partial knowledge of him, and this knowledge, though not exhaustive, may yet be real, and adequate to the purposes of science.
(a) The objection mentioned in the text is urged by Mansel, Limits of Religious Thought, 97, 98, and is answered by Martineau, Essays, 1; 291. The mind does not exist in space, and it has no parts: we cannot speak of its southwest corner, nor can we divide it into halves. Yet we find the material for mental science in partial knowledge of the mind. So, while we are not ?geographers of the divine nature? (Bowne, Review of Spencer,
72), we may say with Paul, not ?now know we a part of God,? but ?now I knew God, in part? ( <461312>1 Corinthians13:12). We may know truly what we do not know exhaustively; see Ephesians3:19 ? ?to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.? I do not perfectly understand myself, yet I know myself in part; so I may know God. though I do not perfectly understand him.
(b) The same argument that proves God unknowable proves the universe unknowable also. Since every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other, no one particle can be exhaustively explained without taking account of all the rest. Thomas Carlyle: ?It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the center of gravity of the universe.? Tennyson, Higher Panetheism: ?Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies; hold you here, root and all, in my hand, Little flower; but if I could understand What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is.? Schurman, Agnosticism, 119 ? ?Partial as it is, this vision of the divine transfigures the life of man on earth.? Pfleiderer, Philos. Religion,, 1:167 ? ?A faint ? hearted agnosticism is worse than the arrogant and titanic Gnosticism against which it protests.. ?
B. Because all predicates of God are negative, and therefore furnish no real knowledge. We answer:
(a) Predicates derived from our consciousness, such as spirit, love, and holiness, are positive.
(b) The terms ?infinite? and ? absolute,? moreover, express not merely a negative but a positive idea ? the idea, in the former case, of the absence of all limit, the idea that the object thus described goes on and on forever; the idea, in the latter case, of entire self-sufficiency. Since predicates of God, therefore, are not merely negative, the argument mentioned above furnishes no valid reason why we may not know him.
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