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generally accepted because of his doctrine of the unknowableness of God. From the first, he professed to follow on the lines of Mansel, so far at least as Mansel's Exposition of the Limits of Religious Thought was concerned, while Huxley, though only late in life, tells us how he had been influenced by his early study of Mansel. Fiske, too, as we learn in his Cosmic Philosophy, based his system chiefly on the ideas of Mansel, the acknowledged pupil of Sir William Hamilton; and the main theme of all these men is that logically God cannot be known.
Most influential of all Agnostics during the last half century was Darwin, who wrote much on evolution by natural selection, wishing thereby to explain and prove what he named the origin of species; yet in the end he professed to prove nothing, for he says : ‘In fact the belief in natural selection must at present be grounded entirely on general considerations—we cannot prove that a single species has changed ; nor can
nor can we explain why some species have changed and others have not,' and— The cases discussed .. . . are valuable to me (though odious and damnable) as showing how profoundly ignorant we are on the causes of variation. Can this theory truly be called science, when the cause of the variation is unknown ? Is not science knowledge that is fixed, certain, established ? If not, then what is named science has no surer foundation than the ' superstitions' which these scientists so much deplore in the Christian Church. Locke, Hume and Kant each limited the term experience to an immediate knowledge of finite objects. With them God was not and could not be an immediate object of experience. Only sense objects are to them immediate matters of fact, and exist independently of any known relation of ideas. Even with Locke the
idea of God is not innate, and is not and cannot be matter of experience. With Hume matters of fact are limited to the testimony of our senses ; so with him the mind can never possibly find the effect in the cause, even with the most accurate scrutiny and examination.
* All our knowledge begins with experience, but it does not follow that therefore it all derives from experience. For it is just possible that experience is itself a compound.' The other element of experience to which he here refers is the à priori element in his “Transcendental Logic.' He holds that all our real knowledge is confined to objects of sense; transcendental logic is understood by him to supply the certainty in all our phenomenal knowledge. Further, he says that when Reason transcends the limit of our sense knowledge it loses all its substantial reality; for, with him, notion without perception is void. Thus the teleological and ontological arguments or proofs for the existence of God (He being not a matter of experience) are void of reality, and at best are only a basis for a blind faith in God.
We see, then, that in one form or another the philosophy of these men was agnostic in reference to the existence of God. Mansel bids us turn to the study of the Bible, where we find a revelation of God, especially through Christ, and he makes its divine authority to rest on the evidential value of miracles and prophecy. But if, in consequence of the limits of human thought, I cannot have a real, logical and experimental knowledge of God, a study of the Bible will avail me nothing. If the idea of God is not in man, no amount of study can create it in him ; so my chief contention is that reason-knowledge infinitely transcends all sense-objects and is as truly a matter
of experience as is a knowledge of sense-objects : consequently a sound theoretical philosophy alone can furnish to man a real and true experience of God,
unto all the riches of the full assurance of understanding,' unto the perfect man,' and thus only can he ‘be filled with all the fulness of God,' the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.'
All forms of philosophy are false which deny to man a true experience of God as Infinite. Equally false is any system that denies the essential and inseparable oneness of true religion and morality in Church and State. In fact, all knowledge, be it true or be it false, is matter of experience. Our aim is to show that logical philosophy is the demonstration of the real possibility of man realizing a true experience of God.
We must remember that no particular science of physics, chemistry, or of biology, nor all such sciences collectively, nor any natural experimental psychology so-named, has explained or can explain the eternal foundation of things. Yet without such an explanation it is impossible to understand the real distinction between true and untrue knowledge, true and untrue wisdom, the spiritual and natural man; why the things of God are foolishness unto the natural man ; why a man's wisdom and knowledge may pervert him, as forcibly declared by Isaiah ; and why the spiritual man searches all things, even the depth of the Godhead, according to the words of Paul; or ' understands the mysteries of the kingdom of God,' according to the words of Christ. A sound logical philosophy cannot slur over these great sayings of Paul and Christ. The words of Hegel, which Dr. Hutchison Stirling makes his motto in his Secret of Hegel, express the same belief in the possibility of understanding these mysteries of life :
Hidden Secret of the Universe is powerless to resist the might of thought; it must unclose itself before it, revealing to sight and bringing to enjoyment its riches and its depths.' According to the present general teaching of science, philosophy, and religion, the above teaching of Christ, of Paul and of Hegel, deals with subjects beyond our knowledge, in consequence, it is affirmed, of the limited intellectual capacity of man, or because spiritual things are beyond the sphere of logic.
It is also generally maintained that our knowledge ultimately rests on hypotheses, among which the two most important are the hypothesis of creation and the hypothesis of evolution, the latter being declared to hold the field in preference to the former. But mere hypothesis is no more than mere opinion, and so is not science, as it is absurdly claimed to be. We hold that the hypothesis of evolution cannot be presented as a logical system of philosophy: our object is to show that 'creation is no mere hypothesis, but may be presented as a logical system of truth. Men have come to regard deep and vital questions as mere matters of opinion ; indeed, it is commonly said that on these points there must be a difference of opinion. This is not the verdict of reason, but a decision of false philosophy. Reason only says there is a difference of opinion, not that there must be ; or at least it does not affirm that mere opinion is truth. “An opinion,' Kant says, ' is a view of any subject held on insufficient evidence,' while Grote says : ‘Every opinion of every man is true '-' as things appear to me, so they are to me, and as they appear to you, so they are to you,' and he wishes to confirm the truth of opinion by saying, “The reason of one man differs most materially from that of another.' This shows he had not grasped the true conception of Pure
Reason, which, as Milton says, “is man's being.' Much the same confounding of opinion with reason is seen in Macaulay, for he asks, “Whose opinion is to decide that?' Dr. Stirling says in reply to this: 'If it were a question of an Algebra, a Geometry, an Astronomy, a Chemistry, I suppose it would never occur to ask about the wisest and best, and whose opinion is to decide that.' He (Macaulay) did not know that a logical philosophy must be an exact science. We find, however, Paul's view is not in agreement with the idea of the necessity of difference of opinion. He prays that “all may be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment’; and that is what is meant by 'keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,' and 'if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.' Paul, as a true philosopher, recognizes the possibility of men knowing the truth, for he speaks of their hearts being comforted, ‘being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.' Thus, opinion is banished with Paul as in true Philosophy, when the full assurance of understanding is gained, just as is the case in any exact science.
The method adopted by the critics in what is called the Higher Criticism of the Bible, both before and since the time of Darwin, has never been strictly scientific. It has resulted in a mere collection of various opinions founded on insufficient evidence, and cannot, therefore, be called an exact science. This equally applies to what is named Christian agnosticism and evolution, for no evolutionist nor Higher Critic of the Bible dare venture to call his theory an exact science. They themselves cannot,