In his “Lectures on the Philosophical Doctrine of Religion,” Immanuel Kant considers and attempts to solve the problem of evil by combining several of the traditional theodicies. He focuses particularly on adherence to the moral law in order to work toward being worthy of happiness. For Kant, the fact that happiness becomes a labor toward peacefulness becomes a sort of indicator of God’s goodness. This strongly resembles John Hick’s “soul- making” theodicy. Hick claims that humans must deal with evil in this world in order to become stronger and more suitable for a union with God in the afterlife. In both cases, the problem of evil is apparently solved by emphasizing God’s goodness in encouraging the endurance of moral choices in humans through the burdens of the world. In this paper, I will not only identify problems with the general “soul-making” theodicy, but also the inconsistency of Kant’s formulation with the rest of his philosophy. This inconsistency rests primarily on Kant’s tendency to blur his distinction between theoretical and practical reason.

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