the categorical imperative, he can then allow himself once again to feel Mercy emotions and experience personal pleasure, because he will now begin to experience this personal Mercy pleasure in a way that is consistent with universal Teacher order.

I suggest, in passing, that this provides an explanation for the virgin birth of Jesus, something which Kant thought was unnecessary. According to the theory of mental symmetry, male thought emphasizes the three confidence modes of Perceiver, Contributor and Server. Female thought, in contrast, focuses upon the three emotional modes of Teacher, Exhorter, and Mercy. The virgin birth says that in order to be perfect, Jesus could have a human mother, but required a supernatural father. I am saying the same thing. The problem with childish identity is not with the Mercy experiences. They are fine. Similarly, if a person lives by the Teacher words of a Holy Book, and if this verbal content is consistent with mental wholeness, as I suggest is the case with the Christian Bible, then the Teacher content is also fine. However, the Perceiver and Server content that ties everything together is not fine. It needs to change. Saying this another way, the female side of mental programming is fine, the male side is not.[1]

Why would Kant abandon the old ‘me’ and not rebuild it? Because, this is a logical byproduct of revealed truth. When I ‘believe’ that truth comes from a Holy Book, then I will only believe in that truth if I feel that its source is far more important than ‘me’. Thus, blind faith in revealed truth is always accompanied by an attitude of religious self-denial. Religious self-denial can handle rational thought if this thinking insists that personal identity remain suppressed and denied. When Kant suggests that the highest form of morality is a continual life of duty to the categorical imperative, he is being consistent with an attitude of religious self-denial. Similarly, when we examine the personal life of Kant, we see rational selfless behavior, duty and self-denial, but we do not see a joyous transformed personal identity. Using religious imagery, Kant made it out of the land of Egypt into the wilderness of self-denial, but he did not enter the promised land of the transformed life.

Kant also denies the existence of the supernatural—for logical reasons. A miracle is an exception to the universal law of nature. If moral behavior means obeying rules that are universal laws, then a miracle is obviously immoral because it violates universal law. How can a God of universal order act in such a way that violates universal order?

That is why my website includes a section on aliens and why I insist upon including aliens and angels as an aspect of the theory of mental symmetry. According to mental symmetry, human existence is mentally asymmetrical. The only way to restore symmetry to the theory of mental symmetry is by postulating the existence of a mirror-image realm with its own mirror-image universal laws. As far as I can tell, as long as a human assumes the four mental splits of MBTI®, then he remains locked within human reality. But, if he progresses to the stage of integrating Sensing and iNtuition, then the wall between human Sensing and alien ‘iNtuition’ also begins to break down. That is what the theory predicts.

Saying this more briefly, Kant must deny the supernatural because he views it as a violation of universal law. Mental symmetry, on the other hand, is forced to acknowledge the existence of a very specific type of supernatural—a mirror image realm—in order to complete its system of universal law. However, as I discuss in the section on aliens, the behavior of the supernatural really does seem to match what one would expect from a mirror-image universe. The Bible talks an awful lot about the supernatural, thus it is rather critical to come up with an explanation for miracles and the supernatural which does not violate the concept of a God of universal law and order.

A similar principle applies to Kant’s approach to free will. Kant suggests that a man is only free when he is driven entirely by internal forces and internally generated morality. Kant’s prime rationale for saying this is his premise that the mind can only know about itself, and that it cannot make any definite statements about external reality. For this same reason, Kant downplays the historical aspect of Jesus’ birth, death, atonement and resurrection, reducing all of this to mere internal concepts.

I agree with Kant that all aspects of Christianity should be internalized, but for a different reason, and my ultimate conclusion is also different. Mental symmetry suggests that the childish mind is programmed by the two shortcuts of idolatry: Mercy idolatry uses emotional Mercy experiences to mesmerize Perceiver thought with blind faith; Teacher idolatry uses Mercy importance to fill Teacher strategy with the words of some holy book or textbook. Both of these forms of idolatry play a vital role in developing the human mind, but if the mind is to become completely developed, then it must become free of this outside influence and become held together internally.

Why is this important? For the same reason that it is important to finish constructing a building before you take down the scaffolding. The building is the mind; the scaffolding is the physical body. After physical death, all that remains is the mind (along with possibly the spirit).

But, does one have to remain continually in this state of being internally driven? According to Kant, it appears so, because the internal world is all that can ever be known with certainty. In contrast, I suggest that one must be driven by internal structure long enough to integrate the final MBTI® split—the division between Introverted and Extraverted.

Remember that the mind will always take the easy way out. Therefore, the only way to achieve internal wholeness is to be driven entirely by internal content and motivation, as Kant suggests. If some external reason or structure exists, then the mind will hold on to that for its stability instead of clinging to internal content. I may know the internal content, and my external behavior may be consistent with this internal content, but until my behavior is motivated solely by internal content, I have not integrated the division between Introverted and Extraverted.

However, once this internal integration is sufficiently solid, then I can re-enter the external world. I do not have to stay locked within my mind. But, what about Kant’s assertion that only the internal world can be known and Kant’s downplaying of the historical aspects of Christianity?

Here I am surprised that Kant does not recognize what appears to me to be an obvious flaw in his logic. With his categorical imperative, he states that behavior is only moral if it can be stated in universal terms. When a Christian doctrine is purely mental, as Kant suggests, then it is not universal, because it applies only to the mind and not to the world. Therefore, the concept of universality demands that one take the step of faith and postulate that the internal doctrines of Christian salvation also occurred externally and historically in the real world at a specific time. If Christian doctrine is not both mental and historical, then it is not universal. Is this a step of faith? Yes. One cannot know for certain if external reality truly matches internal content. But, if the internal model of reality is sufficiently detailed, then as I mention in the previous section on Kant, the leap of faith becomes reduced to a step of faith—and this step of faith is driven by a desire to maintain universal law and not by a wish to violate it.

In keeping with this argument, it appears that integrating S/N and I/E may each ‘open up the doorway’ to some other realm. The division between S and N corresponds to the separation between natural and supernatural, with humans growing up locked within the natural world of Sensing. The I/E division appears to correspond to spiritual and material, with the spiritual being an invisible world and the material a physical one. I do not know whether the spiritual world is the same as the supernatural world. I have not encountered either one directly. Instead, I have only sensed internally that something is opening up as I go through the personal struggle of bridging these splits. However, if one wants to satisfy both Perceiver logic and Teacher universality, then one must postulate the existence of these extensions, and the Bible clearly compares the natural with the supernatural and visible with the invisible. For instance, Hebrews 11, the ‘faith chapter’, says that everything that is seen was made out of that which is unseen.

While we are comparing internal with external, I would like to suggest a possible reason why philosophy has such a problem reconciling  internal thought with external reality, or in philosophical language, why there is such a struggle between the rationalist and the empiricist. Blind faith has no problem bridging these two, because it uses defining experiences from the external world to program internal content. In the words of the Christian song, “Jesus loves me this I know; for the Bible tells me so.” But, once Perceiver thought wakes up from its childish slumber and begins to think, then there is no longer any such thing as 100% certainty. Instead, all that can be achieved is reasonable certainty. In addition, Perceiver confidence is not something that is given to me externally. Instead, it must be developed by myself, within my own mind. I will then wonder, like the philosopher, whether my internal knowledge and confidence corresponds to external reality, and I will never be able to regain the blind certainty which I had as a child.

However, if Teacher and Perceiver thought are both permitted to function, then this gap can be bridged. Perceiver strategy works out the facts as carefully as possible, turning the leap of faith into a step of faith, while Teacher strategy gives an emotional reason to take this step. That is because suggesting that the external world is like the internal world extends the universality of Teacher theory, leading to feelings of Teacher pleasure.

Jesus and Mental Symmetry

Kant views Jesus as the ultimate example of an individual who was internally driven in obedience to the categorical imperative. I agree with this assessment. However, it appears that he rejected the Christian doctrines about Jesus because he could not fit these concepts into his model. In contrast, I suggest that the theory of mental symmetry is sufficiently robust to handle these factors. This material is discussed in the book on Christianity, but it never hurts to describe something again from a different perspective.

Let us begin with the personality of Jesus. The theory of mental symmetry suggests that Jesus had the cognitive style of Contributor, and if you compare his behavior with that of the Contributor person, it corresponds.

Contributor strategy can operate in one of two major modes, which I refer to as the practical Contributor and the intellectual Contributor. In both cases, Contributor thought is building connections between Server and Perceiver content, but the type of content that is being connected is not the same. Why are there two types of content? Because of the mental split between words and actions, or in MBTI® language the split between iNtuition and Sensing. When dealing with iNtuition, Contributor strategy connects Server elements of words and grammar with Perceiver meaning. This leads to the intellectual Contributor. The practical Contributor, in contrast, lives in the world of Sensing and ties together Server actions with Perceiver facts of cause and effect. These two forms of Contributor thought actually describe two major modes of mental operation, because Contributor strategy lies at the core of the mind and its function involves the cooperation of several modes of thought. Thus, when I talk about the practical Contributor and the intellectual Contributor, I am not just referring to two types of Contributor persons (though this is a valid interpretation) but also to two major ways in which the entire mind can function.

The idolatry of the childish mind messes up practical Contributor thought by twisting the Mercy bottom line, ignoring the Perceiver rules, and taking Server shortcuts. The solution is to use intellectual Contributor thought to rebuild practical Contributor thought. If intellectual Contributor strategy is programmed with the right words, then it is possible to develop sane thinking. This intellectual mode of sane thinking can then be used to rebuild the practical mode of childish and idolatrous action. Let me say this again: In order to fix practical Contributor thought, you have to start again with intellectual Contributor thought and then use intellectual Contributor thought to rebuild practical Contributor thought. That is the overall process. The actual gluing together is going to involve Contributor strategy. Intellectual Contributor thought is going to be integrated with practical Contributor thought. The motivation will be provided by Mercy and Teacher feelings. Childish identity uses Mercy feelings to motivate corrupted practical Contributor thought. Intellectual thought, however, is driven by Teacher emotions. Practical Contributor thought feels good when it gains something specific for ‘me’. Intellectual Contributor thought feels good when it discovers a universal Teacher theory.

Now let us look at the details. I will list the Christian doctrine and then describe how it follows from mental symmetry. Notice that, as far as I can tell from my limited look at Kant, these are all aspects of Christianity which mental symmetry can explain and the theory of Kant can not.

Jesus comes from God: Intellectual Contributor thought helps to build universal Teacher theories, and intellectual Contributor thought works with universal Teacher theories. If an image of God forms as universal Teacher thought touches ‘me’ in Mercy thought, then this means that Jesus (intellectual Contributor thought) lives with God (universal Teacher thought).

Jesus is the living word: Intellectual Contributor thought is being programmed through the shortcut of words. These words are being used to build an internal understanding of universal theories.

Jesus holds all things together: Contributor strategy builds solid connections between Server words and actions and between Perceiver facts and meanings. These are the core connections of the mind.

Jesus became flesh: Intellectual Contributor thought extends to include practical Contributor thought. What was just theory turns into practice. This is a key step in using intellectual Contributor thought to rebuild practical Contributor thought.

Jesus was recognized by angels and demons while he was on earth: ‘Supernatural’ creatures appear to live within the mirror-image realm of intellectual thought. If Jesus came from the intellectual realm, then it makes sense that being who lived within that realm would recognize him.

Jesus is both God and man: Contributor thought can operate in one of two modes: Intellectual Contributor thought works with universal Teacher theories; an image of God is based in a universal Teacher theory. Practical Contributor thought works with specific Mercy goals; a human is a finite being who pursues specific Mercy goals. It is possible to tie these two modes of Contributor thought together.

Jesus is the only path between God and man: The only valid way to bridge universal and specific is through Contributor thought. Any other method leads to mental contradictions and attacks mental wholeness.

Man cannot save himself from sin: Practical Contributor thought cannot fix itself. Instead, it has to be rebuilt through the help of intellectual Contributor thought.

Doctrine of Atonement

Kant has a rather involved explanation for the atonement of Jesus which involves some sort of interaction between the old ‘me’ and the new ‘me’. It appears that he is attempting to generate a completely internal process. I agree with Kant that this process needs to be represented as a set of mental steps. However, I suggest that the theory of mental symmetry provides a very elegant explanation for the Christian doctrine of atonement. Our starting point is the same as Kant’s, though stated in different terms: God is based in Teacher thought and wants universal structure. Man is driven by childish Mercy feelings and wants good experiences for ‘me’, even if this violates universal principles of morality. Here is the explanation for atonement: Jesus’ sequence of birth, death and resurrection turns individual human exceptions into universal divine law. Thus, when God looks at sin, he no longer sees human chaos but rather divine order.

The key to understanding this is to realize that every violation of a rule leads only to temporary life. In theological language, sin is only pleasurable for a moment. But, eventually violating a universal rule of morality will to come to a dead end. Theologically speaking, sin leads to death.

If morality is defined in terms of Kant’s categorical imperative, then this will always be the case. That is because the categorical imperative defines moral goodness as behavior that can be generalized—actions which everyone can continue doing.[2] Therefore, sin will always lead in some way to some form of death, and practical Contributor thought that is based in childish idolatry will always fall apart eventually. It then becomes possible for intellectual Contributor thought to reach down and put practical Contributor thought back together. That is the resurrection, which replaces the old ‘me’ that was driven to sin with a new ‘me’ that is held together by the categorical imperative.

But why must there be an intermediate step of death? Because the mind will always take the easy way out. As long as practical Contributor thought can continue to function, it will not need help from intellectual Contributor thought. I may have memorized all of the right doctrines, but I have not made them mine. It is only when practical Contributor strategy ‘reaches the end of its rope’ that the higher mental strategy of intellectual Contributor thought can put practical Contributor thought back together. This turns the process of birth, death and resurrection into a universal sequence which covers every human behavior. And a universal sequence is precisely what Teacher strategy wants.

Notice that a universal sequence is more extensive than a universal theory. A universal sequence involves both words and actions, whereas a universal theory is limited to words. This explains the divine motivation for having Jesus live, die and be resurrected. Before incarnation, Jesus was the living word—universal but restricted to the iNtuitive realm of words. After resurrection, Jesus was given a name that was above every other name. The universality now extended beyond iNtuitive words to include both iNtuitive words and Sensing actions.

Why did Jesus have to die? Because the mind always follows the lowest strategy. Jesus the man in practical Contributor thought had to come to a dead end in order to be brought back to life by Jesus the God in intellectual Contributor thought. Once this happens, then the Teacher strategy of God could regard birth, death and resurrection as a truly universal theory and not just as a verbal universal theory.

Salvation through a confession of faith: Intellectual Contributor thought is being programmed through the shortcut of words. Therefore, if practical Contributor thought is to be rebuilt, it must hold on to the words of intellectual Contributor thought.  

Faith without works is dead: Intellectual Contributor has been programmed with words. These words are being used to rebuild practical Contributor thought, which uses actions. This rebuilding will only occur if words change actions. Thus, faith must lead to works.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity: Childish identity is based upon specific defining Mercy experiences. A childish mind is so blinded by specific ‘trees’ that it cannot see the ‘forest’ of universal experiences. Instead, a comprehension of Mercy universality, which Kant refers to as Christian community, will only emerge as Perceiver strategy wakes up and builds solid connections between Mercy experiences. This also explains why the Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. There is a chapter on this in the book on Christianity.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit: Blasphemy uses words to belittle something. Christian salvation uses the verbal content of intellectual Contributor thought to replace the old idolatrous ‘me’ within practical Contributor thought with a new ‘me’ held together by Perceiver truth. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit uses words to attack the environment of the new ‘me’ instead of using words to build it up. Obviously, you cannot recover from a step which contradicts the solution.

Declared righteousness: The distinction between words and actions explains the difference between being declared righteous and actually being righteous. Declared righteousness means verbally assenting to the verbal doctrines of Christian salvation. When intellectual Contributor thought is separated from practical Contributor thought, then only this is possible, because the universal doctrines of intellectual Contributor thought are limited to the iNtuitive realm of words. However, when words and actions become united and Sensing integrates with iNtuition, then it is possible to move beyond a verbal declaration of righteousness to actual righteousness.

Asking Jesus to come into your heart and save you: Intellectual Contributor thought is programmed by an understanding of the words of Christian doctrine. ‘Asking Jesus into your heart’ believes that the verbal theory contained within abstract Contributor thought corresponds to a person within practical Contributor thought. Asking this ‘person’ to ‘save you’ acknowledges that practical Contributor thought has fallen apart and needs to be put back together by intellectual Contributor thought. Saying this another way, ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ is a mental recapitulation of incarnation for it takes the mental ‘word’ of God and makes it ‘flesh’.

Jesus’ name is above all other names: The word Jesus means salvation, and the angel told Mary to call the baby Jesus because ‘he will save his people from their sins’. How did Jesus bring salvation? Through the sequence of birth, death, and resurrection. Thus, if Jesus’ name is above all other names, then this means that the sequence of birth, death, and resurrection is a universal principle that applies everywhere, bringing us back to the concept of viewing atonement as a way of turning personal exception into universal order. Because the name of Jesus is above every other name, it can always cover the personal exception of the individual with the universal sequence of salvation.

And, by using mental symmetry to work out the mirror image of the Christian plan of salvation, it then becomes possible to extend this plan of salvation to the mirror-image realm of aliens and angels. I explore that concept further elsewhere on the website.

By now, I hope that one can see that the theory of mental symmetry may use the same rational and mental approach as Kant, but it extends the concepts of Kant sufficiently to construct a comprehensive model of systematic theology. Again, it is quite possible that I have made some minor errors in my analysis, but the overall structure seems to be too compelling to reject the entire tapestry because a few logical threads are out of place.

One final comment. Kant did his work over two centuries ago. It is amazing that he was able to take his rational analysis as far as he did. Unfortunately, his incomplete model of Christian morality with neither supernatural power nor personal atonement laid the foundation for German liberal theology, which reduced Christianity to mere morality and social ethics. As a result, the typical Christian reaction today is to equate rational Christian analysis with liberal theology. However, I suggest that the problem was not with Kant’s approach, but rather with his inadequate model of human behavior. Given the right model, I suggest that it is possible to follow the rational approach of Kant to its logical conclusion.

Most of my information on Kant’s view of religion came from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, with some additional information about his approach to specific Christian doctrines here in this pdf.


Footnote 1 I am making a logical leap here from Christianity to Judaism. I have analyzed Christian doctrine in some detail. I am familiar with Judaism and have a general idea of how it fits into the big picture but I have not analyzed the Jewish rituals that are found in the Jewish Tanach, or Christian Old Testament. 

Footnote 2 I define moral goodness as that which leads to mental wholeness. As far as I can tell, this is consistent with Kant’s definition. Why does evil comes to a dead end? Because it satisfies some mental modes at the expense of other modes of thought.