the general Soul, Is faith as vague as all unsweet.? See Pfleiderer, Die Ritschl?sche Theologie, 12; Howison, Limits of Evolution, 279-312.
Seth, Hegelianism: ?For Hegel, immortality is only the permanence of the Absolute, the abstract process. This is no more consoling than the continued existence of the chemical elements of our bodies in new transformations. Human self-consciousness is a spark struck in the dark, to die away on the darkness whence it has arisen.? This is the only immortality of which George Eliot conceived in her poem, The Immortal Choir: ?O may I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence; live In pulses stirred to generosity, In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable aims that end in self, In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge man?s search To vaster issues.? Those who hold to this unconscious immortality concede that death is not a separation of parts, but rather a cessation of consciousness and that therefore, while the substance of human nature may endure, mankind may ever develop into new forms without individual immortality. To this we reply, that man?s self-consciousness and self-determination are different in kind from the consciousness and determination of the brute. As man can direct his self-consciousness and self-determination to immortal ends, we have the right to believe this self-consciousness and self-determination to be immortal. This leads us to the next argument.
(b) The teleological argument. Man, as an intellectual, moral and religious being, does not attain the end of his existence on earth. His development is imperfect here. Divine wisdom will not leave its work incomplete. There must be a hereafter for the full growth of man?s powers and for the satisfaction of his aspirations. Created, unlike the brute, with infinite capacities for moral progress, there must be an immortal existence in which those capacities shall be brought into exercise. Though the wicked person forfeits his claim to this future, we have here an argument from God?s love and wisdom to the immortality of the righteous.
In reply to this argument, it has been said that many right wishes are vain. Mill, Essays on Religion, 294 ? ?Desire for food implies enough to eat, now and forever? Hence, an eternal supply of cabbage?? But our argument proceeds upon three presuppositions.
(1) A holy and benevolent God exists.
(3) Man?s true end is holiness and likeness to God.
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