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is supposed to have taught ( and Locke devoted the first book of his Essays to refuting the doctrine) that these ideas are innate or connate with the soul; i. e., the intellect tinds itself at birth, or as soon as it wakes to conscious activity, to be possessed of ideas to which it has only to attach the appropriate names, or of judgments which it only needs to express in fit propositions -- i. e., prior to any experience of individual objects."
Royce, Spirit of Modern Philosophy, 77—“In certain families, Descartes teaches, good breeding and the gout are innate. Yet, of course, the children of such families have to be instructed in deportment, and th infants just learning to walk seem happily quite free from gout. Even so geometry is innate in us, but it does not come to our con. sciousness without much trouble"; 79 – Locke found no innate ideas. He maintained, in reply, that “infants, with their rattles, showed no sign of being aware that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other." Schopenhauer said that " Jacobi had the tritling weakness of taking all he had learned and approved before his fifteenth year for inborn ideas of the human mind." Bowne, Principles of Ethics, 5“That the rational ideas are conditioned by the sense experience and are sequent to it, is unquestioned by any one; and that experience shows a successive order of manifestation is equally undoubted. But the sensationalist has always shown a curious blindness to the ambiguity of such a fact. He will have it that what comes after must be a modification of what went before; whereas it might be that, and it might be a new, though conditioned, manifestation of an immanent nature or law. Chemical affinity is not gravity, although affinity cannot manifest itself until gravity has brought the elements into certain relations."
Pfleiderer, Philosophy of Religion, 1 : 103 — “ This principle was not from the beginning in the consciousness of men; for, in order to think ideas, reason must be clearly developed, which in the first of mankind it could just as little be as in children. This however does not exclude the fact that there was from the beginning the unconscious rational impulse which lay at the basis of the formation of the belief in God, however manifold may have been the direct motives which co-operated with it." Self is implied in the simplest act of knowledge. Sensation gives us two things, c.()., black and white; but I cannot compare them without asserting difference for me. Different sensations make no knowledge, without a self to bring them together. Upton, Hibbert Lectures, lecture 2 — " You could as easily prove the existence of an external world to a man who h:id no senses to perceive it, as you could prove the existence of God to one who had no consciousness of God."
B. Positively.—A first truth is a knowledge which, though developed upon occasion of observation and reflection, is not derived from observation and reflection, knowledge on the contrary which has such logical priority that it must be assumed or supposed, in order to make any observation or reflection possible. Such truths are not, therefore, recognized first in order of time ; some of them are assented to somewhat late in the mind's growth ; by the great majority of men they are never consciously formulated at all. Yet they constitute the necessary assumptions upon which all other knowledge rests, and the mind has not only the inborn capacity to evolve them so soon as the proper occasions are presented, but the recognition of them is inevitable so soon as the mind begins to give account to itself of its own knowledge.
Mansel, Metaphysics, 52, 279 — "To describe experience as the cause of the idea of space would be as inaccurate as to speak of the soil in which it was planted as the cause of the oak – though the planting in the soil is the condition which brings into manifestation the latent power of the acorn." Coleridge: “ We see before we know that we have eyes; but when once this is known, we perceive that eyes must have preëxisted in order to enable us to sec.” Coleridge speaks of first truths as “those neces. sities of mind or forms of thinking, which, though revealed to us by experience, must yet have preëxisted in order to make experience possible." McCosh, Intuitions, 48, 49 -- Intuitions are "like flower and fruit, which are in the plant from its embryo, but may not be actually formed till there have been a stalk and branches and leaves.'' Porter, Human Intellect, 501, 619—“Such truths cannot be acquired or assented to first of all.” Some are reached last of all. The moral intuition is often developed late, and
sometimes, even then, only upon occasion of corporal punishment. “Every man is as lazy as circumstances will admit.” Our physical laziness is occasional; our mental laziness frequent; our inoral laziness incessant. We are too lazy to think, and especially to think of religion. On account of this depravity of human naturo we should expect the intuition of God to be developed last of all. Men shrink from contact with God and from the thought of God. In fact, their dislike for the intuition of God leads them not seldom to deny all their other intuitions, even those of freedom and of right, Hence the modern "psychology without a soul."
Schurman, Agnosticism and Religion, 103-115 — "The idea of God is latest to develop into clear consciousness and must be latest, for it is the unity of the difference of the self and the not-self, which are therefore presupposed.” But “it has not less validity in itself, it gives no less trustworthy assurance of actuality, than the consciousness of the self, or the consciousness of the not-self. ... The consciousness of God is the logical prius of the consciousness of self and of the world. But not, as already observed, the chronological; for, according to the profound observation of Aristotle, what in the nature of things is first, is in the order of development last. Just because God is the first principle of being and knowing, he is the last to be manifested and known. ... The finite and the infinite are both known together, and it is as impossible to know one without the other as it is to apprehend an angle without the sides which contain it." For account of the relation of the intuitions to experience, see especially Cousin, True, Beautiful and Good, u9-61, and History of Philosophy, 2 : 199– 245. Compare Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Introd., 1. See also Bascom, in Bib. Sac., 23:1-47; 27:68-90.
2. Their criteria. The criteria by which first truths are to be tested are three :
A. Their universality. By this we mean, not that all men assent to them or understand them when propounded in scientific form, but that all men manifest a practical belief in them by their language, actions, and expectations.
B. Their necessity. By this we mean, not that it is impossible to deny these truths, but that the mind is compelled by its very constitution to recognize them upon the occurrence of the proper conditions, and to employ them in its arguments to prove their non-existence.
C. Their logical independence and priority. By this we mean that these trnths can be resolved into no others, and proved by no others; that they are presnpposed in the acquisition of all other knowledge, and can therefore be derived from no other source than an original cognitive power of the mind.
Instances of the professed and formal denial of first truths: - the positivist denies causality; the idealist denies substance; the pantheist denies personality: the necessitarian denies freedom; the nihilist denies his own existence. A man may in like manner argue that there is no necessity for an atmosphere; but even while he argues, he breathes it. Instance the knock-down argument to demonstrate the freedom of the will. I grant my own existence in the very doubting of it; for “cogito, ergo sum,” as Descartes himself insisted, really means “cogito, scilicet sum"; H. B. Smith: “The statement is analysis, not proof." Ladd, Philosophy of Knowledge, 59 — "The cogito, in barbarous Latin - cogitans sum: thinking is self-conscious being." Benthamı: “The word ought is an authoritative imposture, and ought to be banished from the realm of morals." Spinoza and Hegel really deny self-consciousness when they make man a phenomenon of the infinite. Royce likens the denier of personality to the man who goes outside of his own house and declares that no one lives there because, when he looks in at the window, he sees no one inside.
Professor James, in his Psychology, assumes the reality of a brain, but refuses to assume the reality of a soul. This is essentially the position of materialism. But this assumption of a brain is metaphysics, although the author claims to be writing a
psychology without metaphysics. Ladu, Philosophy of Mind, 3 — "The materialist believes in causation proper so long as he is explaining the origin of mind from matter, but when he is asked to see in mind the cause of physical change he at once becomes a incre phenomenalist." Royce, Spirit of Modern Philosophy, 400 — " I know that all beings, if only they can count, must find that three and two make five. Per. haps the angels cannot coumt; but, if they can, this axiom is true for them. If I met an angel who declared that his experience had occasionally shown him a three and two that did not make five, I should know at once what sort of an angel he was.” On the criteria of first truths, see Porter, Human Intellect, 510, 511. On denial of them, see Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:213.
II. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD A FIRST TRUTH.
1. That the knowledge of God's existence answers the first criterion of universality, is evident from the following considerations:
A. It is an acknowledged fact that the vast majority of men have actually recognized the existence of a spiritual being or beings, upon whom they conceived themselves to be dependent.
The Vedas declare: "There is but one Being -- no second." Max Müller, Origin and Growth of Religion, 34 — "Not the visiblesun, moon and stars are invoked, but something else that cannot be seen." The lowest tribes have conscience, fear death, believe in witches, propitiate or frighten away evil fates. Even the fetich-worshiper, who calls the stone or the tree a god, shows that he has already the idea of a God. We must not measure the ideas of the heathen by their capacity for expression, any more than we should judge the child's belief in the existence of his father by his success in drawing the father's picture. On heathenism, its origin and nature, see Tholuck, in Bib. Repos., 1832 : 86; Scholz, Götzendienst und Zauberwesen.
B. Those races and nations which have at first seemed destitute of such knowledge have uniformly, upon further investigation, been found to possess it, so that no tribe of men with which we have thorough acquaintance can be said to be without an object of worship. We may presume that further knowledge will show this to be true of all.
Moffat, who reported that certain African tribes were destitute of religion, was corrected by the testimony of his son-in-law, Livingstone: “The existence of God and of a future life is everywhere recognized in Africa.” Where men are most nearly destitute of any formulated knowledge of God, the conditions for the awakening of the idea are most nearly absent. An apple-tree may be so conditioned that it never bears apples. “We do not judge of the oak by the stunted, flowerless specimens on the edge of the Arctic Circle." The presence of an occasional blind, deaf or dumb man does not disprove the definition that man is a secing, hearing and speaking creature. Bowne, Principles of Ethics, 134 --“We need not tremble for mathematics, even if some tribes should be found without the multiplication-table. Sub-moral and sub-rational existence is always with us in the case of young children; and, if we should find it elsewhere, it would bave no greater significance."
Victor Hugo: “Some men deny the Infinite; some, too, deny the sun; they are the blind." Gladden, What is Left? 148 — “ A man may (scape from his shadow by going into the dark; if he comes under the light of the sun, the shadow is there. A man may be so mentally undisciplined that he does not recognize these ideas; but let him learn the use of his reason, let him reflect on his own mental processes, and he will know that they are necessary ideas." On an original monotheism, see Diestel, in Jahrbuch für deutsche Theologie, 1860, and vol. 5:663; Max Müller, Chips, 1:337; Rawlinson, in Present Day Tracts, No. 11; Legye, Religions of China, 8-11; Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:201-208. Per contra, see Asinus, Indogerm, Relig., 2:1-8; and synopsis in Bib. Sac., Jan. 1877: 167-172.
C. This conclusion is corroborated by the fact that those individuals, in heathen or in Christian lands, who profess themselves to be without any
knowledge of a spiritual power or powers above them, do yet indirectly manifest the existence of such an idea in their minds and its positive influence over them.
Comte said that science would conduct God to the frontier and then bow him out, with thanks for his provisional services. But Herbert Spencer affirms the existence of a "Power to which no limit in time or space is conceivable, of which all phenomena as presented in consciousness are manifestations." The intuition of God, though formally excluded, is implicitly contained in Spencer's system, in the shape of the “irresistible belief” in Absolute Being, which distinguishes his position from that of Comte: see H. Spencer, who says: “One truth must ever grow clearer -- the truth that there is an inscrutable existence everywhere manifested, to which we can neither find nor conceive beginning or end - the one absolute certainty that we are ever in the presence of an infinite and eternal energy from which all things proceed." Mr. Spencer assumes unity in the underlying Reality. Frederick Harrison sneeringly asks him: “Why not say "forces,' instead of 'force'?" While Harrison gives us a supreme moral ideal without a metaphysical ground, Spencer gives us an ultimate metaphysical principle without a final moral purpose. The idea of God is the synthesis of the two, -"They are but broken lights of Thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they " (Tennyson, In Memoriam).
Solon spoke of ο θεός and of το θείον, and Sophocles of ο μέγας θεός. The term for “God” is identical in all the Indo-European languages, and therefore belonged to the time before those languages separated; see Shedd, Dogm. Theol., 1:201-208. In Virgil's Æneid, Mezentius is an atheist, a despiser of the gods, trusting only in his spear and in his right arm; but, when the corpse of his son is brought to him, his first act is to raise his hands to heaven. Hume was a sceptic, but he said to Ferguson, as they walked on a starry night: “Adam, there is a God!" Voltaire prayed in an Alpine thunderstorm. Shelley wrote his name in the visitors' book of the inn at Montanvert, and added : “Democrat, philanthropist, atheist”; yet he loved to think of a “fine intellectual spirit pervading the universe"; and be also wrote: “The One remains, the many change and pass; Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly.” Strauss worships the Cosmos, because “order and law, reason and goodness" are the soul of it. Renan trust; in goodness, design, ends. Charles Darwin, Life, 1:271--“In my most extreme fluctuations, I have never been an atheist, in the sense of denying the existence of a God.”
D. This agreement among individuals and nations so widely separated in time and place can be most satisfactorily explained by supposing that it has its ground, not in accidental circumstances, but in the nature of man as man. The diverse and imperfectly developed icleas of the supreme Being which prevail among men are best accounted for as misinterpretations and perversions of an intuitive conviction common to all.
Huxley, Lay Sermons, 163 — " There are savages without God, in any proper sense of the word; but there are none without ghosts." Martineau, Study, 2:353, well replies: “Instead of turning other people into ghosts, and then appropriating one to ourselves (and attributing another to God, we may add ] by way of imitation, we start from the sense of personal continuity, and then predicate the same of others, under the figures which keep most clear of the physical and perishable." Grant Allen describes the higher religions as a grotesque fungoid growth,” that has gathered about a primitive thread of ancestor-worship. But this is to derive the greater from the less. Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, 358 — “I can find no trace of ancestor-worship in the earliest literature of Babylonia which has survived to us”- this seems fatal to Huxley's and Allen's view that the idea of God is derived from man's prior belief in spirits of the dead. C. M. Tyler, in Am. Jour. Theo., Jan. 1899 : 144 – “It seems impossible to deify a dead man, unless there is embryonic in primitive consciousness a prior concept of Deity.”
Renouf, Religion of Ancient Egypt, 93 - "The whole mythology of Egypt turns on the histories of Ra and Osiris. . . . Texts are discovered which identify Osiris and Ra. . . . Other texts are known wherein Ra, Osiris, Amon, and all other gods disappear, except as simple names, and the unity of God is asserted in the noblest langunge of monotheistic religion." These facts are earlier than any known ancestor
worship. “They point to an original idea of divinity above humanity" (see Hill, Genetic Philosophy, 317). We must add the idea of the superhuman, before we can turn any animism or ancestor-worship into a religion. This superhuman element was suggested to early man by all he saw of nature about him, especially by the sight of the heavens above, and by what he knew of causality within. For the evidence of a uni. versal recognition of a superior power, see Flint, Anti-theistic Theories, 250-289, 5:22-533; Renouf, Hibbert Lectures for 1879: 100; Bib. Sac., Jan. 1884: 132-157; Peschel, Races of Men, 261; Ulrici, Leib und Seele, 688, and Gott und die Natur, 658–670, 758; Tylor, Primitive Culture, 1:377, 381, 418: Alexander, Evidences of Christianity, 22; Calderwood, Philosophy of the Infinite,512; Liddon, Elements of Religion, 50; Methodist Quar. Rev., Jan. 1875:1; J. F. Clark, Ten Great Religions, 2:18-21.
2. That the knowledge of God's existence answers the second criterion of necessity, will be seen by considering:
A. That men, under circumstances fitted to call forth this knowledge, cannot avoid recognizing the existence of God. In contemplating finite existence, there is inevitably suggested the idea of an infinite Being as its correlative. Upon occasion of the mind's perceiving its own finiteness, dependence, responsibility, it immediately and necessarily perceives the existence of an infinite and unconditioned Being upon whom it is dependent and to whom it is responsible.
We could not recognize the finite as finite, except by comparing it with an already existing standard -- the Infinite. Mansel, Limits of Religous Thought, lect. 3 --“We are compelled by the constitution of our minds to believe in the existence of an Absolute and Lufinito Being -- a belief which appears forced upon us as the complement of our consciousness of the relative and finite.” Fisher, Journ. Chr. Philos., Jan. 1883: 113 – “Ego and non-ego, each being conditioned by the other, presuppose unconditioned being on which both are dependent. Unconditioned being is the silent presupposition of all our knowing." Perceived dependent being implies an independent; independent being is perfectly self-determining; self-determination is personality; perfect selfdetermination is infinite Personality, John Watson, in Philos. Rev., Sept. 1893:526 — “There is no consciousness of self apart from the consciousness of other selves and things; and no consciousness of the world apart from the consciousness of the single Reality presupposed in both.” E. Caird, Evolution of Religion, 61-68 — In every act of consciousness the primary elements are implied: "the idea of the object, or not-self ; the idea of the subject, or self; and the idea of the unity which is presupposed in the difference of the self and not-self, and within which they act and react on each other." See Calderwood, Philos. of Infinite, 46, and Moral Philos., 7o; Hopkins, Outline Study of Man, 283-285; Shedd, Dogm. Theol., 1:211.
B. That men, in virtue of their humanity, have a capacity for religion. This recognized capacity for religion is proof that the idea of God is a necessary one.
If the mind upon proper occasion did not evolve this idea, there would be nothing in man to which religion could appeal.
"It is the suggestion of the Infinite that makes the line of the far horizon, seen over land or sea, so much more impressive than the beauties of any limited landscape." In times of sudden shock and danger, this rational intuition becomes a presentative intuition, – men become more conscious of God's existence than of the existence of their fellow-men and they instinctively cry to God for help. In the cominands and reproaches of the moral nature the soul recognizes a Lawgiver and Judge whose voice conscience merely echoes. Aristotle called man "a political animal”; it is still more true, as Sabatier declares, that "man is incurably religious." St. Bernard : “Xoverim me, noverim te.” 0. P. Gifford: “As milk, from which under proper conditions cream does not rise, is not milk, so the man, who upon proper occasion shows no knowledge of God, is not man, but brute.” We must not however expect cream from frozen milk. Proper environment and conditions are needed.
It is the recognition of a divine Personality in nature which constitutes the greatest merit and charm of Wordsworth's poetry. In his Tinteru Abbey, he speaks of “A pres