carry the moral idea into the natural world, not the natural idea into the moral world.? See also, Blunt, Dictionary Doct. and list. Theol., 740; Porter, Human Intellect, 567. H. M. Stanley, on Space and Science, in Philos. Rev., Nov. 1898:615 ? ?Space is not full of things, but things are spaceful. ... Space is a form of dynamic appearance. ? Prof. C. A. Strong:
?The world composed of consciousness and other existences is not in space, though it may be in something of which space is the symbol.?
2. That of Descartes. We have the idea of an infinite and perfect Being. This idea cannot be derived from imperfect and finite things. There must therefore be an infinite and perfect Being who is its cause.
But we reply that this argument confounds the idea of the infinite with an infinite idea. Man?s idea of the infinite is not infinite but finite, and from a finite effect we cannot argue an infinite cause.
This form of the Ontological Argument, while it is a priori as based upon a necessary idea of the human mind, is, unlike the other forms of the same argument, a posteriori, as arguing from this idea, as an effect, to the existence of a Being who is its cause. A posteriori argument = from that which is later to that which is earlier, that is, from effect to cause. The Cosmological, Teleological, and Anthropological Arguments are arguments a posteriori. Of this sort is the argument of Descartes; see Descartes, Meditation 3: H«c idea qu« in nobis est requirit Deum pro causa; Deusque proinde existit.? The idea in men?s minds is the impression of the workman?s name stamped indelibly on his work ? the shadow cast upon the human soul by that unseen One of whose being and presence it dimly informs us. Blunt, Diet. of Theol., 739; Saisset, Pantheism., 1:54 ? ?Descartes sets out from a fact of consciousness, while Anselm sets out from an abstract conception?; ?Descartes?s argument might be considered a branch of the Anthropological or Moral Argument, but for the fact that this last proceeds from man?s constitution rather than from his abstract ideas.? See Bibliotheca Sacra, 1849:637.
3. That of Anselm. We have the idea of an absolutely perfect Being. But existence is an attribute of perfection. An absolutely perfect Being must there- fore exist.
But we reply that this argument confounds ideal existence with real existence. Our ideas are not the measure of external reality.
Anselm, Proslogion, 2 ? ?Id, quo majus cogitari nequit, non potest esse in intellectu solo.? See translation of the Proslogion, in Bibliotheca Sacra,
Was this article helpful?