Imatges de pÓgina

has not discredited, but, if possible, strengthened and confirmed it. For it has left no place for the notion of the eternity of the world; and despite metaphysical questionings, science has come to recognize, with most absolute confidence, the validity and universality of the law of causation for the real system of the world, taken as a whole, as having had a beginning in time.

This reasoning is usually lacking in force for direct proof of the personality of God. Its immediate demand is for a “cause,” which, it seems, might be interpreted as merely a self-existent something, possibly a blind, unconscious, non-intelligent force, or niatter itself. But when number, seemed to leave its validity questionable. His impeachment of it is based on his own peculiar and unsustained doctrine of “phenomenalism.” This is, in substance, that the human understanding, as the faculty of knowledge, reaches only to "phenomena,” the world of sense and appearance, as apprehended through experience, furnishing no categories or concepts by which we may ascend, even with the help of the mind's own a priori forms, to a knowledge of supersensible realities or “things-in-themselves,” if there be such realities. Reason is held never to attain any knowledge, properly so called, of aught which is not presented to consciousness in and through sensible impressions. The “law of causality" itself is emptied of all notion of power or efficiency for the effects, and reduced to simply a time-relation or order of sequence, of only subjective value, a law of our empirical apprehension or of appearance, and applicable only to the world of temporal phenomena and experience. Of course, when this law of causation is thus voided of that which is its essential and deepest idea and conceived to be of such limited applicability, it cannot, under this false and mutilated conception, present the logical reach that will make plain the necessary relation of the finite, conditioned world to a self-existent, absolute first cause, But the rectification, by later and more thorough philosophical thought, of Kant's agnostic phenomenalism, and of his inadequate presentation of the law of causation, has more than given back the wonted force of the cosmological proof.

The trenchant criticism has served to bring out its invin. cible logic.

* This underlies the speculative interpretations of Schopenhaur and Von Hartmann,

the argument is analyzed in its essential implications it is, in fact, found to carry its force far toward decisive proof of a divine Personality. For, first, the first cause must be a free cause ; for that which is first alone is, and can be, truly unconditioned, self-existent, and self-determining. Secondly, a free Cause must be an intelligent Cause. For we never reach the sphere of freedom, or self-directive choice, until we emerge from the material, until we leave matter and reach mind. By consent of all great thinkers, self-determining being, being containing in itself the cause of its own activity, is necessarily conceived of as Mind, or intelligent Will. Matter, so far

, as known, acts under the fixed laws of necessity. Hence a self-determining personal Spirit or Mind, an intelligent Will, must be the first or originating Cause. Logical requirement thus compels us not only to assert the existence of a first, independent Cause, but to regard that Cause as a self-existent Personality. The cosmological reasoning thus prepares the way and suggests the truth which the teleological argument more definitely reveals and establishes.

2. THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT. Found among the earliest forms of theistic reasoning, this remains one of the most prominent and impressive. It is usually known as the proof from “design” or “final causes." liarity is that, while based, as is the cosmological, on the principle of causation, it considers specifically the marks of order and purpose everywhere in nature. Teleology, or clear adjustment of structure to predetermined ends, is so omnipresent a reality in the world that we are never out of sight of it. It is traceable in every part of nature, and in many parts so clearly and definitely that there can be no denial of it without violence to the spontaneous

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and normal judgments of the human understanding. It seems to be coextensive with the highest law of the universe. Teleology is, indeed, the great fact which makes the universe a cosmos instead of chaos, adapted to the comprehension and uses of the intelligence with which it has been crowned, and through which it becomes an intelligible and justified creation. Tracing the harmonies of nature's order, the regularity and constancy of its processes, and the subserviency of each part and of the whole to the use of the race, we are warranted in looking upon the world, and even the universe, as a “thought,” the realization of a mental ideal, with purpose or intent shining through it everywhere, from its primary adapted atoms, acting like “manufactured articles,” up through all the aggregations in which the atoms are built into a cosmos. The argument simply arrays before the view these clear marks of design, these previsive adaptations, with which nature is jeweled, as found in common observation and revealed by the various sciences, and draws the direct conclusion. For the necessary correlate to all this is a Thinker, as the Creator of the world. The excellence of the argument is that the conclusion is directly and inevitably to the intelligence and personality of the selfexistent First Cause.

It is fair to say that this form of proof, so conspicuous in the history of theistic reasoning, has been assailed by severe criticism in some modern philosophies and forms of speculative science. Most thorough examination, however, bestowed upon the three chief objections to its validity has made it clear that the criticism has failed either to remove the foundations of the argument or weaken the certainty of its conclusion.

The first objection sought to impeach the correctness

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of the major premise of the teleological syllogism, viz.: “Whatever bears marks of design had an intelligent author.” This has been alleged to be a mere inference, hastily drawn from experience with respect to the products of human industry. It has been declared to be

an outrageous stretch of inference," and the allegation is made that we have no right to assume that because we know from experience that houses, ships, watches, etc., are due to purpose, this, therefore, is the only cause that can produce orderly arrangement, and that, for aught we know, there may be other causes besides mind for it. But over against this suggestion of some other source than mind for nature's "orderly arrangement,” stands

, the unquestionable fact that intelligence is at once the natural explanation of adaptation of means to ends and the only source of it which we know. We do know intelligent will as the source of purposive structures, and we know of no other. No search through all the domain of experience, nor around the entire horizon of the realm of rational thought has helped us toward discovery of any other. No other is conceivable. The suggestion of it is absolutely gratuitous. Mind is left as the only known cause of specialized adaptations and structure. It is surely scientific to follow where the whole induction points. It is absurdly irrational to reject this in favor of some utterly unknown and inconceivable possibility.”

A second objection has assailed the minor premise of the syllogism : “The world shows marks of design." This criticism has called in question the trustworthiness


1 Hume, “Dialogue Concerning Natural Religion ;” J. S. Mill, “Three Essays on Religion.”

: Discussed at length in chapter iv. of Author's "Natural Theology."

of these “marks” by an effort to interpret them as but illusory appearances transferred and imposed by our subjective experience. Numerous speculative hypotheses, breaking away from popular and normal thinking, have treated them in this way, and sought to depict the world-existence, both inorganic and organic, including man, as formed without the agency of purposive intelligence in its construction. They allege that nature may be all that it is at present without the action of any predetermining thought. Physical organs and organisms are not made for use; the use is only a result of what the organ has come to be. But from the ancient notion of crediting all these things to the “fortuitous concourse of atoms ” down to the latest form of materialistic evolution, there has not been the least success in hushing universal nature's teleologic language nor in changing the normal judgment of human reason as to the truthfulness of that language. The earth has been too deeply and distinctly moulded into the forms of rational adaptation to useful ends to allow belief that it is all only an illusory imposition of our too busy constructive fancy. Moreover, the human mind has too strong a recognitive sense for the peculiar working and products of mind as such, to fail to recognize and own its own everywhere, discriminating it by direct insight and fellowship from every other kind of working. The failure of the evolution hypothesis, in its pure materialistic and atheistic formulations, to obtain or hold confidence, has not been due only to the large fact that it has utterly failed to account for the various great steps of progress and ascent in the world's order, but much more because it contravenes the normal and invincible teleological judgment of the world's scholarship. Only as evolu

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