Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

message, no revelation, no instruction respecting the nature of God, in regard to which alone we desire instruction.' God has revealed Himself in the Christian Religion-given us to know what He is; so that He is no longer something secret, something hidden from us.

With this possibility to know God, there is now imposed on us the duty to know Him.'

If, then, Logic is the Science of Thought, Reason, and of God, it must also be the Science of Man, of Christ, and of Nature: and in the ultimate, all must be involved in the Science of the Ego of 'I.' As man in his thought is Ego, he is the starting-point of philosophy.

The ultimate goal of philosophy, then, is the exposition of the fundamental nature of Christianity. This involves an exposition of Logic, Nature, and Spirit, in their absolute essential relation. Christianity is based entirely on the Person of Christ, for essentially Christ is Christianity, and Christianity is Christ : and Christ is God, the God-man, Son of God and Son of Man.

The philosophy of the Person of Christ is fundamental to the philosophy of Nature, the philosophy of Spirit, and so also to the philosophy of Religion. The philosophy of Christianity is the philosophy of the totality of Being—or of All in All—the Ego (I). It is the business of philosophy to expound the rational nature and relationship of the individual, the Church and the State. Logical philosophy is thus required to explain the nature of the universal bond of the totality of Being which is essentially Thought, in and through which all things consist or hang together. 'In a word, philosophy demands an explanation of existence as existence' in its necessity and freedom; as truth, in opposition to error, it is the absolute idea, developed logically

from a single principle into a universal system of cognition—and that principle is the absolute selfconscious Ego, the Universal I; and self-consciousness is Personality, which has its true manifestation in man, the image of God.

CHAPTER III

THE NEED OF A SOUND, CONCRETE, LOGICAL

PHILOSOPHY

THA

HAT a sound logical philosophy is a great and

pressing need of the present day must be evident to all careful observers of the various conflicting currents of thought with regard to the nature of philosophy, of science, and of religion. For want of uncontrovertible, apodictic principles of thought, agnosticism, a term understood to refer chiefly to the unknowableness of God, meets with too ready approval and acceptance. Most of the earlier philosophers professed not only to believe in, but to know God : the main theme of our latest philosophers and scientists is that, logically, God cannot be known.

Huxley used the word “agnosticism' to denote the “ New Philosophy. The term is utterly out of keeping with the ideas of true science, philosophy, and logic. No scientist, philosopher, or logician can

'consistent' agnostic. What does Huxley mean by the term ? for he certainly claims to think, to reason, and to know. He speaks of four ignorances : first, we are ignorant of that which constitutes the necessary relation between cause and effect; second, we do not know what substance is—we know the qualities of things but not their substance; third, we know of no fixed element of certainty in the external world—all things are in essential change, therefore, for anything we know to the contrary, anything may become anything ; fourth, What consciousness is we know not,' “What I can know must be in my consciousness,' but consciousness is constantly changing, matter and spirit are but names for the imaginary substrata of groups of natural phenomena '--' matter' and 'spirit' are names for an unknown and hypothetical cause or condition of states of consciousness.' 'Fact I know; and Law I know; but what is this Necessity, save an empty shadow of my own mind's throwing ?' He says: One great object of my essay was to show that what is called “ materialism " has no sound philosophical basis.' 'The fundamental doctrines of materialism, like those of spiritualism, and most other “isms,” lie outside the limits of philosophical inquiry,' yet he says: With a view to the progress of science, the materialistic terminology is in every way to be preferred,' and 'We may express the phenomena of matter in terms of spirit; or the phenomena of spirit in terms of matter.' Thus, in spite of his ' agnosticism,' he is a dogmatist for the gnosticism of what he calls science, which he thinks gives him knowledge enough to demolish all certainty of knowledge of theology and religion. He goes so far as to say: 'Candid persons will admit that in a different condition of things two and two may not be four, and that two straight lines may inclose a space.' Then he says : ‘With scientific Theology Agnosticism has no quarrel': but adds, “The scientific theologian admits the agnostic principle.' If science were truth, this might be, but the science which Huxley names demonstrative and which rests merely on 'an inductive hypothesis' is not truth. Referring to Darwin's Theory of Evolution, he says: Its logical basis is precisely of the same character,' rests upon exactly as secure a foundation as the

be a

6

6

[ocr errors]

Copernican theory of the motion of the heavenly bodies.' His New Philosophy,' his Reason and Logic are as utterly illogical and baseless as his socalled demonstrative evidence. Further, he says: 'I do not very much care to speak of anything as unknowable'; but confesses he

but confesses he' once or twice used the word in this sense, even with a capital U.' If Agnosticism only means a confession of ignorance, why all this fuss ? It is no New Philosophy or new light. It is, however, intended to mean much more than such confession involves. According to Huxley, a sound philosophy does not concern itself with 'the truth of a particular form of Theology, but with the logical philosophical form of Theology, but no trace of any attempt to find such a theology exists in his works. We may note here he prefers Hume to Kant. He holds that Hume was the most acute thinker of the eighteenth century-even though that century produced Kant.' Why does he do so? Is it because Kant seeks in his Critique of Pure Reason to refute the scepticism of Hume's philosophizing? It is also pertinent to ask why does he quietly ignore the à priori necessity and universality of Kant's cognitions and prefer Hume's false or empirical à priori, and then claim to have Hume and Kant on his side ? Yet Huxley, in all his reasonings and conclusions claims to be a philosopher as well as a scientist, and in defence of his Agnosticism appeals for confirmation of the soundness of his reasoning to Hume, to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Hamilton's Philosophy of the Conditioned, and to Dean Mansel's Lectures on the Limits of Religious Thought.

Herbert Spencer, the agnostic philosopher of evolution, considers his own system sound and good, but evidently thinks, with regret, that it has not been

a

« AnteriorContinuar »