Schurman, Agnosticism and Religion, 105-115 ? ?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 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, 39-64, and History of Philosophy, 2:199-245. Compare Kant, critique of Pure Reason, Introduction, 1. See also Basom, in Bibliotheca Sacra, 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 nonexistence.
C. Their logical independence and priority. By this we mean that these truths can be resolved into no others, and proved by no others; that they are presupposed 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 knockdown argument to demonstrate the freedom of the will. I grant my
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