fact, demands a rational explanation. and that the most rational explanation that can possibly be given is that furnished in the conception of such a Being. In this conclusion reason rests, and refuses to rest in any other.? Ruckert: ?Wer Gott nicht fuhlt in sich und allen Lebenskreisen, Dem werdet ihr nicht ihn beweisen mit Beweisen.? Harris, Philos. Basis of Theism, 307 ? ?Theology depends on noetic and empirical science to give the occasion on which the idea of the Absolute Being arises, and to give content to the idea.? Andrew Fuller, Part of Syst. of Divin., 4 : 283 , questions ?whether argumentation in favor of the existence of God has not made more skeptics than believers.? So far as this true, it is due to an overstatement of the arguments and an exaggerated notion of what is to be expected from them. See Nitzsch, Christian Doctrine, translation, 140; Ebrard, Dogmatik, 1:119, 120; Fisher, Essays on Supernatural Origin of Christianity, 572, 573; Van Oosterzee, 238, 241.
?Evidences of Christianity?? said Coleridge, ?1 am weary of the word.? The more Christianity was proved, the less it was believed. The revival of religion under Whitefield and Wesley did what all the apologists of the eighteenth century could not do, ? it quickened men?s intuitions into life, and made them practically recognize God. Martineau, Types, 2:231 ? Men can ?bow the knee to the passing Zeitqeist, while turning the back to the consensus of all the ages?; Seat of Authority, 312 ? ?Our reasonings lead to explicit Theism because they start from implicit Theism.? Illingworth, Div. and Hum. Personality, 81 ? ?The proofs are... attempts to account for and explain and justify something that already exists; to decompose a highly complex though immediate judgment into its constituent elements, none of which when isolated can have the completeness or the cogency of the original conviction taken as a whole.?
Bowne, Philos. of Theism, 31, 32 ? ?Demonstration is only a makeshift for helping ignorance to insight...When we come to an argument in which the whole nature is addressed, the argument must seem weak or strong, according as the nature is feebly, or fully, developed. The moral argument for theism cannot seem strong to one without a conscience. The argument from cognitive interests will be empty when there is no cognitive interest. Little souls find very little that calls for explanation or that excites surprise, and they are satisfied with a correspondingly small view of life and existence. In such a case we cannot hope for universal agreement. We can only proclaim the faith that is in us, in hope that this proclamation may not be without some response in other minds and hearts...We have only probable evidence for the uniformity of nature or for the affection of friends. We cannot logically prove either. The deepest convictions are not the certainties of logic, but the certainties of life.?
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?