Kant’s Moral System as Coherence, Accountability, Agency and Warrant

October 29, 2011

By Daniel Sienkiewicz

Kant's grave

In The Sunic Journal of October 18th, on Christian Zionism, Kevin MacDonald expressed frustration over Christianity’s hold on people, particularly being of concern as it tends to be a universalizing religion, not especially concerned for Whites as a group, thusly leaving Whites susceptible to a demographic decline perhaps into extinction even. That vulnerability is in part due to Christianity’s ties to Judaism; by contrast to Christianity’s being potentially about just anyone who might take it up, Judaism is a religion which is concerned basically for the well being of an exclusive nation – Israel, and an exclusive people, Jews – with that, they have undertaken machinations to use the vulnerability of Christianity; they have also been able to overcome what anti-Jewish defenses that exist in the text and tradition of Christianity.

In later weeks I will discuss non-religious facets to an overall quest for innocence – of which Christianity is a part – that leave us vulnerable as a group.

However, since Professor MacDonald is searching for means to encourage Whites to adopt religious ways that will conform to reality and serve their own interests as Whites, I will begin with some of the things that brought me around. You see, I went through the infamous “phase” in my early twenties; while people who are earnestly attempting to practice Christianity will hate to hear it called a phase, some of the things that brought me around were as follows:

I visited a few evangelical and fundamentalists churches and felt a bit foolish. But you know? Some things about life were so horrible to me that I almost had to believe that Christianity was true; some things about life were like some kind of torture. I needed some kind of agreement with people over the things that I cared about – things should be better, clearly. So I pressed on with my personal evangelizing for and of the true Christianity – making a fool of myself; would be more embarrassed: if I did not look back in empathy and realize that I could not simply shrug off 2,000 years of European tradition, all the sacrifice, all the devotion, as if it were nothing; and if I did not know that I was trying to do the right thing – as are you, Christian readership.

In a lecture by Professor Rom Harré from Oxford, he discussed morals with utmost sincerity. I was able to understand that morals are indeed, the most important thing in the world; and he added that people need moral orders – but moral orders, the plurality of the term, was a large clue in my liberation from mere tradition, custom and habit – it meant that there were different moral systems; and one might seek one out that serves those interests which they hope to realize. Ultimately, I would begin to consider a moral order that would circumscribe and serve the interests of Whites, and by that I mean persons of indigenous European descent.

But prior to that was another crucial step in liberating me from the customs and habits of traditional religion – The moral system of the Christian thinker, Immanuel Kant. It provided, in all honesty, a more clear, sensible, fair and intelligible rationale than what I had read in the Christian text; but one that did not in all ways correspond with what was in the Christian text. Since it helped me, I am hopeful that it will help others in taking a step to moral order conducive to their own interests as Whites, while not exactly being guilty to others, either. Now, do not beat me up because Kant was talking in those universalistic terms. First things first; all thinkers have to take Kant into account. I have updated his system with the contemporary philosophical considerations of coherence, accountability, agency and warrant; I will move toward more specifically native European interests in subsequent discussions.

Further interesting notes – When not obsequiously holding the door for the late Kara Kennedy after “Theory of Soviet Foreign Policy” classes at Tufts, I took religion classes as something I might cope with, if nothing else; including a class in critical bible study which I’d taken expecting my earnestness to be reinforced, not contradicted: but the obvious man made-ness of the Bible became apparent – for example, The Revelation had to have had at least four different authors. There are sundry other examples of obvious fabrication – i.e., definitely not the hand of god. One of my religion professors was not especially patient with my “phase”. He asked me flippantly, “Did you read all the Kant?” I answered “No, only the last chapter as you’d assigned, on ‘religious intolerance’ being the greatest ignorance.” He grunted and dismissed me in frustration. But you see, at that point I did not want to hear that my devotion could be considered ignorant, because I was well meaning indeed. Maybe with a little more patience, I’d have come back to it sooner. I cannot say that I did not try though, as some things were shining in that Kant – so, what did I do? I went to the library, looked at it again and realizing that it was something I’d need, in my rash state of mind, I attempted to steal the book. Electronic door security detectors-sensors were new then and the buzzer caught me – how embarrassing! And ironic – it is the one book that will tell you that you should never steal.

It was not until five years later that I picked up the book again and it made the worst of the torture stop. So, if you have not read it already, I can save you some time and anguish, having put it here in updated and capsule form.

Kant’s Moral System as Coherence, Accountability, Warrant and Agency

It is vogue nowadays to deride Immanuel Kant as the quintessential “universalizer”, now that twentieth century science, mathematics and philosophy have sufficiently disproved what Kant considered to be “the imperative foundation of universal principles, always good for all people and all circumstances.” The disproving of Kant’s quest does not, however, eliminate the usefulness of his system as a practical topoi – or framework in simpler English. Here is a practical update of his framework, using the contemporary philosophical concerns of Coherence, Accountability, Warrant and Agency.

I. Principles versus Sensibilities: Principles are guidelines and ideal rules which persons maintain to give them character and coherence. Coherence is the first task of any individual in the world; it means to make sense of things in a consistent manner. In following up upon principles set forth, one may be Accountable, viz. able to provide explanations of their actions for responsible, defensive reasons; and one may establish Warrant, the credibility for proactive endeavor. E.g., if one’s actions are misunderstood or worse, false and negative accusations are made against them, they can refer back to the principles that they following and be sure of them self. Kant calls this being sure of oneself, ‘freedom‘; as such, one is freed from Arbitrariness: the confusion of natural flux; false and negative accusations; trivialities; and, of especial importance, freed from natural inclinations which may pull them in a negative direction. Finally, in that regard, as has been pointed out since Kant’s time (e.g. by Rom Harré in personal conversation), in referring back to these principles, one establishes their self Agency, proving that they are the causal agents of their own actions. Now, if one gets carried away with principles, Speculation, to the point where they are not dealing with sensible reality, they can always refer back to sensible evidences. However, as it is easier to attend to sensible evidence than it is to abide by principles and to restore credibility in an un-kept principle, it is better to err in the direction of principles.

The most fundamental principle, “unanimity“, means to think in agreement with one’s self; e.g., if one comes to a conflict, one should think first of why one’s actions and words might be correct, not why they might be wrong. Coherence, Accountability and Agency are begun in this principle straight away.

II. A) Common Morals B) Popular Philosophy C) Principled Philosophy

A) Common Morals: As a matter of practical convenience, people usually start out accepting implicitly, “first principles” (e.g., don’t steal, don’t lie, be monogamous), common moral ideas that it is worthwhile to be good, fair and decent. Then myriad and pervasive influences tend to divert them from first principles. That, Kant calls -

B) Popular Philosophy: It is ubiquitous. People will cite many excuses for deviating from common morals: 1. Typical of these excuses is the statement, “everybody does it;” but the mere popularity of a notion, Kant would observe, does not provide an excuse to violate first principles (consensus can be wrong). Beyond mere conformity to popular consensus, however, there are more cynical and even less accountable deviations from first principles 2. Perhaps most venal is the claim of ‘scientific objectivity’, which disingenuously denies accountability for the personal choices of its practitioners and their subjects; e.g., ‘it’s just human nature.’ 3. People will cite religion, even, as in the statement, ‘it’s just god’s will” 4. Or, people may claim that the complex relativity of their existential situation would not allow them to act in accordance with first principles, when, in fact, they could have; 5. Finally, there is the practice of didactically reversing a first principle (as in teaching through reverse psychology) under the rubric of “teaching”, exemplified in the statement, “it was really for your own good”.

In any case, their arguments for breaking with common morals are of two kinds: “that’s just the [objective] way it is” or “that’s just my/their [relative] circumstances.” Inasmuch, for the brevity of their personal accountability (“that’s just”…), they are not well warranted, and typically not, in their assertions.

C) Principled Philosophy: To correct the negative effects of popular consensus, Kant would proffer that we re-establish our first principles on a universal foundation. Accordingly, we must test our principles by asking the universal question of them, ‘can this principle always be good for everyone?’ In practice, that means, treating people as ends in themselves – in contrast to ‘treating people as the mere means through which other things pass, as strict attendance to logics of nature, otherworldly ideas (Tillich, 1961) or technology would have it – Kant calls this, the most important principle, “good will“. Without good will: intelligence, beauty and fortune only make a person more terrible.

Despite this fine reasoning, it is true enough that Kant has been solidly refuted in seeking universal foundations. Nevertheless, as a practical outline, it is brilliant of itself and of practical use as criteria toward being Coherent, Accountable and establishing Warrant (all three necessary to establishing individuality and agency) in the confusing flux of contemporary society.

Part of what Kant tried and failed to do with his a-priori (universal foundations outside of nature) was to save the world from empiricism.

This is still one of our major problems, as Whites; as the empiricism of Kant’s predecessor, John Locke’s prejudice against classifications, his treating them as fictions which should give way to empirically based sensory impressions of individuals, was canonized as Civil Individual Rights in The U.S. Constitution. This sanctified rupturing of group responsibility – for prime example, “the White race” – has left us susceptible to exploitation and manipulation (especially by you know who).

It is to be corrected by hermeneutic tacking back and forth, managing the White Class from observations more closely read (sensible), such as D.N.A. sequences, to broader historical and temporal patterns, encompassed with narrative and other (speculative) conceptualization.

Look for my articles on coming Saturdays. I will be discussing:

  • “The Left” is a terribly mistaken code word for Jews
  • Addendum on Classification, Individuation and Gender
  • Sex as Sacrament vs. Sex as Celebration
  • …and more
Daniel Sienkiewicz is a White separatist expat from the Unite States lurking in Eastern Europe, a VoR writer and a guest of the Sunic Journal. Email him.