Hegel says that the Church orders the individual to behave, promising this if he does so, threatening that if he misbehaves. The Church says that God gives each individual free will and then threatens Hell and promises of heaven in an effort to cripple that free will. Hegel calls the root of this sort of religion either meaningless or an outright contradiction. Thus far, Hegel is in accord with the tenets of philosophy as championed by Kant. In terms of the issue of morality, there is unity of definition between Hegel and Kant. Kant believed that morality was good even if it did not accomplish what it was intended to accomplish, which is the opposite of saying that you will be given the reward of eternal heaven if you are good and eternally punished if you are bad. To the contrary, Kant and Hegel agree that the natural duty, or categorical imperative, on which morality rests is expressed as follows: "Act so as to treat humanity, in yourself or any other, is an end always, and never as a means only." By "only" Kant meant that it is not bad to find useful value in goodness, but that without fundamental inherent value in goodness in and of itself, morality would not be complete. In other words, Kant and Hegel agree that it is the moral condition, the condition of living goodness, which is a natural condition for man; he will not experience the goodness of goodness if he is ordered to be good under the threat of Hell or the promise of Heaven.
In "The Positivity of the Christian Religion" Hegel write that morality in the time of Jesus had
sunk from the freedom which is its proper character to a system of. . . usages. . . In obedience to the moral law. . . alone did (Jesus) acknowledge the merit which deserved a share of blessedness in another life.
However, that share was not the reason for morality but was merely an extension of goodness, not a reward or result. Similarly, Kant believed that morality, the basis not of reli...
All About Christianity. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 20:32, April 27, 2015, from https://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304005647.html