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itself movable; the second is drawn from the empirical fact of particular efficient causes and the necessity of a first efficient cause, itself uncaused; the third is taken from the fact that some things are possible and some are not, and as all things cannot be merely possible, therefore there must be something which is per se, necessary, and in actu. The fourth proof is drawn from the fact that there are different degrees in things, some being more and others less good, true, noble, perfect, and therefore demand the perfect alike in the order of the true and the good-a being in whom all diversities are identified and all degrees are included, and which is their source and complement. The fifth is drawn from the fact of order and government, and the necessity of a supreme governor. These all conclude God, if I may so speak, from a fact of sensible experience, and are empirical proofs.
Dr. McCosh, president of Princeton College, New Jersey, a man of no mean philosophical repute, relies wholly on the principle of cause and effect, as does St. Thomas, and dismisses all arguments but Paley's argument, or the argument from design. Père Gratry (now dead), of the New Oratory, relies, in his "Connaissance de Dieu," on induction from intellectual and ethical facts; the late Dr. Potter, Episcopalian bishop of Pennsylvania, in his "Philosophy of Religion," does virtually the same. A writer in the British Quarterly Review for July, 1871, in a very able article on "Theism," examines and rejects all the arguments usually adduced to prove that God is, except that drawn from intuition, or, as I understand him, that which asserts the direct and immediate empirical intuition of God, or the Divine Being. Dr. Hodge, an eminent Presbyterian divine, in his "Systematic Theology," accepts all the arguments usually adduced, some as proving one thing, and others as proving another pertaining to theism, and holds that no one argument alone suffices to prove the whole. Dr. John Henry Newman, in his "Apologia pro Vita sua," says he has never been able to prove to his own satisfaction the existence of God by reason; he can only prove it is probable that there is a God, and appears to have written his "Grammar of Assent" to prove that probability is enough for all practical purposes, since we are obliged in nearly all the ordinary affairs of life to act on probabilities alone. His belief in God he seems to derive from conscience.
The Holy See has decided against the Traditionalists that the existence of God can be proved with certainty by reasoning prior to faith, and the Holy See has also improbated the doctrine of the Louvain professors, that we have immediate cognition of God-a doctrine improbated by reason itself; for if man had immediate cognition of God, no proofs of his existence would be necessary, since no man could doubt his existence any more than his own, or than that the sun shines at noonday in the heavens when his eyes behold it.
The general tendency in our day is to conclude the cause from the effect, and to conclude God as designer, from the marks of design, or the adaptation of means to ends discoverable, or assumed to be discoverable, in ourselves and the external world. The objection to all arguments of this sort, that is to say, to all psychological, cosmological, and teleological arguments, which depend on the principle of cause and effect, is, that they all beg the question, or take for granted what requires to be proved. They all assume that the soul and cosmos are effects. Grant them to be effects, it follows necessarily that they have had a cause, and a cause adequate to the effect. As to that there can be no doubt. Cause and effect are correlatives, and correlatives connote one another, and neither is knowable alone. When we know anything is an effect, we know it has a cause, whether we know what that cause is or not. But how prove that the soul or the cosmos is an effect? This the atheist denies, and this is the point to be proved against him, and how is it to be proved from the facts of experience?
St. Thomas assumes, in his second proof, that we have experience of particular efficient causes. This is denied by Hume, Kant, Dr. Thomas Brown, Sir William Hamilton, Dr. Mansell, and by all the Comtists, Cosmists, and atheists of every species. Even Dr. Reid, the founder of the Scottish school, denies that we know by experience any power in the so-called cause that produces the effect, but contends that we are obliged, by the very constitution of our nature or of the human mind, to believe it. Kant agrees with Reid, and makes the irresistible belief a form of the understanding. Huxley avowedly follows Hume, as do the great body of non-Christian scientists. Dr. Brown, the successor of Dugald Stewart, says that all we know of cause and effect is invariable antecedence and consequence, and
maintains that, so far as experience goes, the relation of cause and effect is a relation of invariable sequence-simply a relation in the order of time. The question does not stand where it did when St. Thomas wrote, and to meet the speculations of the day we are obliged to go behind him, and establish principles which he could take for granted, or dismiss as inserted in human nature itself, that is, as we say, intuitively given.
Even if experience could prove particular effects, and therefore particular and contingent efficient causes, we could not conclude from them universal and necessary causes, or the one universal cause, for the universal cannot be logically concluded from the particular, and the God that could be concluded would be only a generalization or abstraction, and no real God at all. Or if this is denied, which it cannot well be, God could be concluded only under the relation of cause, as causa causarum, if you please, but still only as efficient cause, and therefore only as essentially cause, and substance or being only in that he is cause. This supposes him necessarily a cause, and obliged to cause in order to be or exist. This would make creation necessary, and God obliged from the intrinsic necessity of his own nature to create the error of Cousin, my old master, to whom I owe the best part of my philosophical discipline. But this is only one of the many forms of pantheism, itself only a form of atheism.
Dr. McCosh rests the whole question on the marks of design in man and the cosmos. Design and designer are correlatives, and connote each other; and consequently the one cannot be proved as the condition of proving the other: for the proof of the one is ipso facto the proof of both. Prove design and you prove, of course, a designer. But how prove design, if you know not as yet that the world has been made or created? The most you can do is to prove that there are in nature things analogous to what in the works of man are the product of art or design; but analogy is not identity, and how do you prove that what you call design is not nature, or natura naturans? Does the bee construct its cell, the beaver its dam, or the swallow her nest by intelligent design, as man builds his house? or by instinct, the simple force of nature? Paley's illustration of the watch found by the traveller in a desert place is illusory: for the Indian
who saw a watch for the first time took it to be a living thing, not a piece of mechanism or art.
But even granting the marks of design are proved, all that can be concluded, is not a supercosmic God or Creator, but simply that the world is ordered and governed by an intelligent mind; it does not necessarily carry us beyond the Anima mundi of Aristotle, or the Supreme Artificer of Plato, operating with preëxisting materials and doing the best he can with them. They do not authorize us to conclude the really supramundane God, by the sole energy of his word creating the heavens and the earth and all things therein from nothing, as asserted by Christian theism. They can be explained as well by supposing the causa immanens with Spinoza, as by supposing a causa efficiens.
The cosmologists undertake to conclude the existence of God from the facts or phenomena of the universe. The universe is contingent, dependent, insufficient for itself, and therefore it must have had a creator and upholder, who is himself necessary, not contingent, and is independent, selfsubsisting, self-sufficing. Nothing more true. But whence learn we that the universe is contingent, dependent, and ' insufficient for itself? We know not this fact by experience or empirical intuition. Besides, necessary and contingent are correlatives, and there is no intuition of the one without intuition of the other.
The psychologists profess to conclude God by way of induction from the facts of the soul. Thus Descartes says, Cogito, ergo sum, and professes to deduce, after the manner of the geometricians, God and the universe from his own undeniable personal existence. Certainly, if God were not, Descartes could not exist, but from the soul alone, only the soul can be deduced, and from purely psychological facts induction can give us only psychological generalizations or laws. Take the several facts, attributes, or perfections of the soul, and suppose them carried up to infinity, it would still be only a generalization, for their substance would still be the soul, distinct and different by nature from the divine substance or being. God is not man completed; nor is man, as Gioberti says, "an incipient God, or God who begins." Man is indeed made in the image and likeness of God, not God in the image and likeness of man. He is not anthropomorphous; though his likeness in which we are created enables
us to understand, by way of analogy, something of his infinite attributes, and to hold, when not prevented by sin and when elevated by grace, a more or less intimate communion with him. Christianity, indeed, teaches that man is destined to union with God as his beatitude, but the human personality remains ever distinct from the divine.
I am not certain in what sense Père Gratry understands induction. Probably my inability arises from my comparative ignorance of mathematics. He says the soul by induction darts at once to God and seizes him, so to speak, by intelligence and love, whatever all that may mean. I can understand the élan of the soul to God whom it knows and loves, but I cannot understand how a soul ignorant of God can, by an interior and sudden spring, jump to a knowledge of him. Père Gratry says the soul arrives at the knowledge of God as the mathematician in the calculus arrives at infinitesimals, namely, by eliminating the finite. Eliminate the finite, he says, and you have the infinite. Not at all, mon Père. Eliminate the finite, and you have, as I have already said, simply zero. The infinite is not the negation of the finite. Infinitesimals again, are nothing, for there is and can be no infinitely little. The error comes right in the end, so far as mathematics is concerned, for it is equal on both sides, and the error on one side neutralizes the error on the other side.
The late Dr. Potter, Protestant bishop of Pennsylvania, relies on induction, and chiefly on induction from the ethical facts of the soul. But the ethical argument to prove the existence of God does not avail, for, till his existence is proved, there is no basis for ethics. The soul has a capacity to receive and obey a moral law, but that law is not founded in its nature or imposed by it. The moral law proceeds from God as final cause of creation, as the physical laws proceed from him as first cause, and is the law of our perfection, necessary to be obeyed in order to fulfil our destiny, or to obtain our supreme good or beatitude. If there is no God, there is and can be no moral law, and then no morality. Till you know God is, and final cause of the universe, you cannot call any facts of the soul ethical.
The argument of St. Anselm in his "Monologium" is the fourth of St. Thomas, and concludes God as the perfect from the imperfect, of which we are conscious, or know by experience in ourselves, or as the complement of man, an