beauty is inexplicable except as there exists a perfect standard with which it may be compared. The beautiful is more than the agreeable or the useful. Proportions, order, harmony, unity in diversity ? all these things are characteristics of beauty. But they all imply an intellectual and spiritual Being, from whom they proceed and by whom they can be measured. Both physical and moral beauty, in finite things and being, are symbols and manifestations of him who is the author and lover of beauty, and who is himself in infinite and absolute Beauty. The beautiful in nature and in art shows that the idea of God?s existence is logically independent and prior. See Cousin, The True, The Beautiful, and the Good, 140-153; Kant, Metaphysic of Ethics, who holds that belief in God is the necessary presupposition of the belief in duty.
To repeat these four points in another form ? the intuition of an Absolute Reason is
(a) the necessary presupposition of all other knowledge, so that we cannot know anything else to exist except by assuming first of all that God exists;
(b) the necessary basis of all logical thought, so that we cannot put confidence in any one of our reasoning processes except by taking for granted that a thinking Deity has constructed our minds with reference to the universe and to truth;
(c) the necessary implication of our primitive belief in design, so that we can assume all things to exist for a purpose, only by making the prior assumption that a purposing God exists ? can regard the universe as a thought, only by postulating the existence of an absolute Thinker; and
(d) the necessary foundation of our conviction of moral obligation, so that we can believe in the universal authority of right, only by assuming that there exists a God of righteousness who reveals his will both in the individual conscience and in the moral universe at large. We cannot prove that God is; but we can show that, in order to the existence of any knowledge, thought, reason, conscience, in man, man must assume that God is.
As Jacobi said of the beautiful: ?Es kann gewiesen aber nicht bewiesen werden? ? it can be shown, but not proved. Bowne, Metaphysics, 472 ? ?Our objective knowledge of the finite must rest upon ethical trust in the infinite?; 480 ? ?Theism is the absolute postulate of all knowledge, science and philosophy?; ?God is the most certain fact of objective knowledge.? Ladd, Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1877 611-616 ? ?Cogito,
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