This book treats, as its title would indicate, about the character of the human mind as independent of the body, and so traces "The Divine Pedigree Of Man." The author holds that there is a subjective and an objective mind. "Materialistic scientists have succeeded in demonstrating, that the objective mind is a function of the brain, and that it is inherent in the brain.' But it does not necessarily follow that the subjective mind is inherent in any one or more organs of the body; on the contrary, all the facis tend to prove that it exists independently of any specialized organ whatever. The objective mind cannot, of its own volition, move one purely involuntary muscle. On the other hand, the subjective mind can and often does take entire control of the whole body and wields it at its will. This is universal law in the supreme hour.
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The Divine Pedigree Of Man
Or The Testimony Of Evolution And Psychology To The Fatherhood Of God
Thomson Jay Hudson
The Divine Pedigree Of Man
Part 1 -- Evolution And Psychology.
Chapter I - Agnosticism.
Chapter Ii - Psychology
Chapter Iii - Psychology Of Micro-Organisms.
Chapter Iv - Evolution And The Subjective Mind.
Chapter V - Evolution And The Objective Mind.
Chapter Vi - The Process Of Evolution.
Chapter Vii - Recapitulation.
Chapter Viii - The Two Great Generic Instincts.
Chapter Ix - Evolution Of The Two Instincts In The Individual.
Chapter X - Evolution Of The Two Instincts In The State.
Chapter Xi - Evolution Of Conscience And Religious Principles.
Part 2 -- Psychology And Christian Theism.
Chapter I - Preliminary.
Chapter Ii - The Great Atheistic Petitio Principii.
Chapter Iii - The Mind Of Man's Earliest Earthly Ancestor.
Chapter Iv - Other Godlike Potentials In The Mind Of The Moneron.
Chapter V - Natural Law Vs. "Supernatural Miracle."
Chapter Vi - The Argument From Heredity.
Chapter Vii - The Argument From Heredity (Continued).
Chapter Viii - Human Ontogeny And Phylogeny.
Chapter Ix - The Theistic Argument From Ontogeny And Phylogeny.
Chapter X - In The Image Of God.
The Divine Pedigree Of Man,T. J. Hudson
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
Cover Design: © James Steidl - Fotolia.com
IN attempting to fulfill a task so important, and from a layman's point of view so difficult, as that of outlining a scientific basis of Christian theism, I feel it to be due to my readers that I should state the causes which led me to undertake it, and the principles by which I have been guided in carrying it to a conclusion.
It is scarcely necessary to remark that this book was not written for the benefit of those who have already found in Holy Writ sufficient evidence to convince them of the existence of an intelligent Great First Cause. Nor was it written to convince anybody of the soundness of the theory of organic evolution.
It was written for the benefit of that large and constantly enlarging class of men who are imbued with the ultra-scientific dogma that nothing in either physical science or spiritual philosophy is worthy of belief if it is not confirmed by a series of well authenticated facts, a congeries of observable natural phenomena. This class of course includes many who are not themselves scientists, but who, having been unable to assimilate the logic of the theologian, pin their faith upon the asseverations of those scientists who claim to have definitely ascertained that there is nothing in man that cannot be dragged to light by means of the surgeon's instruments or the appliances of the chemist's laboratory ; or upon the reasoning of those logicians who claim to have discovered, by the process of inductive inquiry, that there is "no logical necessity" for the existence of an intelligent Deity. It was written more especially for the benefit of that large and constantly multiplying class of intelligent students who have become convinced of the substantial correctness of the general theory of organic evolution, many of whom have, at the same time, been led to adopt the atheistic conclusions reached by the great pioneers in that science. Not that all, or even the greater part, of the students of evolution have been thus led astray ; for they have not. On the contrary, I think it may be safely assumed that a great majority of educated persons of all religious denominations now recognize evolution as God's method of creation. They have, indeed, not been slow to recognize the fact that the teleological argument has been immensely fortified by the simple facts of organic evolution ; and they have been content to ignore the atheistic hypotheses that were at first heralded as necessary elements of the theory of evolution itself. Nevertheless, there are many earnest seekers after truth who are not thus fortified against the specious arguments of atheism; some of whom are prone to accept, at its face value, the gratuitous assumption that the atheistic hypotheses of evolutionists are as well sustained by facts as is the theory of evolution itself. It was to expose this error this fruitful source of manifold errors and to show that the facts of evolution are susceptible of no other than a theistic interpretation, that this book was written. In other words, it was written to show that the facts of organic and mental evolution point clearly and unmistakably to a divine origin of mind and life on this earth ; and that the atheistic theories of agnostic evolutionists are positively and unqualifiedly destitute of facts to sustain them.
I have, therefore, deemed it best to frame my argument upon purely scientific lines, avoiding speculative philosophy, and adhering strictly to the inductive method of investigation. To that end I have resisted the temptation to strengthen my argument by quotations from Holy Writ ; although the Bible is full of pertinent passages which the Biblical scholar will not fail to recognize and apply. I have not even touched upon the teleological argument; although the teleologist will not fail to find an abundance of material for his purpose in the facts presented.
As already intimated, the facts of organic and mental evolution alone form the basis of my argument for theism, per se. And when I say that I have accepted those facts as they are set forth by the atheistic evolutionists, the reader will understand that I have not selected my authorities from among those who might be biased in favor of my conclusions. Also, I have accepted their arguments in favor of the general theory of organic evolution ; and I have carried those arguments to their logical conclusion. In so doing I have shown that every fact and every argument that sustains the theory of evolution also proves, with stronger reason, the divine origin of life and mind.
In pursuing my investigations I have adopted the plan of going back to the very beginning of organic life on this planet in search of evidence to prove my thesis. I have done this on the theory that the nearer we approach to the source of anything the more clearly will the nature of the source be revealed in the observable phenomena. When I say that I have not been disappointed in my quest, the reader may understand that I have found in the lowest forms of animal life indubitable evidence of the divine origin of mind and life on this earth. I have also duly considered the other salient facts, phases, and stages of organic evolution, from the monera to man, with the result of finding that the uniform trend is in the same direction.
It is, however, one thing to establish the general doctrine of the divine origin of life and mind, and quite another to sustain the specific doctrine of Christian theism. The one is amply proven by the facts of organic evolution alone ; the other requires the aid of psychology.
I have, therefore, given particular attention to the latter science, not only with special reference to its bearing upon Christian theism, but with regard to its bearing upon the general subject of organic evolution. Those readers who are familiar with my former works will readily understand that I refer to the new psychology; that is, to that system of psychology the fundamental principles of which were outlined in "The Law of Psychic Phenomena." In the present work I have simply carried to its legitimate conclusion the fundamental hypothesis set forth in the work above mentioned. I have been moved to do so for many good and sufficient reasons, among which are : (1) The hypothesis has already been demonstrated to be capable of correlating all psychical phenomena, and explaining them on scientific principles. (2) It harmonizes with all the facts of the physical sciences, including those of organic and mental evolution. (3) It is the only hypothesis that furnishes a complete answer to the arguments of materialism in reference to the question of the existence of a soul in man, or of its immortality. (4) And finally, it is the only psychological hypothesis yet promulgated that completely harmonizes all the facts of science with the essential doctrines of the Christian religion.
I have felt constrained, therefore, to make psychology a prominent feature of this book; and in so doing I have attempted to outline the fundamental principles which may manifest the harmony that exists between science and religion. Owing to the limitations of space in a volume like this, I have been compelled to confine myself to the specific subject of Christian theism, leaving much unsaid that bears upon the general subject of Christianity. The purpose of my undertaking will have been accomplished, however, if I have been able to point out to others a method of research which will enable them to carry forward the work that is here begun.
I have no apology to make for the faults of construction and style of this book, other than to say that it may appear that there are undue repetitions, but it will be found that these are necessary to the continuity of the thought or argument. Some of them are, perhaps, due to the fact that much of the matter has been taken from my lectures and essays on special branches of the subject here treated.
T. J. H.
IT is the boast of science that its only quest is truth, and that in its pursuit the inductive method of inquiry is never departed from. So persistently have scientists iterated and reiterated this declaration, and so abundant are the evidences that they have in the main adhered to it, that the uncritical world is wont to accept as truth whatever bears the scientific label, and as valid whatever conclusions are alleged to have been reached by the process of induction. Nor can it be denied that the constantly multiplying scientific appliances of modern civilization afford indubitable evidences of the value, not to say the infallibility, of the Baconian methods of research in the realm of physical science. The marvellous success of the inductive method of searching for truth in the material world not unnaturally gave rise to the broad declaration, by the materialistic scientists, that no theory of causation, spiritual or physical, is worthy of serious consideration unless it be sustained by a series of well-authenticated facts that can bear no other possible interpretation. This was the prevailing idea among skeptical scientists and their followers when Darwin propounded the theory that the organic world owed its existence to progressive development and inheritance from the lower forms of animal life.
With what alacrity this theory was accepted by the skeptical scientists, and how thoroughly it was reprobated by the theological world, are matters of history. The reasons for the acceptance on the one hand and the rejection on the other were, of course, identical. The theory, if true, disproved the then prevailing theological dogma of special, miraculous creations of species in the organic world.
It was here that the first great, fundamental error was committed by both sides. On the part of the atheistic scientists it consisted in the assumption that, by disproving the doctrine of special creations, they had eliminated God from the universe; or, to use the language of Romanes, they had thereby obviated the " logical necessity for a God." On the part of the theologians the mistake consisted in accepting the conclusion as a valid deduction from the premise; thus rendering it logically necessary for them to denounce the doctrine of evolution itself. For the time being no one seemed to regard any middle ground as logically possible; and the breach between science and religion seemed wider than ever.
After a few years had elapsed, however, the most liberal-minded, intelligent, and unprejudiced of both sides began to realize that it did not necessarily follow that, if the theory of evolution was the true explanation of organic life, it obviated the logical necessity for an intelligent Great First Cause of all things. On the contrary, as the true theory of organic evolution came to be better understood by its early enemies, and their first crude and ridiculous conceptions of it were dissipated by a knowledge of its real scope and significance, it became more and more evident that evolution is simply God's method of creation. With this clearer understanding of the subject came higher conceptions of the true nature and character of the Divine Mind than had ever before prevailed. God was seen to be a being of infinite intelligence and power, and capable of creating and governing this universe by means of his own immutable laws. In a word, the teleological argument, or the argument from evidences of intelligent design, was strongly reinforced by the facts of organic evolution. In point of fact, it was found that the teleological evidences afforded by evolution far outweigh in real significance all that were ever before adduced.
This, however, is by no means the most important part of the evidences for theism to be found in the facts of organic evolution. It is, in fact, no part of the object of this volume to press the teleological argument; although abundant facts will be developed suggestive of teleological conclusions, which the intelligent reader will draw for himself. My object is to show that the facts of organic evolution afford abundant material from which to study the subject of theism by the pure process of induction, leaving nothing to the imagination, nothing to speculative philosophy. That is to say, I shall undertake to show that the salient facts of evolution, as developed by the researches of anti-theistic scientists, are susceptible of no other than a theistic interpretation, without an utter abandonment and repudiation of every principle of logical, scientific inductive investigation. To that end I shall undertake to prove that they have avoided a theistic interpretation of their own facts, only by abandoning, at all the crucial points in their inquiry, the plainest principles of induction, and soaring away into the cloudy realms of speculative philosophy without one fact, or semblance of a fact, to sustain their hypotheses.
I shall show, for instance, that Mr. Darwin's great principle of " natural selection," when considered as " the origin of species," is, in that sense, without a fact to sustain it. Natural selection, or survival of the fittest, is a potent factor in the process of organic development, and no theory of evolution could be complete without it. But it is preservative of species, not creative. I shall sustain this view by the opinions of such scientists as Huxley, and I shall demonstrate it by facts presented by such evolutionists as Haeckel. Mr. Darwin has presented a formidable array of facts to demonstrate the correctness of his fundamental theory of organic evolution, and no unprejudiced person can deny that he has abundantly sustained that theory. He has also cited a great number of facts which he assumes to have a bearing upon his subsidiary hypothesis. Nevertheless, it is true that he has not cited one case where anything more than a morphological species has been produced, either by natural or artificial selection. In this sense, therefore, his theory that natural selection is the origin of species must be relegated to the domain of speculative philosophy without facts to sustain it, the very opposite of induction. I shall venture to infer that his strenuous insistence upon that theory may have been due to one or both of two causes. One of these was his hostility to Lamarck and his theory of " appetency " as the cause of structural changes in organic life; and the other, his desire to sustain the atheistic theory that physical organism antedates, and is the cause of, life and mind.
In reference to these questions I shall undertake to show that Lamarck's or some cognate theory is necessary in order to constitute a complete, coherent theory of organic evolution. That is to say, no theory of evolution can be complete, in the sense of accounting for all the facts, if either Lamarck or Darwin is left out. For that reason I shall go back, with Haeckel, to the beginning of organic life on this planet and prove that mind antedates and is the cause of physical, structural organism. As these crucial facts can be demonstrated at the beginning of organic life, and are not so easily proven at any other stage of evolutionary development, I shall claim the right to hold that they are typical examples showing the cause of structural changes in physical organism at all subsequent stages of organic development. I shall lay particular stress upon the foregoing considerations because of their important bearing upon the question of the origin of life on this planet The latter is the great question which it is the prime object of this book to discuss. Two theories are to be considered, and each will be treated with special reference to the facts of organic evolution. The atheistic theory will first be considered, for the reason that it is more easily disposed of than the other, owing to the acknowledged absence of facts to sustain it. It constitutes, in fact, another striking illustration of the alacrity with which atheistic scientists will abandon the inductive processes of investigation whenever the facts are against them.
The atheistic theory is that life and mind originated on this earth by " spontaneous generation " from inorganic matter. That is the theory, and that is all there is of it. That is to say, its ablest advocates acknowledge that no fact has ever yet been brought to light tending to prove that such a thing is possible ; on the contrary, their greatest scientists have spent years in patient and persevering efforts to cause the faintest sign of life to be generated from inorganic matter; and each one has been compelled to acknowledge his utter failure.
In a word, I shall show by these facts, with others equally significant, that not only have atheistic scientists abandoned and tacitly repudiated the inductive method at every crucial point in their investigations, but that all that there is of atheism in evolution consists of pure assumption, not only without facts to sustain the assumptions, but in direct contravention of all the facts of nature and of experimental science.
The theory of the theistic evolutionist is that evolution is God's method of creation; that life and mind on this earth had their origin in an antecedent divine mind, an omnipresent mind-energy, omnipotent and omniscient; that this divine, intelligent energy operates, not in contravention of law, not by miraculous interventions, not by special creations, but in pursuance of its own immutable laws, instituted from the beginning; and that, consequently, the first mind-energy that appeared on this earth was an emanation, in the natural order of events, from the Divine Intelligence.
In undertaking to establish the essential truth of this hypothesis I shall be guided solely by the acknowledged facts of organic and mental evolution. In other words, I shall adhere to the inductive method, pure and simple.
In pursuing the investigation I shall again go back to the beginning of organic life, for the obvious reason that the nearer we approach to the source of anything, the more clearly will the essential nature of that source be made manifest; and for the further reason that no one else, so far as I am aware, has given adequate attention to the wonderful significance, from a theistic point of view, of the phenomena of life and mind as exhibited in the lowest form of animal life. It must suffice in this connection to say that the ingenuity of man could not devise a more complete array of evidential facts demonstrative of the divine origin of mind in protoplasm and its potentialities through evolutionary development, than is found in the monera.
Evolutionists tell us that the potentialities of manhood reside in that lowest animal organism. If man descended from that organism, the proposition is necessarily true; and I shall demonstrate its truth by indubitable evidences that atheism has not considered. In doing so, I shall prove more clearly that the moneron derived its mind and life from God than atheists have proven that man descended from the moneron. In other words, I shall demonstrate the truth of their evolutionary hypothesis by disproving their atheistic conclusions. I shall not only prove that the potentialities of manhood reside in the moneron, but that the essential attributes of omniscience there exist in embryo. Moreover, I shall prove by their own showing that, differing only in degree, the moneron is endowed with the creative energy of omnipotence; that to that energy are due all the structural changes that mark the steps in the process of organic evolution ; and that all human progressive development, from savagery to the highest possible altruistic civilization, is due to the normal development of faculties existing potentially in the moneron.
In the further argument of the question I shall not only be guided by the facts set forth by the great lights of evolutionary science, but I shall avail myself of their arguments as well. That is to say, the leading arguments employed by them to prove the theory of evolution will be carried to their logical conclusions and shown to be the strongest possible arguments in support of theism. For instance, the argument based upon the law of heredity, which is the chief corner-stone in the evolutionary edifice, when carried to its legitimate conclusion will be seen to demonstrate the logical necessity of a mind, antecedent to the moneron, possessing powers identical in kind with those actually or potentially existent in the moneron and its descendants. Any other conclusion involves the logical necessity of presupposing a break in the line of hereditary descent, an exception to a law of nature, a godlike mind without an ancestral intelligence, an effect without an adequate cause.
Again, I shall accept their analogical argument from ontogeny, which is the history of the evolution of individual organisms, to phylogeny, which is the history of the evolution of organic tribes. Human ontogeny, being an exact repetition of all the salient features of human phylogeny, constitutes one of the most conclusive arguments in support of the theory of organic evolution. Both ontogeny and phylogeny begin with an undifferentiated cell of protoplasm, and in both cases that cell culminates in man. But if the analogy be carried to its legitimate and logically necessary conclusion, it necessitates an ancestral mind for the moneron as well as for the germinal cell of man, and for precisely the same reasons. Certainly the analogy is incomplete without it, and no scientist will deny the proposition that science has never yet discovered any process by which faculties have been acquired, either in ontogeny or phylogeny, except by inheritance. The atheistic evolutionist, therefore, cannot avoid the conclusion that the moneron inherited its powers, actual and potential, from a divine ancestry, without repudiating his own logic, ignoring his own facts, and abandoning the inductive method of scientific research. All this he deliberately does when he seeks, in the theory of spontaneous generation from inorganic chemical compounds, to account for the divine potentialities resident in the mind of the moneron.
When these arguments are fully stated and understood, they will not only be found to establish clearly the theory of the divine origin of life and mind on this earth, but, at the same time, to confirm fully the Christian doctrine of the divine pedigree of man. Having clearly proven the latter hypothesis, I shall then venture to reverse the process of inquiry, by taking man as the basis and reasoning back to his divine origin, with a view of finding what conceptions of divine attributes are derivable from our knowledge of the faculties possessed by man. In classifying the latter I shall be guided by the principles of, and facts developed by, the new psychology. By this I mean the hypothesis of duality of mind, as set forth in my published works. I shall, therefore, analyze the faculties of the subjective mind of man, as they have been revealed to the scientific world by means of experimental psychology, and show that those faculties, by simple enlargement and extension to infinity, would become the highest conceivable attributes of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God of infinite and universal love, the God of Christian hope and faith. In other words, I shall prove inductively that the soul of man is " made in the image of God." Not morphologically or anthropologically is man made in the image of his Divine Father, but psychologically. The charge of anthropomorphism will not lie against this conception of God and his attributes ; for the trend of the argument will be, not to show that God is infinitely human, but to prove that man is potentially divine.
In short, the conception of the Deity derivable from the facts of evolution and psychology is of divine immanence without pantheism, and of personality without anthropomorphism.
Before proceeding to the consideration of the scientific aspects of the question, I shall devote one chapter to that phase of atheism which has been designated as " agnosticism," with a view of showing that the principles upon which the latter cult base their conclusions make a prima facie case in favor of the religion which they repudiate.
AGNOSTICISM is generally supposed to imply an acknowledgment of ignorance of supermundane agencies and conditions. It is apparent, however, that the agnosticism of science, as exemplified by those great scientists whose attitude in relation to current religious beliefs necessitated the coinage of a new word to express it, can be best defined as aggressive ignorance. An " agnostic," as exemplified by such scientists, is one who presumes to define the limits of human knowledge, and upon those limits to erect a barrier against all further inquiry. I need no better illustration than that afforded by the writings of Mr. Herbert Spencer, who is acknowledged to be the fairest and most unprejudiced of all that great constellation of intellectual stars whose coruscations have, as never before, illuminated the path of scientific progress.
Mr. Spencer, in his charitable effort to harmonize science and religion, undertakes to mark the boundary line between the " knowable " and the " unknowable," and to inhibit all effort, of either religion or science, to look beyond the limits thus defined. The " unknowable " is the entity which he invites religion and science to unite in worshiping; and his recipe for securing absolute harmony between the worshipers, the soporific agent, so to speak, by means of which each is to be lulled into that somnolent condition in which distinctions are not observable and opinions are relegated to the domain of " innocuous desuetude," his recipe for securing harmony consists in a mutual agreement that neither of the high contracting parties shall affirm or deny anything worth mentioning in relation to the hypothetical entity that may be supposed to sustain a provisional existence on the " unknowable " side of Mr. Spencer's boundary line.
The things which he invites the united hosts of religion and science to ignore are numerous. The most of them are cherished beliefs of the most enlightened men of Christian civilization ; but Mr. Spencer disposes of them all with great celerity by a method that is at once unique and effective, simple to the last degree, and easily understood and applied. It consists in the employment of a phrase that Mr. Spencer invented himself, apparently to enable him to establish his " First Principles " by a method as simple as first principles themselves usually are.
" It is unthinkable," is the polemical dynamite bomb with which he demolishes those refractory propositions which refuse to yield to the clumsy weapons of logic. And it cannot be denied that the " potential energy " of that phrase is incalculable. The rapidity with which it has gone into general use among a certain class of philosophers and scientists as a labor-saving substitute for logic and argument, shows that it supplied a long-felt want.
To do Mr. Spencer entire justice, it must be admitted that he never employs it except in cases of emergency. But in building up his " Great Unknowable," he felt compelled to employ the paradoxical method of subtraction ; that is to say, he subtracted a large and varied assortment of " unthinkable " attributes from the God of Christian faith, in order to increase the magnitude of an " unthinkable " entity, an " inconceivable abstraction," which he dogmatically designates as "The Unknowable." I employ the word " dogmatically " with deliberation, for when Mr. Spencer assumes to designate the Great First Cause as " Unknowable," he deliberately begs the question the vital question at issue between religion and materialistic science. If he had chosen a more modest term, as, for instance, " Unfathomable," it would have been more befitting the conservatism and caution of true science, and no one would presume to question the implied limitation of finite intelligence. It is, in fact, not only an unwarranted assumption, a petitio principii, violative of the "first principles" of logical ratiocination, for Mr. Spencer to employ the term " unknowable " as he employs it ; but, as I shall presently show, the assumption is not a legitimate deduction from the fundamental premise of his argument.
In the meantime I wish to further justify my statement regarding the monumental dogmatism of agnosticism, and to show that I am justified in defining it as " aggressive ignorance." As I have already intimated, the term " unknowable " is in itself the very quintessence of dogmatism, for it is in itself a declaration, not alone of ignorance (agnosticism), but of the impossibility of any one ever knowing anything concerning the Great Abstraction of which Mr. Spencer thinks he is thinking. The most aggressive part of his dogmatism, however, is manifested when, in a mild and roundabout way, to be sure, he denounces religion as "irreligious" when it persists in believing some of his " unthinkable " propositions ; and in like manner stigmatizes science as " unscientific " when it presumes to inquire beyond the boundary which separates what Mr. Spencer knows from that which he does not know. In other words, when religion persists in thinking that which Mr. Spencer thinks is unthinkable, it becomes irreligious; and when science tries to find out something that Mr. Spencer thinks is unknowable, it becomes unscientific. Obviously, under the limitations of his environment, Mr. Spencer could inflict no severer punishment upon the respective recalcitrants. We have, then, the spectacle presented to us of the mildest, the gentlest, and in many respects the greatest, of all the agnostics visiting his severest possible penalties upon those who differ with him in opinion on questions of science and religion. Torquemada could have done no more. Mr. Spencer's statement of the major premise of his argument affords a striking illustration of the l~ axiom that the man who attempts to wage war against truth invariably places in the hands of his enemy the weapons for its defence.
His proposition, in its simplest form of expression, is that " There is a soul of truth in things erroneous." This axiom he applies to the aggregate of religious beliefs, declaring that this general principle " must lead us to anticipate that the diverse forms of religious belief which have existed and still exist, have all a basis of some ultimate fact. . . . To suppose," he continues, " that these multiform conceptions should be one and all absolutely groundless discredits too profoundly that average human intelligence from which all our individual intelligences are inherited.
"This most general reason we shall find enforced by other more special ones. To the presumption that a number of diverse beliefs of the same class have some common foundation in fact, must in this case be added a further presumption derived from the omnipresence of the beliefs. Religious ideas of one kind or other are almost universal. Admitting that in many places there are tribes who have no theory of creation, no word for a deity, no propitiatory acts, no idea of another life, admitting that only when a certain phase of intelligence is reached do the most rudimentary of such theories make their appearance, the implication is practically the same. Grant that among all races who have passed a certain stage of intellectual development there are found vague notions concerning the origin and hidden nature of surrounding things ; and there arises the inference that such notions are necessary products of progressing intelligence. Their endless variety serves but to strengthen this conclusion ; showing as it does a more or less independent genesis, showing how, in different places and times, like conditions have led to similar trains of thought, ending in analogous results. That these countless different, and yet allied, phenomena presented by all religions are accidental or factitious, is an untenable supposition. A candid examination of the evidence quite negatives the doctrine maintained by some, that creeds are priestly inventions. . . . Thus the universality of religious ideas, their independent evolution among different primitive races, and their great vitality unite in showing that their source must be deep-seated instead of superficial."
Later on Mr. Spencer alludes to the emotional nature of the religious sentiment as follows:
" And if the religious sentiment displayed habitually by the majority of mankind, and occasionally aroused even in those seemingly devoid of it, must be classed among human emotions, we cannot rationally ignore it. We are bound to ask its origin and its function. Here is an attribute which, to say the least, has had an enormous influence, which has played a conspicuous part throughout the entire past as far back as history records, and is at present the life of numerous institutions, the stimulus to perpetual controversies, and the prompter to countless daily actions. Any theory of things which takes no account of this attribute must, then, be extremely defective."
This statement of Mr. Spencer's fundamental premise is seemingly as fair and candid as the exact language of a great scientist could make it. Here is a statement of a broad fact that every person of intelligence recognizes and must admit. " There is a soul of truth in things erroneous." " There is truth in everything." What could be fairer? What could be more conciliatory? Nay, what could be rarer than the exhibition of such a broad and catholic spirit by a great scientist when dealing with the religious beliefs of all humanity? It serves to establish mutually pleasant relations between Mr. Spencer and his readers, to say the least. It induces in the latter a state of easy confidence, a condition of " passive receptivity," as the hypnotists say, so that they are prone to accept further "suggestions" without critical examination.
Now, let us for a moment examine Mr. Spencer's liberal proposition with reference to the alleged object of his essay. His avowed purpose is to reconcile religion with science. To that end he sets out in search of an " ultimate religious truth of the highest possible certainty," a truth which will not only reconcile science with religion, but " one in which religions in general are at one with each other."
This statement of his purpose, which is substantially in his own language, naturally leads one to believe that Mr. Spencer has undertaken a task in the success of which every human being has the highest possible interest. It is obvious that " an ultimate religious truth of the highest possible certainty" must also be a scientific truth of equal certainty, if true religion and true science are to be reconciled. But the majority of mankind will agree that the basis of such a reconciliation, if it is to be of any possible value to mankind, must be not only an ultimate truth of the highest possible certainty, but also one of the highest possible value to science and of utility to the world at large in the regulation of human conduct.
This, however, is far from the kind of reconciliation that is the object of Mr. Spencer's ambition.
Now, let us briefly examine this " ultimate religious truth of the highest possible certainty," this potent verity that is capable of obliterating the distinctions between fetishism and Christianity, this ultimate scientific truth that is the essence alike of all religions and of all science. We have Mr. Spencer's word for it, that on the religious side it is this: "The Power which the universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable." On the scientific side, this is the formula: " In its ultimate essence nothing can be known."
Considering first the statement of ultimate " scientific " verity, it must be admitted that it has the oracular ring of a scientific formula. Moreover, it must be conceded that it is a great fact, and a very inconvenient one, by the way, that there are very many things in this world that, to borrow the formula of Lord Dundreary, " no fellow can find out." But that great "ultimate truth" was not the original discovery of Mr. Spencer, albeit the pains which he has taken to demonstrate it; and to correlate it with his " ultimate religious truth " would lead one to suppose that he regarded himself as the Columbus of ultimate verity and of human limitations. It cannot be denied, however, that he was the "original and first " discoverer of the fact that the two formulas are equivalent, nor will any one seek to rob him of the glory due to one who has been able to found a school of religious philosophy upon that assumption.
We may, therefore, concede that, in a limited sense, his scientific formula is a statement of an ultimate scientific truth. But by no stretch of liberality of construction can his so-called " ultimate religious truth " be classed even as a theological dogma, much less as an undisputed and indisputable religious truth. Like his so-called scientific truth, it is simply Mr. Spencer's oracular way of making a statement relating to the supposed limitations of human intelligence.
Moreover, when Mr. Spencer offers, as a basis of universal harmonic relations, the declaration that "the Power which the universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable," he is guilty of that most heinous of all logical offences, begging the question. For that is the very question at issue between the Christian religion and science or rather between the Christian religion and such scientists as Herbert Spencer. The very essence of Christian belief in God is that man necessarily sustains a natural relationship to his Creator of a most intimate character; and that, therefore, some knowledge of the Great First Cause is not only possible, but inevitable. No Christian has -ever denied the inscrutability of " the Power that the universe manifests to us," in the general sense of the term. But that it is utterly inscrutable is a doctrine that strikes at the very root of Christian faith, and is an utter repudiation of the life and doctrines of the Great Founder of the Christian religion. And yet this is just what Mr. Spencer does when he employs the words " utterly inscrutable."
His attitude may be summed up in a very few words :
He starts out professedly in search of the one great, fundamental, " ultimate religious truth " that underlies, and is the vital, constituent element of, all religions, from " fetishism to Christianity." When he finds it and presents it to an expectant world, it is seen that it is not a religious truth at all; that it is not a tenet of any religion on earth ; that it is a proposition that has never been considered, either as a fundamental principle or as a constituent element of any religion whatever; but that, on the contrary, it is a proposition that strikes at the very root of every religion worthy of the name; and finally, that it is a statement that is and must be repudiated as the crassest atheism by every Christian denomination. An acceptance of it by the religious and scientific world as a basis of reconciliation, on the terms proposed by Mr. Spencer, would at once arrest all progress in the inductive investigation of the claims of Christianity, and reduce the religious world to a state of hopeless imbecility. For, be it remembered, his prescription enjoins abstention from either affirmation or denial of any doctrine or belief concerning God or his attributes; and this inhibition extends alike to science and religion. His sole religious creed his recipe for reconciliation is incarnated, so to speak, in that portentous sentence : " The Power that the universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable."
And this is agnosticism.
The animus of Mr. Spencer's effort must now be apparent. In searching for a formula of reconciliation he carefully avoided the statement of any proposition confirmatory of the beliefs of any religious sect or system that ever existed ; and in making his selection he took care to formulate a declaration that is in absolute antagonism to the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.
Furthermore, while no religious sect can indorse Mr. Spencer's creed, still less can it be indorsed by science. For if science stands for anything, it is for truth. It is its province to search for causes of phenomena, proximate and remote. There are doubtless, many scientists who are delighted to be able to formulate their atheistic views in Mr. Spencer's terms ; but there are many others whose quest is of inductive proofs of Holy Writ, who believe that scientific methods of research will yet reveal something of the nature and attributes of the great " Power which the universe manifests to us."
It follows that Mr. Spencer's great scheme for the reconciliation of religion with science has failed, and must forever fail, for the reason that an acceptance of his terms involves the total abandonment of all that either one of them stands for. Science and religion can never be reconciled upon the basis of a negative proposition that is neither religious nor scientific, especially one that is expressly repudiated by both.
Now, to put Mr. Spencer's propositions into common language, the meaning of which can be grasped by common people, they may be stated thus :
To the religionist he says : There is just one ultimate religious truth of the highest possible certainty that you must admit before your religion can be reconciled with science, and that is that you do not know anything about religion.
To the scientist he says: There is one ultimate scientific verity that you must admit before your science can be reconciled with religion, and that is that you do not know everything about science.
It is now quite obvious why it was that Mr. Spencer's proposed Great Church of the Reconciliation was destined to prove a failure from the start: neither party could conscientiously subscribe to the creed.
Let us now re-examine the fundamental propositions with which Mr. Spencer started out and see if we cannot find a legitimate conclusion. The propositions may be summed up, in Mr. Spencer's words, thus: "In all religions, even the rudest, there lies hidden a fundamental verity," " common to all religions," a " religious truth," in relation to which " all religions are at one with each other," etc. As already pointed out, Mr. Spencer promised to consider this fundamental truth, but carefully avoided doing so. He specifically mentioned one of the most obvious of all the fundamental truths common to all religions, its emotional nature, and distinctly promised to consider " its origin and its function ; " declaring that " any theory of things which takes no account of this attribute must, then, be extremely defective." He then dismisses that most important attribute of religion by declaring that, as to its origin, it " arose by a process of evolution ; " and, as to its function, it " must be adapted to the requirements of existence," adding, with confessed reluctance, " we are also forced to infer that this feeling is in some way conducive to human welfare."
It seems almost incredible that Mr. Spencer should have thus summarily dismissed the consideration of an attribute of religion which, to use his own words, "has had an enormous influence which has played a conspicuous part throughout the entire past as far back as history records, and is at present the life of numerous institutions, the stimulus of perpetual controversies, and the prompter of countless daily actions." And yet this is just what he has done, in order to give prominence to his lame and impotent conclusion which has already been discussed.
Now, let us adopt Mr. Spencer's fundamental, or major, premise as our own, and briefly inquire, What is that underlying truth which is common to all religions, from fetishism to Christianity? In doing so, let us employ the inductive process, and consider nothing but the well-recognized facts pertaining to the subject-matter; bearing in mind always that we are discussing the mental phenomena of religious experience, and not the limitations of human intelligence.
Now, this truth, when found, if it is to possess any evidential value for any purpose whatever, must possess certain well-defined characteristics. Amongst these are :
1. It must correlate all religions that have ever existed, on the well-recognized lines of religious experience.
This is the general proposition. Then, if it is to possess any evidential value in itself as to its divine origin, or as to its natural adaptation to the requirements of existence, or its capacity to promote human welfare, it must possess certain further characteristics, namely:
2. It must be an instinctive attribute common to all races of mankind above those of the lowest grade of human intelligence.
3. It must be capable of evolutionary development without change of its essential characteristic.
4. It must, in its every stage of progressive development, be more and more " conducive to human welfare."
5. It must, in its highest stage of development, be found to be the concomitant of the highest civilization.
6. It must be an attribute that, without change of its essential characteristic, develops in power, if not in intensity, and becomes more and more exalted in its manifestations with every step in the progress of science.
7. And finally, it must be an attribute the implications of which cannot be disproved by scientific induction ; but which, on the contrary, attain a higher and higher degree of probability the more strictly and the more directly the processes of inductive reasoning are applied to them.
Now, this attribute which correlates all religions and in which all are at one with each other, consists in the belief, with which each individual is imbued, in a spiritual being, mightier than himself, but not indifferent to his thoughts and acts, and upon whom lie feels a consciousness of dependence.
It is obvious that this applies alike to the fetish worshipper and the Christian, together with all the intermediate grades and varieties of religious belief. The difference between religions consists in the different conceptions of the nature and attributes of the object of worship, the relations that exist between that being and man, and the emotions and practices which flow from the recognition of such relations.
Now, let us see if this underlying truth answers to the requirements above mentioned.
First, then, it obviously correlates all religions. (2) It must be an instinctive emotion, since it is common to all races of men above a certain grade of intelligence. That there are tribes of savages so low in the scale of being that they have no idea of a deity or of a future life, simply goes to prove that religion is an inevitable outgrowth of progressing intelligence. (3) That it is capable of evolutionary development, and (4) that in its every higher stage of manifestation it is more and more conducive to human welfare, is shown by the fact that (5) in its highest stage of development it is the inseparable accompaniment of the world's highest civilization.
6. The history of the great conflict between science and religion, or more properly between science and ecclesiasticism, demonstrates the progressive character of true religion. There never has been a conflict between science and religion. Science has never waged war upon religion. It has from time to time been forced to disclose the fallacies of various theological dogmas, and a fierce struggle has as often ensued. But whenever theology has been forced to yield, religion has always been the gainer; for every greatly advanced step that has ever been taken by science has by just so much enlarged, exalted, and refined man's conceptions of the Deity and his attributes. And no one will deny that, in so far as man's conceptions of the Deity and his attributes have been thus exalted, by just so much have the religious emotions of reverence, love, and worship been justified, increased, and exalted. Science, therefore, in the nineteenth century has, in this sense, continued the work which Jesus began in the first century. For one of the greatest services that Jesus performed for religion and for humanity was his express repudiation of the crude, anthropopathic conceptions of God which had been handed down from the early Jewish prophets. In their place he has given us a conception of God, his attributes, and his relations to man, that has served to intensify, purify, exalt, and justify that instinctive emotion which is the basic attribute of all religions. And science has continued the work by revealing truths which serve to confirm the intuitions of the Master and justify his conclusions. Not that scientists have deliberately set themselves to do this thing; for they have not. On the contrary, each new scientific discovery has been the signal for a shout in chorus that " religion has been destroyed, and God has been eliminated from the universe." But when the tumult subsides it is always found that God still reigns and religion still lives. A man-made dogma may have been shown to be fallacious ; but religion is all the stronger for the elimination of an error.
Perhaps it is just as well that scientists have chosen to assume a hostile attitude to religion; for its friends can always rest assured that its survival is due to its vitality and not to any lack of aggressive effort on the part of its enemies.
On the whole, science has been religion's best friend, and the Church is beginning to realize the fact No intelligent Christian would now be willing to see any one of the great discoveries of modern science eliminated from the world's stock of knowledge, however determinedly his church may have resisted the innovation when it was first promulgated. No Roman Catholic would now consent to a return to the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, although his church fought the Copernican system for more than two hundred years. No Protestant would willingly consent to the elimination of the Newtonian theorem from the world's stock of science, although, as Luther had reviled Copernicus, so did his successors denounce Newton because " he substituted gravity for Providence." No intelligent Christian would now consent to part with his knowledge of geology, notwithstanding the rudeness of his first awakening from the poetic dream of a six-day creation. And so with the law of evolution. There are few Christians among those who have given intelligent attention to the study of the subject, who could be induced to relinquish the lofty conceptions of the nature and attributes of the Deity, growing out of the contemplation of the infinite wisdom and power displayed in the great law of progressive development of organic and spiritual life from the moneron to man. Much less could he be induced to return to his former crude and anthropomorphic conception of God as a being of limited intelligence, who is obliged to supplement his work from time to time in order to develop new ideas or to provide for unexpected emergencies. In a word, the intelligent Christian of to-day has learned that every step in the progress of science, instead of destroying Christianity or weakening its vital force, serves but to confirm its essential doctrines, and to stimulate to their highest expression those emotions of awe, reverence, and worship which are the common attributes of all religions.
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