Info

men. He puts forth a positive influence to make moral agents act, in every instance of their conduct, as he pleases.? God therefore creates all the volition of the soul, as he effects by his almighty power all the changes of the material world. Rothe also held this view. To his mind external expression is necessary to God. His maxim was: ?Kein Gott ohne Welt? ? ?There can be no God without an accompanying world.? See Rothe, Dogmatik, 1: l26 ? l60, esp. 150, and Theol. Ethik, 1:186-190; also in Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan. 1875:144. See also Lotze, Philos. of Religion, 8194.

The element of truth in Continuous Creation is its assumption that all force is will. Its error is in maintaining that all force is divine will, and divine will in direct exercise. But the humans will is a force as well as the divine will, and the forces of nature are secondary and automatic, not primary and immediate, workings of God. These remarks may enable us to estimate the grain of truth in the following utterances, which need important qualification and limitation. Bowne, Philosophy of Theism, 202, likens the universe to the musical note, which exists only on condition of being incessantly reproduced. Herbert Spencer says that ?ideas are like the successive chords and cadences brought out from a piano, which successively die away as others are produced.? Maudsley, Physiology of Mind, quotes this passage, but asks quite pertinently: ?What about the performer, in the case of the piano and in the case of the brain, respectively? Where in the brain is the equivalent of the harmonic conceptions in the performer?s mind?? Professor Fitzgerald: ?All nature is living thought ? the language of One in whom we live and move and have our being.? Dr. Oliver Lodge, to the British Association in 1891: ?The barrier between matter and mind may melt away, as so many others have done.?

To this we object, upon the following grounds:

(a) It contradicts the testimony of consciousness that regular and executive activity is not the mere repetition of an initial decision, but is an exercise of the will entirely different in kind.

Ladd, in his Philosophy of Mind, 144, indicates the error in Continuous Creation as follows: ?The whole world of things is momentarily quenched and then replaced by a similar world of actually new realities.? The words of the poet would then be literally true: ?Every fresh and new creation, A divine improvisation, From the heart of God proceeds.? Ovid, Metaph., 1:16 ? ?Instabilis tellus, innabilis unda.? Seth, Hegelianism and Personality, 60, says that, to Fichte, ?the world was thus perpetually

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment