Principles of Natural Theology / by George Hayward Joyce, S.J.

Chapter XV. Rival Theories Considered: -- (1) Pantheism, (2) Naturalism.

  1. Pantheism and Creationism. Hegelian
  2. Pantheism.
  3. English Idealist Systems -- (a) Absolute Idealism; (b) Mitigated Idealism.
  4. Naturalism.

1. Pantheism and creationism. We established in the preceding chapter that the true explanation of the existence of finite and contingent things must be sought in the creative act by which God, the Infinite and Necessary, called them out of nothingness by a free act of His will. Reason, we saw, leaves no room for any other conclusion: while every objection which is urged admits of a satisfactory answer. Yet the history of human thought shews plainly enough that the doctrine of creation ex nihilo has never been universally held: and its claim has never been more vigorously contested than at the present day. Three other solutions of the problem are possible -- pantheism, dualism, and materialism. The first of these theories denies that there is any substance except the Divine, and contends that the universe and all its constituents, including ourselves, are in some sort to he identified with God. Dualism asserts the existence of two self-existent beings -- God,the efficient cause of all perfection, and matter, the source of all limitation and imperfection, or according to some systems, a principle of evil, to which the origin of matter is to be attributed. Materialism dispenses with God altogether. Those who maintain it hold that the primary constituents of the universe -- -matter and its laws -- need no explanation other than themselves: they have always existed, and are the first cause and sufficient reason of all. From them the world has, by a natural process, evolved to its present state.

Dualism need not detain us: for no one now defends it. Reason cannot finally acquiesce in the idea that the source of all imperfection can possess in its own right the supreme perfection of self-existence. Indeed, there seems to be a manifest contradiction involved in the supposition that self-existence can be an attribute of two natures essentially contrary to one another. An identical property found in two distinct natures is proof of a common element. But here ex hypothesi the two natures are radically diverse -- the one the principle of actuality and perfection, the other of limit and imperfection. It may, indeed, be admitted that, faced with the physical and moral evil of the world, the human mind could hardly avoid entertaining at least for a time the hypothesis of two opposing principles. Even the greatest of Greek thinkers could not entirely emancipate themselves from it. Nor can it be said to be wholly extinct even now. The theory of a finite God, which we have examined and rejected (chap. xiii., § 3) is only intelligible on dualistic presuppositions.

As regards pantheism and materialism the case is far otherwise. These are perennial forms of human thought. Both systems have numerous adherents at the present time. Indeed, contemporary thought, outside the circles in which the influence of Christianity is still felt, accounts for the world, not in terms of creationism, but of pantheism or materialism. For, as we shall shew, the system now commonly termed naturalism, is, whatever its defenders may maintain, indistinguishable from materialism. The purpose of the present chapter is to estimate the worth of these two systems viewed as rivals to creationism. In this section we shall treat briefly of pantheism in general: and in the following one consider in more detail the special forms in which the doctrine is prevalent to-day.

It would be altogether beyond our scope to give even a cursory account of the various pantheist systems which have left their mark upon philosophical thought. Among the more important schools of antiquity, stoicism, which at one time -- in the second century of our era -- became the predominant philosophy of the Graeco-Roman world, was a system of undiluted pantheism. It taught the absolute identity of nature and God. The universal substance was, it held, simultaneously matter and spirit : these being but two aspects of the same reality, and not, as might appear, different the one from the other. From this substance all things, even the soul, are formed. Neoplatonism, the last effort of pagan philosophy to hold its own against the advancing tide of Christian thought, hardly, perhaps, deserves the name of pantheism, since it gave to God an existence outside the world. But it held all things to proceed from God by emanation, and hence to be formed of the Divine substance. In the middle ages pantheism reappears in Scotus Erigena (fl. c. 800 a.d.): and somewhat later in certain thinkers influenced by the Arabian philosophers. Towards the end of the sixteenth century, Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) revived the memory of classical pantheism. But it was reserved for the genius of the Jew Spinoza (1632-1677) to reestablish in Western thought what had long been regarded as an outworn creed. More recently the writings of Hegel (1770-1831) gave to the system a vogue, which in this country at least it still retains. Moreover, it must not be overlooked that it is the fundamental principle of Indian philosophy, which during the last century exercised, and still exercises, an undoubted influence on many European thinkers.

This much may be said to be the common teaching of all forms of Western pantheism: that there is but one substance, God, and that God and nature are identical: that God has no being outside of nature.{1} All the particular things of nature are regarded either as parts of the all-inclusive unity, or as modes in which this infinite being finds expression. They are not substances, but 'adjectives' of the one Reality. By their multiplicity and their perpetual change they testify to the infinity of the Divine Whole. Though the Godhead is rational, as is manifested by the reason immanent in the ordered universe and by the conscious reason of man, yet it must not be regarded as individual or personal. These conceptions involve limit: and God is above all limit. Nor does he exercise free-will. The inviolable regularity of natural law faithfully expresses the inevitability of the Divine action. Moreover, as he is the unity of all differences in the physical order, so is he likewise in the moral order. He must not be regarded as possessing moral goodness in our sense of the term -- as being merciful, or just, or holy. For from him flow also those activities which we regard as the direct contrary of these attributes. In some way he transcends the difference between all opposites: so that the terminology of human ethics has no applicability in his regard.

We might fairly claim to have already put the truth of creationism beyond all question by arguments bearing in different ways upon the subject. But in the comparison between it and pantheism we prescind for the moment from proofs already given. We approach the subject purely from the point of view of the difficulties which face any theory that finds in a Supreme Being the source and the explanation of the present world order. Every such philosophy must undertake to explain how from the Perfect and Necessary Being, who is the origin of all, has come the evil and the contingency which are so patent in our experience.

And we aver without hesitation that so far from pantheism removing or even lessening these difficulties, the solution which it imposes is wholly repugnant to reason, while that offered by creationism is one, which the mind can accept without doing violence to itself.

The full treatment of the problem of evil in the light of creationism is reserved for another chapter. The essential point to be observed in this connection is that according to this system evil and imperfection are altogether external to God. Physical evil, admittedly, abounds in the world around us. Indeed, imperfection, suffering and death, enter as necessary elements into the present order. That order is all directed to the harmonious working of the universe as a whole, not to the perfection of each several substance taken in isolation. We have already pointed out that no objection can be raised to the doctrine of creation on the score that God has formed a world in which the good of the whole demands the sacrifice of this or that particular part viewed as a separate entity. Moral evil is, in the nature of the case, confined to rational agents alone: and is referable, not to God, but to the misuse by such agents of the gift of free-will. Pantheism, however, is very differently situated. It makes evil actually inherent in God. The disease, the corruption, the suffering, by which the perfection of particular things is destroyed, belong, on its principles, to God Himself. These things are modes of the Divine being: and what is predicated of them is, in fact, predicated of Him. The conclusion, it is plain, stands in direct contradiction with the perfection of the Absolute. And this becomes yet more patent, if moral evil is taken into consideration. To the pantheist all actions, good and bad alike, are God's actions, for He is the sole real agent. The foul and criminal deeds which dishonour human nature are God's work: the responsibility is His. The necessary deduction from such a thesis is, as we have already argued, that moral distinctions are purely relative and destitute of objective validity: that on the divine plane the difference between the two is transcended. A system which leads to such an issue is surely self-condemned as an explanation of the universe.

Nor is the contrast less trenchant when there is question of explaining the mutability which characterizes the world of our experience. Creationism affirms that in God there can be no change: that necessary being as such excludes change. Were necessary being to gain a new perfection, or to lose one which it possessed, it would to that extent be shewn not to be necessary. What is necessary must always exist: it cannot either be acquired de novo, or pass out of being. But necessary being, the creationist holds, is a sufficient reason for the existence of mutable being. It can give existence to beings other than itself, which, inasmuch as their existence is dependent, are contingent and finite, and consequently admit of change. They can acquire further perfections, or lose what they possess. Pantheism, on the other hand, is forced to hold that the changes of the universe take place in necessary being itself: that what comes into being, and consequently is proved not to be necessary, is nevertheless an element in necessary being. It is even maintained by certain of its defenders (e.g., Bergson) that change is of the very essence of necessary being, in other words, that the necessary is essentially contingent: that what ex hypothesi is its own sufficient reason and is unconditioned, can only come to be when in due course the requisite conditions are realized. A theory which involves so flagrant a contradiction has little indeed to recommend it to our acceptance.

2. Hegelian pantheism. We touched in the last chapter on the relation of Hegel to Kant, and saw that the system of the former is in some respects a reaction against that of his predecessor, inasmuch as he rejects the distinction between phenomenal and noumenal reality. But in another aspect the influence of the earlier philosopher on the later is decisive. Hegel accepted Kant's theory of categories as the determining principles of phenomena. And since with him knowledge and being are one, and the phenomenal order is the only order, the categories become, not, as with Kant, merely principles of knowledge, but at the same time, principles of being. Further, he undertakes to shew that these categories possess ohjective existence by virtue of a logical necessity: that they cannot not be: that the world which is simply the categories as actualized, is real because the laws of reason forbid that it should be otherwise.

The basis of this contention lies in his views regarding the supreme idea. This he holds to be the idea of Absolute Self-consciousness. To assign the first place to being is, he urges, a palpable error. For the supreme idea must be the fullest of meaning: whereas those philosophers who have put the idea of being first, have chosen that which contains the least meaning of all. All other categories are but abstractions from the absolute idea: they express some portion only of its fullness. It is, moreover, exigent of realization. It passes by an inner necessity to actuality: and in its self-realization it calls into being all that it contains. Thus the Absolute Self-consciousness is, in truth, the sole fact, and may justly be termed God. The world-process is nothing else but the self-realization of God: and in the Whole we have the self-manifestation of the Divinity. The categories, which we see exhibited in natural types, are the partial expression of God's reality. As we have already said, they may be derived by abstraction from the Absolute. These categories of nature form the lower stages of a great ascent. Through them we pass by a strict logical necessity -- a development of thought which is out of all relation to time -- from the bare idea of being to the highest of all notions, that of self-conscious spirit.

The pantheism which we have here summarized appears at first sight to regard the world as spiritual through and through -- as being the manifestation of the self-existent absolute spirit. Yet a more careful consideration will shew that this is far from being the case: and that Hegelian idealism, in its theory of the origin of finite being, involves us in the impossibilities of pure materialism. Here the account of the development by which the absolute is reached claims our attention. It has two divergent aspects irreconcilable the one with the other. On the one hand it is declared to be out of relation to time, and to be a matter of purely rational necessity. On the other, it is identified with the actual course of events occurring in the time-series. The history of the world, as Hegel conceives it, is an activity determined by its final cause. It is destined to issue in spirit, conscious of itself as the explanation of the whole process, the presupposition of every previous stage. This is the end-in-view which has governed the process from the beginning. What in nature is mere potentiality attains actualization, when spirit becomes conscious of itself as free. This result is differently mediated in different spheres. For man as a social being it is the work of the state. In the sphere of knowledge it is the work of philosophy. The final perfection thus reached is the development of the Absolute. The development takes place in time, but time is unessential to it. It is manifest, however, that here we have a difficulty which cannot be thus summarily dismissed. If the development is a matter of a timeless logical necessity, there can be no question of a real evolution, historically conditioned. The term of the process must be present from the first. A temporal evolution is no more possible than in the case of the conclusion of a mathematical theorem. There, too, we distinguish between principles and resultant conclusion; but the conclusion is not reached by a development in the physical order.

Indeed, as conceived by Hegel, the Absolute is not really comparable to a derivative conclusion. It is the principle of the whole: and the so-called principles of its development are mere abstractions from its reality. It is to this aspect that the system owes much of its speciousness. The less perfect is represented as having its explanation in the absolute and perfect: and the absolute is shewn us as the necessary presupposition of all things. Yet we see that when he applies his philosophy to the concrete facts the order is reversed. He gives us a time-development: and so far from the perfect accounting for the less perfect, the latter is found at each stage to be productive of the former, the processes of nature issuing at last in conscious spirit. But this is precisely the position of the materialist. The fundamental error of that system is that the less is conceived as the sufficient reason of the greater, potentiality as the sufficient reason of act. How near akin the two systems are was evidenced when not a few of the more eminent of Hegel's followers accepted materialism as the legitimate outcome of his system.

What then is to be said of the explanation of finite being offered by this philosophy? How, according to Hegel, is the Absolute related to the things of experience? In view of what we have already said, it is plain what the answer to this question must be. There has, it is true, been much discussion among Hegelians as to their master's personal views regarding God. With these we are not concerned. In his system there is no room for God at all. The Absolute is reached in man. It is attained by the development of personal self-consciousness: and it is in man that this is attained. In Hegelianism the term God is really an appellative of man as rational and self-conscious. There can be no other claimant. Indeed, as has often been pointed out, the principles of the system permit us to make our conclusion yet more precise. Man, it is asserted, reaches the perfection of self-consciousness in the knowledge of philosophy. But it has been reserved for the Hegelian philosophy to give to the human race the true knowledge of man's place in the scheme of things. It follows that the Hegelian philosopher, and he alone, is the realized Absolute. There can, then, be no question of creation. For the explanation of finite being anterior to man's appearance on earth we are thrown back on Hegel's deduction of the categories. We are told that the inorganic and organic kingdoms come into being in accordance with a rationally determined process. In them the categories of being take shape as reality, and follow each other in necessary sequence. But why, we ask, should they be at all? Destitute of a basis in an existing Absolute, the existence of the evolutionary process lacks an explanation. Real being, if finite and contingent, demands a real cause. The sequence, which Hegel claims to establish between the categories, will not account for the actuality of any one of them. Moreover, what can be more fantastic than to seek to describe the world process as the embodiment of a logical deduction? Even were it possible to schematize the varied types which nature displays, the concrete individuals and their respective happenings are not reducible to schemata. The created world undoubtedly bears marks of an organizing mind; but the course of its development does not present us with the successive steps of a chain of reasoning, in which first principles proceed inevitably to their conclusion. Much more is this the case in human history, where the operation of free-will puts even to-morrow beyond our calculation. Aristotle judged more correctly when he declared that the individual is only intelligible in virtue of the universal type which it embodies, and that viewed as individual and subject to contingency it is the proper object of sense-perception, not of intellect at all. To sum up, it may safely be said that the system of Hegel, whatever its ingenuity, is, philosophically, unsound from top to bottom, and viewed as an explanation of finite being, i.e., as a rival to creationism, is wholly worthless.

3. English idealist systems. Hegelianism exerted little permanent influence in the country of its origin. Such success as it enjoyed was shortlived. It was otherwise in Great Britain. Here fortune smiled on it: and it reaped an ampler success than its intrinsic merits warranted. Its appearance occurred just at the time when the total inadequacy of the empiricism, which had prevailed since the days of Locke, was becoming generally recognized. Several able thinkers adopted it, and secured for it a firm foothold in the universities. They relinquished, it is true, as indefensible much that was characteristic of Hegel's own teaching. But fundamentally their systems are modifications in one form or another of the pantheistic idealism taught by him. It is not too much to say that for the last forty years the current of philosophical thought in this country has flowed in Hegelian channels. The English disciples of the founder of modern pantheism fall naturally into two groups, which we may conveniently distinguish as the defenders of absolute and mitigated idealism. We shall give a summary account of these two schools of thought, premising that a considerable amount of variety of opinion is to be found among the individual exponents of either system.

(a) Absolute idealism lays it down as fundamental that there is but one order of reality -- an order which presents everywhere a twofold aspect, that of subject and object. Its essential character is to be 'experience': and it may be viewed alternatively as objects experienced or as the experience of a subject. The two aspects are inseparable. The subject is nothing without an object: if we endeavour so to conceive it, our idea is reached in virtue of an unreal and illegitimate abstraction. For the subject in experience is simply a term of a relation: and we cannot have one term of a relation without the other. Similarly, there can be no objects without an experiencing subject: for they too are what they are as related. As to the nature of this reality we should err if we said that it is purely mental. Such a statement would imply a distinction between the order of being and the order of knowing. Knowing and being are one. We must accept reality, in which both these aspects are present, as ultimate, when we have proved and purged it by the dialectic reason. It is idle to attempt to refer it to any order other than itself. Indeed, the very name idealism may mislead, in so far as it is taken to suggest some such theory as Berkeley's, according to which our experience, being limited to ideas alone, is not in contact with the real.

Moreover, reality is one. It is inconceivable that the world of experience should present ultimate differences. The fact that all parts of reality fall within experience shews that they are interrelated: and things which are related to each other constitute of necessity a single system -- a unity. This unity should be conceived after the analogy of a living organism. Where unity is less than this, it is not a veritable unity, but presupposes independent and separate entities brought into artificial connection by an external agent. Yet in regard of reality the idea of an external agent, such for instance as God, is out of the question. For the unity which forms the real order must itself include that ultimate reality which is the source of the manifold of experience, and which we term the Absolute or God. For the Absolute is not unrelated to the manifold; but, as we have just said, is its source. It is the One which the mind postulates as the explanation of the many. And again, the principle which gives unity to a manifold must of necessity be of it and not outside it.

This conclusion that reality is a single organism inclusive of the Absolute which is its ultimate Ground, is also established by an argument of different character. As soon as we philosophize on the data of experience, we find ourselves involved in insoluble contradictions. Those fundamental notions which meet us upon the very threshold of philosophical enquiry -- unity, multiplicity, identity, diversity, cause and effect, time and space, etc., etc. -- are seen to lead up to contradictory conclusions. We are driven to the conviction that our knowledge is of appearances only, and that human reason is debarred from knowing reality as it is. Yet on the other hand we are no less convinced that our knowledge is true. It is the very presupposition of our enquiry that our minds are capable of truth: and without this belief it would be idle to reason at all. The only means of reconciling these opposite convictions is to admit that ultimate truth can only be attained when the knowledge of the whole is reached. It is here as with the knowledge of an organ of a body. If we consider it apart from the whole organism of which it is a member, our conclusions, however carefully formed, are incomplete and erroneous. Only when we know it in relation to the whole of which it is part, do we arrive at the real truth regarding it. The same holds good of reality. Our best knowledge is provisional and partial: it is a stepping-stone only, and will require revision as we gain further and further experience. It is not truth, but truth mmgled with error. For what is truth? The old explanation that truth lies in the correspondence of the notion with the reality is meaningless. If, as has been argued, there are not two orders -- knowing and being -- but only one, there can be no question of correspondence. Truth lies in the coherence of knowledge. When knowledge reaches its final term, and all its parts are integrated into a consistent whole, then we shall have truth in the full sense of the term. At present we can do no more than, at each successive advance into the real, bring into a coherent system the data which we possess. It is truth now -- provisionally so. But a higher truth lies behind it -- the truth of the Absolute. And we must anticipate that little by little our truth will be sublimated by approaching nearer and nearer to this ideal of entire and final truth -- an ideal never to be fully attained.

This explanation must not lead us to suppose that there is an Absolute Mind whose experience constitutes reality, so that we attain to truth in so far as we grow to share His experience, while our knowledge falls short of truth in so far as it is different from it. We have no ground for asserting the existence of any self-consciousness other than human. We are not set over against the Absolute: we are ourselves the Absolute as self-conscious. The experience which is reality becomes self-conscious experience in us. Hence minds should not be regarded as substance: they are 'adjectival' to reality, which is the only veritable substance. The status of independent and self-contained units which we are disposed to attribute to ourselves, is not really ours. Our independence is but relative: and we are not complete units. Indeed, it would be more in accordance with fact to speak of Mind than to employ the plural and speak of minds. The latter mode of expression inevitably suggests the false idea of independent agents.{2}

Nor again must we conceive that there is an objective reality prior to the activity of our minds and independent of it. This would involve the supposition of an experiencing subject other than conscious. Reality is what it is for our experience, and beyond our human experience it is not. Knowledge and reality advance pan passu. As our knowledge goes forward along some hitherto untrodden path, so does reality widen its area. Nor do we thus open the door to any arbitrary action on the part of thought. The advance takes place along definite lines. It is an evolution of reality in accordance with its inner nature.{3}

It is manifest how closely this system is related to Hegelianism proper. The deduction of the categories and the self-realization of the Absolute Idea have, it is true, been discarded. But the single order of reality, the identification of reality with the Absolute, the denial of a personal and conscious God, and the restriction of consciousness within the Absolute to the human mind -- all these are Hegelian. And these may be said to form the backbone of the system. The idealism which has won such a hold upon English speculation owes all its fundamental positions to the German philosopher.

Nor is it less evident that the term idealism is accurately applied. It is the case, as we have noted, that the adherents of the system frequently deny that reality is according to them purely mental, inasmuch as they hold that the mental is the real; but the denial cannot be taken too seriously. For they assert that the 'real' belongs to the same order as the discursive operation of the reason. It would need hardihood beyond the ordinary to maintain that the concepts, judgments, and deductive processes of reason have any other existence than one which is purely mental. It follows that the same is, in their view, true of the factual world. Indeed, the more consistent idealists are frank in acknowledging this. "The distinction between reality and the discursive movement of the intellect," writes Mr. Bosanquet, "appears to me to be for us a distinction within the intellectual world."{4} It is not our intention to enter upon a general discussion of idealism. We are only concerned with it as an explanation of finite being. But before we deal with it from this point of view, it seems worth while to call attention to a radical error which lies at the foundation of the system: and, further, to notice a rooted prejudice -- an idol of the schools -- which has infected all these thinkers, and which operates to their serious detriment in the pursuit of truth.

The error to which we refer is the position regarded by them as certain, that subject and object are inseparable the one from the other: that the intelligent subject is inconceivable without objects, and similarly the objects inconceivable without the thinking faculty for which they exist, and which is the principle of their coordination. It is, of course, true that the subject, viewed precisely as thinking, presupposes the presence of an object, and, conversely, the object considered as the term of a thought, presupposes a thinker. But in this form the statement is a barren tautology. The point at issue is other than this. We are concerned to know whether the thinking subject does not possess being other than that which consists in the mere relation involved in cognition -- whether thought is not an activity of a subject possessing existence in a real order, an order in regard of which thought is merely functional: and, further, whether the object does not likewise possess real existence utterly distinct from any ideal representation. It is not unknown for the idealist to assume the principle as though it were the tautology we have mentioned, and then to import into it the negative answer to this very different problem. Yet in many ways does it appear that the thinking subject is far more than a mere consciousness of objects. The fact of volition suffices to establish this. No one will dispute that it is the same subject which thinks and which wills. But to will is a wholly different activity from thought. In other words, the being of the subject does not consist in knowing: knowing is but one of its activities. The idealist confining his attention exclusively to the intellectual operation, and abstracting from all else, arrives at the conclusion that to know constitutes the whole essence of the subject. Yet reflection assures us that inasmuch as it possesses other modes of operation, it must be before it knows. Indeed, a sane psychology will go further. To think and to will are not the only functions of the soul: it is likewise the principle of life. A man may lapse into coma, so that reason and volition are both alike dormant. Yet this inaction on the part of thought and will is not the extinction of being. The soul continues to be, and continues to operate.

What has been said of the subject is to be said likewise of the objects of thought. No vestige of proof has ever been given that they are mental constructions belonging to the same order as the concepts of the discursive reason. The testimony of the sense-faculties is clamorous that through perception we have direct and immediate contact with external reality: while our intellect witnesses no less emphatically that our concepts and judgments are internal representations of these same realities on a totally different plane. It is sometimes said that things are ultimately constituted by their relations, and that since objects are essentially related to thought, it must be owned that they owe their being to thought. The argument is a pure fallacy. A thing is not constituted by its relations, for it cannot have relations unless it already is. It must possess substantial reality before it can receive an additional determination through its connection with something else. To speak of a thing as constituted by relations suggests that those who thus argue have never asked themselves what a relation is. Mr. Bradley rightly says: "Relations are unmeaning except within and on the basis of a substantial whole."{5} But we have further pointed out above (chap. viii., § 3), that where knowledge is concerned we are in presence of a non-mutual relation: that though our concepts are related to their objects as their exemplar cause, the objects are not related to them.

English idealists are, further, hampered by a prejudice from which none amongst them seems to be free, to the effect that no other philosophy is possible save one framed on monist principles. They mention creationist systems, not to refute them, but merely to dismiss them as 'precritical,' 'mediaeval,' 'having no place either in serious thinking or in genuine religion,' etc., etc. Thus Professor Pringle-Pattison, speaking of God viewed as an absolute Creator, writes: "This solitary ante-mundane figure is the residuum of a primitive and pictorial fashion of thinking, a magnified man, but rarified to bare mind."{6} This attitude is part and parcel of that strange but deeply-rooted conviction that the centuries during which intellectual life was most active in every ur]iversity of Western Europe, were dark ages, wholly barren in speculative thought: that they may safely be dismissed without the trouble of studying their productions or even asking what they were. It is needless to say that such a prejudice can only be detrimental to those who allow themselves to entertain it. One of the objects of the series of which the present work forms part, is to shew, however inadequately, that the philosophy of the Schoolmen was no 'residuum of a primitive and pictorial manner of thinking,' but a solidly constructed metaphysical system, grounding its solutions on a firm base of reasoning, a system consistent alike with itself and with the data of experience. It would be difficult to say as much of idealism. We have already seen that Mr. Bradley is driven to the conviction that our knowledge can only be of appearance and not of reality, because his endeavour to provide a metaphysic of the world leads him on every side into insoluble contradictions. No one who had any acquaintance with the Scholastic metaphysics, even though he might not adopt the system, could maintain that creationism is a wholly unphilosophical conception, having "no place in serious thinking." He would realize that, in view of the Scholastic philosophy, such statements approach to the ridiculous. In what measure, then, can idealism afford us an explanation of the finite and contingent things which form the universe? This is the question which lies before us in this chapter. And it is a question which furnishes a crucial test of the system's real value. For the very function of philosophy is to provide a rational explanation of the world known to us. If instead of explaining it, and thereby rendering our knowledge intelligible, it reaches conclusions utterly inconsistent with the data of experience, and involving the denial of evident facts, it is shewn to be a false philosophy, to be simply one more chapter in the tale of human error. Weighed in this balance, idealism breaks down utterly. It will suffice for our purpose to urge two points. They are salient ones.

It is certain that this planet had being before the race of man, or indeed any animal life whatever, existed upon it. The evidence for this is overwhelming, and the fact is undisputed. Yet idealism contends that the real order has no existence apart from the activity of conscious Mind: and that conscious Mind is realized in the human intellect alone. It is manifestly impossible to reconcile these two positions. The idealist, however little he may relish the necessity, is bound to reject the testimony of geology. His theory, in other words, is in the most palpable contradiction with facts. The only other alternative before him would be to assert that there could be an order of thought without a conscious thinker, an experience without an experiencing subject. This solution, however, notwithstanding the support which it finds in Hegel's own system, he rightly rejects. A thought without a thinker is a fiction which belongs of right only to that Wonderland where the smile remained after the cat had disappeared. We are surely not going too far when we claim that on this count alone the idealist explanation of the world must be rejected as false. Creationism contains no difficulty comparable to this.

The other point to which we call attention has reference, not to the world outside us, but to ourselves as substantial agents. Our own activity is part of our experience: we are our own objects. And there is no fact of experience of which we are so certain as that we are independent agents. When in face of a moral issue we exert our power of free choice, when we deliberately set aside inclination in order that we may follow what is right, we know beyond the possibility of doubt that we are not 'adjectival to reality' -- not mere qualifications of some substantial reality other than ourselves -- but that we are independent in our action, and therefore independent substances. This is a truth so immediately evident, that, if it be denied, this can only be for the sake of maintaining a thesis, not because of any real possibility of doubt. Creationism admits the fact, and shews us how the notion of substance is analogically applicable both to God and creatures. Idealism, as we have seen, finds itself driven to deny it. But by the very denial it convicts itself of being a false philosophy, and its arguments, however ingenious, of being mere sophistry.

Under yet another aspect the falsity of this theory is evident beyond the need of formal demonstration. We know perfectly well that our minds are not identical with that Spirit which is the source and origin of all things -- that we are not the Absolute. A theory which maintains that the Absolute finds its realization in ourselves, that the world in some fashion owes its being to the activity of our minds, stands self-condemned. No truth forces itself so insistently upon us, both in the physical and moral order, as our weakness and our incapacity. What measure of self-deception is requisite, we may well ask, for a man to delude himself into believing that he is identical with the Power from which the universe springs? It may safely be said that only the exigencies of controversy could lead anyone to defend such a paradox.

Mr. Bradley, it is true, assigns to the Absolute a life distinct from our own. Yet, if we except this one admission, the theory which he offers us is not more satisfactory than that of his fellow-idealists. According to him, in the Absolute all differences and distinctions must disappear. Its life must be a pure unity. Hence he is led to conclude that to it belong none of those predicates which express the highest perfections known to us in the world of our experience. It is not personal. It does not possess morality, nor goodness, nor beauty, nor will, nor truth. These, as known to us, are appearances, not reality. In the Absolute they disappear in an undifferentiated unity. It is true that Mr. Bradley claims that the life of the Absolute lies on a higher plane than these. But since these are perfections in the fullest sense, it follows inevitably that humanity which possesses them is nobler than the Absolute which possesses them not. The Absolute of Mr. Bradley is surely a miserable substitute for the God of creationism. Nor will the theory serve us as an explanation of the universe of finite being. It declares the world of our experience to be full of inconsistency and contradiction, and thereby to be shewn to belong to the sphere of mere appearance. Our knowledge, such as it is, is devoid, he tells us, of objective value. But, as we have already urged, a philosophy which, instead of providing a rational explanation of science, demands that we shall declare science to be objectively invalid, is not a philosophy which the mind can accept. The validity of our knowledge is far more certain than is the truth of any such speculative construction.

(b) Mitigated idealism. Certain mitigated forms of idealism have during the past half century enjoyed a considerable vogue in England. They seemed to offer a basis for a belief in a personal God and in independent human personalities; and, further, to assign to God a quasi-creative relation in regard to the world and to ourselves. The most conspicuous upholder of this line of thought was T. H. Green. His views were adopted by very many, who believed it thus possible to reconcile the acceptance of the prevailing philosophy with a retention of the dogmatic standards of Christianity. As a matter of fact, the advantages which the system appeared to offer were illusory. They were only secured by refusing to draw the conclusions which the principles of the system really involved.

Green's position may be briefly summarized. He maintained that the world of experience could not be other than an ideal construction. Things, he argued, are essentially constituted by relations: if we seek to remove from any object of experience the relations which enter into it, we shall find that nothing is left. But relations can exist for a mind only. It follows that the objects of experience are purely mental, and not, as we tend to imagine, extra-mental in nature. He proceeds to conclude from the unity of the world viewed as a system of relations, to the unity of the mind for which it exists. This mind, he contends, must be regarded as the Author and Sustainer of the universe. On it the universe depends for its existence. It is, in fact, God. Moreover, the knowledge which human minds have of the world is only explicable if we suppose a relation of the most intimate dependence between the human and the divine intellect. Not merely is all our knowledge a participation in that Divine idea which is the world, but the fact of knowledge itself -- the unity which the world possesses for us as knowers -- is only explicable if we suppose the Divine mind to be in some sort thinking in us and through us. Idealism, thus understood, it is urged, gives all that the religious consciousness demands: a personal God, Creator of the world and of all finite spirits, and independent human personalities, spiritual in nature and therefore endowed with freedom.

It is unnecessary for our purpose, and would take too long, to enter into a detailed criticism of Green's arguments. We may, however, note in passing that the two assertions that relations can exist only for a mind, and that the objects of experience are constituted by their relations -- both of them absolutely essential to the system -- are alike pure fallacies. The sole basis for the former statement lies in the fact that a relation, as such, is not cognizable by sense-perception, but only through an intellectual concept. Sense, e.g., shews us two similar things; but it needs the abstractive power of the intellect for us to grasp the relation of similitude. But this is not to say that there is no such thing as a relation of similitude save in the mind. The relation is a real objective fact, and as such the mind knows it. Nor is the statement that things are constituted by relations better founded. As we have already pointed out, a thing must be before it can possess relations. A relation is a secondary determination qualifying something real. A relation suspended so to speak in vacuo, and without a real substance which it qualifies, is a wholly impossible conception.

Our concern, however, is not so much with Green's reasoning as with his claim so to defend idealism as to reconcile it with a belief in a personal God, and, in some sort, with creation. And we contend that the principles of his philosophy, if faithfully applied, give no ground for these beliefs, but that they are introduced at the price of inconsistency. The mind which Green supposes as the ground of the universe cannot logically be represented as a personal Deity. For in his system it is simply the universe under another aspect. The universe displays a manifold of relations: and a consciousness is therefore postulated as a principle of unification. But this consciousness is merely the focus of the manifold -- the necessary condition of its forming a world. Green himself tells us that just as the manifold of experience has no reality other than that which it has for the unifying principle, so we must not conceive the unifying principle as possessed of a nature other than that which it has as the consciousness of the world. It is plain that this does not give us a Creator -- a Person endowed with will and intelligence, who freely gives being to a world other than Himself. We are involved in pure pantheism, and it is a matter of choice whether we say that God constitutes nature or that nature constitutes God.

Moreover, the system leaves us in doubt regarding the relation of human minds to the universal consciousness. Are the former distinct from the latter? Green certainly wishes us so to conceive them; but he fails to make good his position. Logically, the theory seems to demand that the universal consciousness should be the constitutive principle of finite minds as it is of nature. There, seems no more reason for giving independent existence to one class of objects than to the other. In both a principle is needed which shall give unity to the manifold: and there does not appear any sufficient ground for a different answer in the two cases. Hence on this point the system is ambiguous, and it becomes difficult to distinguish the activity attributed to the human and divine mind respectively. It is evident that were the theory thoroughly consistent with itself, the finite minds would be eliminated, and we should be left with one sole thinking consciousness identical with world, the object of its thought.

In our last chapter we called attention (§ 4) to certain thinkers who defend an idealism offering even more points of contact with theistic belief than does the system of Green. They claim explicitly to be theists and not pantheists. Of these the best known is Prof. Pringle-Pattison. He rejects Green's theory as inadequate on the ground that according to it God is nothing save the mere consciousness which sustains the relations that constitute the universe.{7} For him the Absolute is "the infinite spirit," "the Power which cradles and encompasses all our lives."{8} This Absolute we must interpret by the highest categories within our reach: we must speak of God in terms of personality, morality and religion. Such language, he admits, possesses "only symbolical truth." Being ourselves finite, we cannot obtain any real comprehension of the Divine existence. "But both religion and the higher poetry -- just because they give up the pretence of an impossible exactitude -- carry us, I cannot doubt, nearer to the meaning of the world than the formuhce of an abstract metaphysics."{9} The symbols which we have regarded as truth will constantly need "to be taken up and superseded in a wider or fuller truth." The theory in plain terms resolves itself into a confession of the incompetence of human reason to tell us anything definite concerning God. We are left with symbolical values. And we saw in chap. viii. that this is tantamount to a definite surrender to agnosticism. It will hardly be maintained that such a theory is a satisfactory substitute for the reasoned body of demonstrated conclusions offered us by the natural theology defended in this volume. But the point which we desire especially to urge is that Prof. Pringle-Pattison's principles lead as inevitably to pantheism as do those of Green. On this subject it does not seem necessary to add anything to what was said in the last chapter.{10} We saw there that when he attempts to explain the relation of God to the world, be is driven back on the very position maintained by Green, and denies that the supreme mind has any being save that which it possesses as the constitutive principle of the universe. In other words he concedes that God and the universe are simply different aspects of the same reality. He asserts, it is true, with emphasis the distinction between the finite individual and God.{11} But here too he fails to offer any philosophical justification for his belief. Indeed, since he rejects as unthinkable the notion of creation in its reference to finite spirits, we are forced to the conclusion that on the principles of this philosophy the distinction between the finite and infinite cannot be logically maintained. In view of these considerations it will, we think, be admitted that modern idealism is inseparable from pantheism. The attempt to reconcile it with belief in a persona] God has proved impossible of realization.

5. Naturalism. In the present section we deal with a system widely different from the pantheistic idealism we have just been considering, but which is no less emphatic in its rejection of the creationist interpretation of the world. Though to-day it may not be able to reckon among its defenders any speculative thinker of real weight, it would be idle to deny that it exerts a powerful influence both in the educated and uneducated classes. It is the system tacitly presupposed by many scientific investigators, and it has a far stronger hold on the popular mind than idealism is ever likely to obtain. Indeed, idealism is too remote from reality ever to become a widely spread belief. Its dialectic may destroy the authority of rival schools, but it will itself remain the credo of purely academical circles. Nor, again, is the student of nature, save perhaps under the stress of controversy, likely to stultify himself by admitting that the object of his investigation is a mental creation. Lord Balfour has well said of naturalism that it "numbers a formidable following, and is in reality the only system which ultimately profits by any defeats which Theology may sustain, or which may be counted on to flood the spaces from which the tide of Religion has receded."{12}

What then is naturalism? It is a system whose salient characteristic is the exclusion of whatever is spiritual, or, indeed, whatever is transcendent of experience from our philosophy of nature and of man. Huxley, for long its most prominent exponent in this country, expressed this in some often-quoted words: "Any one who is acquainted with the history of science, will admit that its progress has, in all ages, meant, and now more than ever means, the extension of the province of what we call matter and causation, and the concomitant gradual banishment from all regions of human thought of what we call spirit and spontaneity.

And as surely as every future grows out of past and present, so will the physiology of the future gradually extend the realm of matter and law until it is coextensive with knowledge and with feeling and with action."{13} The system embraces in its range several schools of thought differing more or less from one another -- empiricism, positivism, scientific monism, agnosticism. Yet for our present purpose we are justified in grouping these various types of theory together as a single system. They proceed on the same presuppositions, and are characterized by what amounts to a common body of doctrine. This common element may be thus briefly summarized.

(1) Nature is a mechanism governed by invariable and immutable law. The multiple parts of this mechanism possess widely different degrees of organization; but the sufficient explanation of every part, no matter what its organization, lies in its component elements. The whole, in all cases, has its full and final explanation in the parts of which it consists; the complex in its simple constituents. The higher may always be expressed in terms of the lower. Psychology is reducible to physiology: physiology to chemistry. In its extreme form naturalism regards the universe as consisting of atoms in various collocations. Individually separate they have, under the impulse of a natural tendency to movement, come together in groups: and these groups display various modes of action which we term laws of nature, and which arise from the character and arrangement of the component atoms. In the organization of nature there is nothing teleological. Why the vast process should have issued as it has in the existence of man and the development of social life, we cannot tell. Such was the resultant of forces. Eventually the process will run down: and as these things have arisen, so will they end. Many adherents of naturalism, it should be noted, leave the cosmological problem on one side. They are content to deal with ethical and social questions on this basis, seeking an explanation in which the spiritual has no part, but the origin of moral law and of the social order are traced to the animal appetites, and man's aesthetic judgment referred to the sexual instinct. It is, however, with the cosmological question that we are concerned in this chapter. And so far as naturalism deals with this point, it arrives, as its principles demand, at the conclusions which we have indicated. Since naturalism rejects as fallacious any ultimate distinction between body and mind, it is plain what is its view regarding the psychical order. Life, it holds, has arisen spontaneously from non-living matter: and the psychical is simply an ulterior development of physical life. In regard to the precise nature of cognition, the defenders of naturalism are, it may be owned, chary of committing themselves. They recognize that there is something hitherto inexplicable in the relation between reality and knowledge: that psychical energy and physical energy are not similar, nor convertible the one into the other. Hence there is a certain vagueness in their utterances on this subject. Yet it is ever assumed that the material order is primary, and the psychical purely receptive in its regard. Neither intellect nor will can exert any influence upon the order of nature. The great mechanism pursues its course and allows of no interference from without. Moreover, within ourselves there is no principle of spontaneity. Knowledge reflects the real: will determines us preferentially to this or that course. But there is no originative activity in the intelligence, nor any such thing as freedom of the will.

(2) Knowledge is confined exclusively to sensible phenomena. Science consists in the accurate determination of the coexistences and sequences which nature displays. Those who imagine that there is a knowledge beyond this, who theorize regarding such notions as substance and cause are the dupes of fancy. We perceive the relations of antecedence and sequence: and so far as experience goes, we see that every event has an antecedent to which it is related. But those who affirm that every finite thing must have a cause, and that the cause is that which gives it being, and who attribute to these principles a certainty greater than that of the generalizations of experience, are simply hypostatizing the creatures of their imagination. The science of metaphysics is a delusion: and the reasoning by which men have sought to establish the existence of a First Cause and to shew that finite things must owe their origin to creation, is absolutely futile. There is no philosophy beyond physical science, and science tells us nothing about God or creation: nor does it need any such hypotheses for its validity.

(3) Experience, we are assured, shews us that the law governing the mechanism of nature is evolution. The organic evolution of all living forms must be accepted as established beyond any possibility of question: the old belief in a separate creation of different species, or even of man as distinct from the brutes, is devoid of any vestige of solid foundation. The principle must be given its full scope: and we are thus justified in concluding that the universal order of things arose in this way, and that the world affords no evidence of an initial creation or of the existence of God. In virtue of its continued movement nature is ever evolving -- passing from one stage to another. It suffices as its own explanation.

The doctrine, which we have summarized, may justly be described as scientific materialism. It manifestly has no room for the spiritual in any shape or form. Yet it should be observed that many of its defenders deny that it involves any such consequences. They contend that matter and spirit are merely two aspects of the same reality: that the world may be viewed from both standpoints. They have, they aver, no intention of excluding one in favour of the other: their philosophy transcends the distinction: it is neither materialist nor spiritualist. Further, as regards the existence of God, the system, they assure us, is not atheist but agnostic. They do not deny that there may be a God: they merely assert that we cannot know anything of Him. Religion is admissible: and it may be that for some it fulfils a useful function. But it should be recognized that it is an affair of the emotions, and has no basis in the conclusions of reason. There can be no doubt that by adopting this attitude naturalism disarmed much of the hostility which it would have encountered, had it made open profession of materialism and atheism. But it is perfectly evident that the denial is purely formal. A system which interprets all existence in terms of matter and motion, which allows of no distinction between body and soul, which rejects the proofs for the existence of God, and declares a Creator unnecessary, is, with whatever reserves it may be stated, materialism and nothing else.

There have, of course, been materialists in every period of philosophy. But naturalism, as described above, is a growth of the nineteenth century. Its foundation-stone was the nebular hypothesis of Laplace (1749-1827), according to which the present universe arose mechanically out of the primal chaos. Laplace affirmed that his theory enabled him "to dispense with the hypothesis of a Creator." The conclusions of Lyell to the effect that the geological transitions which form the history of our planet, and by which it was gradually rendered a fit habitation for man. were not a series of transformations inexplicable save in view of the end to be attained, but were due to the natural working of the very same physical agencies with which we are ourselves familiar, seemed to fall into line with the Laplacean ideas. But the wide hold upon popular thought which the system obtained, is undoubtedly due to Darwin's investigations regarding the origin of species. It was believed that science had explained the development of the higher forms of life in terms of mechanical causation, and had shewn that man's beginnings were of precisely the same kind as that of the brute creation. The conclusion thus reached was regarded, as we have said, as a sufficient basis on which to build a thorough-going evolutionary system explaining the origin of all things from matter and force.

Of the system's three fundamental principles, the evolutionary theory is that with which in this chapter we are chiefly concerned. Some comment, however, must be offered in regard to the other two. In view of what has been said in previous chapters, it will be clear to every reader of this book that both alike are philosophically untenable.

(1) The doctrine that a complex whole is adequately explained by its constituent parts is palpably fallacious. The complex entity, provided it be really a whole -- a unit -- is a perfection over and above the parts. This perfection calls for explanation: and the parts do not provide it. Neither as taken singly, nor viewed as a collection, do they contain it. We do not explain a house by enumerating the materials used in its structure. The house as such is more than its materials. Its essential constitutive is the principle by which these materials are organized into a habitation for man. That organization is not a mere resultant of forces contained in the several parts: it is something added to them. The perfection of a natural whole is yet more essentially distinct from its elementary factors than that of an artificial whole like a house. A fortiori they do not provide its sufficient explanation. To suppose that it can arise out of them by mere resultancy without the operation of an agent of a different order, competent to confer upon them the perfection which makes them something new, is arbitrarily to override the principle of sufficient reason.

We may consider the same truth from a slightly different point of view. Let it be assumed, for the sake of argument, however difficult such an idea may be, that the primaeval atoms organized themselves into unities, by the operation of natural laws inherent in them from the beginning, and without the exercise of any fresh causality, the present cosmos being the ultimate result. The process thus supposed may be compared to the working of a machine, which after a certain definite period of time leads necessarily to a given state of things. It will be admitted that for such a result we must postulate an original collocation of the atoms, in virtue of which the final effect is realized. Without this collocation we should presumably have had not cosmos but chaos. We should most certainly not have had this cosmos. In other words, the multiple parts of the great machine must, even at the very start, have been so arranged as to effect this result and no other. They must from the very beginning have been so related to each other as to contain the conditions requisite for the production of the perfections which subsequently appeared. But if this be granted, then it must likewise be admitted that the perfection of a whole is more than the perfection of its parts, and that theset latter are insufficient as its explanation.

(2) We dealt in chap. ii. with the empiricist theory of knowledge, which is that assumed by naturalism. We shewed there that the concepts of substance and cause are elements of knowledge no less immediate and no less certainly valid than the data of sense-perception. The objects thus designated are not figments constructed by the imaginative faculty: they are realities apprehended by the intellect. The senses shew us the thing under certain special accidental aspects. The intellect shews it as 'substance' -- that which possesses independent being: and inasmuch as it is not self-existent, refers it to a 'cause' -- that which gives it being. It may be readily admitted that these notions lie outside the province of the physical sciences: that the object of physical science is to be found in the coexistences and sequences of sensible phenomena. But the reason for this is that the particular sciences assume the validity of certain sciences which possess a more universal reference. Aristotle long since pointed out that the sciences form a hierarchy: and that above the particular sciences stand natural philosophy, mathematics, and metaphysics. These are even more truly termed sciences than the particular branches of knowledge to which we commonly give the name. The inferior sciences depend upon them: for were their conclusions dubious, no particular science would be capable of justification. What would be the value of any branch of natural science if we possessed no certainty regarding the objective reality of space and time, of the reciprocal action of bodies, of the laws of number and geometry, of causality, of unity, of substance? The whole edifice of science -- the fruit of age-long labours -- would collapse like a house of cards. It belongs not to a particular science to vindicate the notions of substance and of cause, but to metaphysics, the supreme science whose office it is to treat of the primary notions and principles common to all sciences.

(3) The explanation of the origin of all things by a process of evolution due to the natural properties of the atoms composing the cosmic nebula is, if possible, even more opposed to reason than the two doctrines which we have already criticized. We have pointed out that the chief argument employed in support of this theory is drawn from the doctrine of organic transformism. The two cases, it was urged, are parallel: and since science is held to have established the one, it is declared only reasonable to admit the other. Yet there is, in fact, no resemblance between the two cases: and the argument a pari is a pure fallacy. Organic transformism supposes the existence of living things -- individual agents -- endeavouring to adapt themselves to their environment. Given these, it seeks to explain the formation of the different types into which the animal and vegetable kingdoms are divided. The problem which naturalism must solve, if it is to supplant creationism as a philosophy of finite being, is to account for the very existence of that cosmic nebula from which it declares all things were evolved. It must explain how the atoms got there, why they assumed the character which they did, and what set the process going. Unless it can do this it leaves us where we were, and has not really explained anything at all.

Of course those who accept naturalism take matter for granted. They seem to imagine that in so doing they are reducing their assumption to the lowest possible measure. As a matter of fact, it would be hard to make a larger demand. Matter, as it has been argued by several writers, is not a single entity. Each atom is distinct.

"We must remember that matter is not an unit, as a Creator is, and that talking of it so is merely a rhetorical artifice when used in philosophical enquiries . . . Matter is nothing but the sum of all the ultimate particles or atoms contained in the universe, or in any particular mass that we are dealing with. . . A very large proportion of the atoms of the universe have never been within billions and billions of miles of each other."{14}

To suppose an uncreated cosmic nebula is to suppose not a single self-existent thing, but myriads upon myriads of self-existent entities. It is not to suppose a single First Cause, but millions of first causes, and this without any conceivable reason. Monism is indeed a remarkable name to attach to such a philosophy. We may well ask which doctrine presents the greater difficulty -- the doctrine of creation which establishes by a strict a posteriori proof the reality of a First Cause whose infinite perfection is the sufficient ground for His eternal existence, or the doctrine of naturalism, which assumes the self-existence of millions of beings, but is totally unable to assign any reason, either intrinsic or extrinsic, why any one of them should be at all.

A further argument is based on the notion of evolution itself. The term is often employed ]oosely, and without much advertence to its implications. What is its real significance? As originally employed it denoted a gradual process tending to the realization of a definite end.

"By evolution or development," writes Professor Ward, "was meant primarily the gradual unfolding of a living germ from its embryonic beginning to its final and mature form. This adult form, again, was not regarded as merely the end actually reached through the successive stages of growth, but as the end aimed at and attained through the presence of some archetypal idea, entelechy or soul, shaping the plastic material and directing physical growth. Evolution in short implied ideal ends controlling physical means: in a word, was teleological."{15}

Naturalism has utterly discarded the teleological import of the term. But evolution is not, therefore, taken to signify mere change. It implies always that the change has issued in a definite result -- in a new type of thing. A change leading nowhere -- a mere flux -- would not be termed evolution. A change is not styled evolution till a critical point is reached when a new type is realized. It may in fine be said that evolution implies the production by a gradual process of change of things exhibiting a new specific nature. Every evolution then supposes the emergence of a new perfectkrn. For a specific type is a perfection distinct from all others. Here, then, we are brought back to the reasoning employed in regard to the first of the naturalist principles. It is totally impossible that from mere mechanical causality, apart from the intervention of a cause of a different order, an altogether new perfection should arise. Its appearance demands a sufficient reason: and none such is forthcoming. In other words, even if, for the sake of argument, we imagine the cosmic nebula which naturalism postulates, and suppose it duly endowed with energy, there could have been no evolution of any kind. Chaos would never have become cosmos, even in an eternity of cycles. If, on the other hand, it can be shewn that the organized types with which our planet is so abundantly stored, were produced by an evolutionary process, then the primal atoms and their energy are wholly insufficient as an explanation.

{1} Spinoza, it is true, held that God has an infinite number of attributes, of which we know only two, thought and extension. But this concession to transcendence harmonizes bet ill with the rest of his system, which throughout views God simply as immanent in nature. Those who have been most influenced hy him have not followed him here. {2} It is very difficult really to come to any other conclusion than that the word 'self' is like the word 'cause,' one of those categories of half thought out standpoints, which are useful in every day life, but which will not bear the dry light of science." Lord Haldane, Pathway to Reality, I., p. 106. The same writer also speaks of the universe as in final analysis the unique Individual that ultimately discloses itself as the totality of Experience or as all-embracing Mind, according as it is looked at from one side or the other." Op. cit., p. 162; cf. The Reign of Relativity, p. 394.

{3} Just as space and time are found to be dependent for their reality on outlook, so do other aspects turn out to be equally dependent. . . . As higher standpoints are reached our vision becomes wider, and the object world, the relativity of which begins to be realized becomes less foreign. Reflection and action come to seem less separated. As the object world ceases to seem external and strange to the subject, conception and execution appear as in their ultimate forms inseparable. For mind that knows the distinction between its object and itself to be only due to finitude in knowledge, to conceive and to create are no longer mutually exclusive ideas." Lord Haldane, Reign of Relativity, p. 390.

{4} Knowledge and Reality, p. 19, note.

{5} Appearance and Reality, p. 142. The statement, however, calls for one qualification. Relations cannot exist "within" a substantial whole in the sense that the separate qualities can be subjects in their regard. Only the integral substance can be the subject of relations, as of any other accident. Some of Mr. Bradley's chief difficulties are based on this error in metaphysics.

{6} Idea of God, p. 304.

{7} Hegelianism and Personality, lect. vi.

{8} Two Lectures on Theism (Edin., 1897), pp.48, 50.

{9} Ibid., p. 47

{10} Supra.

{11} Op. cit., p. 60.

{12} Foundations of Belief, p. 6.

{13} Collected Essays, c. i., p. 159.

{14} Lord Grimthorpe, Origin of the Laws of Nature, p. 23, cited by Gerard, Old Riddle and Newest Answer, p. 37.

{15} Professor J. Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism, I., p. 186.

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