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3. The judgment that a thing is not wrong, is often mistaken for the testimony of Conscience to its rightness.
4. When a reference is made to the intention, the only appropriate object of Conscience, we find a more universal agreement among men than is generally supposed, an agreement of such a nature as to demand the truth of the above proposition, while every shade of difference may be explained in perfect consistency with it.
Term Conscience as used in the Scriptures. A good conscience, as the words are there used, is the testimony of the mind to the agreement of the Will, or moral action, with the moral law. An evil conscience is the opposite, the testimony of the mind to the fact of the disagreement of the action of the Will with that law.
GENERAL REMARKS PERTAINING TO REASON.
Relation of Reason to other Intellectual Faculties. The relation of Reason to other functions of the Intelligence may now be readily pointed out. Of the phenomena, or truths affirmed by those faculties, Reason gives the logical antecedents. This is its exclusive function. The Judgment, in all its operations, is exclusively analytic. It simply evolves what is embraced in the affirmations of the other faculties. Reason is synthethic. It always adds to the affirmation of the other faculties something not embraced in the affirmation. The element added, however, always sustains to that to which it is added a fixed relation, that of logical antecedent. Thus when Sense or Conscience affirms phenomena, Reason adds to the affirmation an element not embraced in it, that of Substance, an element, however, sustaining to the affirmation a fixed relation, that of logical antecedent.
Through Reason Man is a religious Being. As possessed of Reason alone is man a religious being. Through this awful power he attains to a knowledge of the soul, of moral obligations and retributions, of immortality, of God, and enters into inter-communion with the Infinite and Eternal One.
Reason common to all Men. Reason also exists in all men, and equally in all who pos
sess it at all. This is evident from the fact that if an individual knows a truth of Reason at all, he does and must know it absolutely. There are no degrees in such knowledge. The difference, and only difference, between men lies in their perceptive and reflective faculties. Newton differed from other men not because he knew any more absolutely than they that events suppose a cause, that things equal to the same things are equal to one another, &c., but because he possessed powers of perception and reflection which enabled him to see (what they could not discover) the qualities involved in such truths.
Error of Coleridye. Reason is not, as Coleridge maintains, an “organ identical with its appropriate objects.” “ Thus God, the soul, eternal truth,” he adds, " are not the objects of the Reason, but they are the Reason itself.” Space and duration he would admit are the objects of the Reason, but are they Reason itself ? If God and the soul are the Reason, then they are identical, and Pantheism is eternal truth. Philosophers, as well as others, are accustomed to take many things for granted which need to be proved. We must, if we are not willing to be greatly misled, be careful what assumptions we permit them to make. Otherwise we may find ourselves under the direction of principles which may lead us we know not whither.
Paralogism of Cousin. In order to do justice to this great philosopher, I must make quite a lengthy quotation from him, on the important point next to be considered. The extract is taken from his remarks on enthusiasm, and commences with a quotation from Locke.
« Intuitive knowledge is certain, beyond all doubt, and needs no probation, nor can have any, this being the highest of all human certainty. In this consists the evidence of all those maxims which nobody has any doubt about, but every man (does not, as is said, only assent to, but) knows to be true as soon as ever they are proposed to his Understanding. In the discovery of and assent to these truths, there is no use of the discursive faculty, no need of reasoning, but they are known by a superior and higher degree of evidence; and such, if I may guess at things unknown, I am apt to think that angels have now, and the spirits of just men made perfect
shall have in a future state, of thousands of things, which now either wholly escape our apprehensions, or which, our short-sighted Reason having got some glimpse of, we, in the dark, grope after.' I accept this statement, let it be consistent or not with the general system of Locke. I hold likewise that the highest degree of knowledge is intuitive knowledge. This knowledge, in many cases, for example, in regard to time, space, personal identity, the infinite, all substantial existences, as also, the good and the beautiful, has, you know, this peculiarity, that it is not grounded upon the Senses nor upon the Consciousness, but upon the Reason, which, without the intervention of any reasoning, attains its objects and conceives them with certainty. Now, it is an attribute inherent in the Reason to believe in itself: and from hence comes faith. If, then, Intuitive Reason is above Inductive and Demonstrative Reason, the faith of Reason in itself in intuition, is purer and more elevated than in induction and demonstration. Recollect, likewise, that the truths intuitively discovered by Reason are not arbitrary, but necessary ; that they are not relative, but absolute. The authority of Reason is absolute: it is then a characteristic of the faith attached to Reason, like Reason absolute. These are the admirable characteristics of Reason, and of the faith of Reason in itself.
“This is not all. When we come to interrogate Reason about itself, to inquire into its own principle, and the source of that absolute authority which characterizes it, we are forced to recognize that this Reason is not ours, not constituted by us. It is not in our power; it is not in the power of our Will to cause the Reason to give us such or such a truth, or not to give us them. Independent of our will, Reason intervenes, and, when certain conditions are fulfilled, gives us, I might say imposes upon us, these truths. The Reason makes its appearance in us, though it is not in ourselves, and in no way can it be confounded with our personality. Reason is impersonal. Whence, then, comes this wonderful guest within us, and what is the principle of this Reason which enlightens us, without belonging to us? This principle is God, the first and the last of everything. Now, when the faith of Reason in itself is attached to its principle, when it knows that it comes from God, it increases not merely in degree, but in nature, by as much, so to say, as the eternal substance is superior to the finite substance in which it makes its appearance. Thus comes a redoubled faith in the truths revealed by the Supreme Reason in the shadows of time, and in the limitations of our weakness.
“See, then, Reason become, to its own eyes, divine in its principle. Now this mode or state of Reason which hears itself, and takes itself as the echo of God on the earth, with the particular and extraordinary characteristics connected with it, is what is called Enthusiasm. The word sufficiently explains the thing : Enthusiasm [Deos ev quv is the spirit of God within us; it is immediate intuition, opposed to induction and demonstration; it is the primitive spontaneity opposed to the ulterior development of reflection; it is the apperception of the highest truths by Reason in its greatest independence both of the serses and of our personality. Enthusiasm in its highest degree, in its crisis, so to say, belongs only to particular individuals, and to them only in particular circumstances; but in its lowest degree, Enthusiasm is as much a fact as any thing else, a fact sufficiently common, pertaining not to any particular theory, or individual, or epoch, but to human nature, in all men, in all conditions, and almost at every hour. It is Enthusiasm which produces spontaneous convictions and resolutions, in little as in great, in the hero, and in the feeblest woman. Enthusiasm is the poetic spirit in everything; and the poetic spirit, thanks to God, does not belong exclusively to poets. It has been given to all men in some degree, more or less pure, more or less elevated; it appears above all, in particular men, and in particular moments of the life of such men, who are the poets by eminence. It is Enthusiasm, likewise, which produces religions, for every religion supposes two things: 1. That the truths which it proclaims are absolute truths ; 2. That it proclaims them in the name of God himself who reveals them to it.”
It requires a great philosopher to conceive of a great absurdity, and to give a professed demonstration of that absurdity by a great paralogism. In all these respects, I give it as my sober judgment, that the above passage is almost unequalled among the absurdities and paralogisms of modern times. What are the conclusions to which we are conducted in this strange rhapsody? They are the following : 1. Reason is in us, but belongs not to us. It constitutes no part of our personality. It is not a faculty of the soul, like the Understanding and Judgment, but is a light in the soul. 2. Reason
is God, “the spirit of God within us." 3. In its own eyes Reason is God, “is divine in its principle.”
What are the arguments by which these dogmas are affirmed to be proven? The following:
1. Knowledge by Reason is “intuitive knowledge." 6 Without the intervention of any reasoning, it attains its objects and conceives them with certainty." This peculiarity, I remark, Reason possesses only in common with Sense and Consciousness, with this advantage on their part, that intuitions through these faculties are prior, in the order of time, to any through Reason. If for such a consideration Reason is to be deified, and deemed no part of ourselves, much more should Sense and Consciousness.
2. “ Truths intuitively discovered by Reason, are not arbitrary, but necessary ; they are not relative, but absolute.” Now what a leap in logic is that, to go from such a premise to the conclusion, that therefore Reason is God, " the spirit of God in us,” and no part of ourselves. Cousin himself, in another place, has fully demonstrated the fallacy of his own conclusions here. He has laid it down as a fundamental principle in mental philosophy, that the fact of knowledge of any kind in man, implies in him corresponding powers of knowledge. He himself affirms, that we do know by direct intuition, truths, absolute, universal, and necessary. The knowledge of such truths belongs to us, just as much as knowledge of any other kind, and implies in us corresponding powers. If we had not the power to know such truths, the knowledge of them would never belong to us as phenomena of our Intelligence. Now the faculty by which, when certain conditions are fulfilled, we know such truths, is Reason, a faculty which belongs as much to us as any other functions of our Intelligence, and is no more impersonal than any of them.
4. His fourth and last argument is this, “Reason is not constituted by us. It is not in our power; it is not in the power of our Will to cause Reason to give us such or such a truth, or not to give us them,” &c. In view of such a consideration, hear the philosopher exclaim, “ See, then, Reason become, to its own eyes, divine in its principle.” The man that, in such a premise, can see any such conclusion, must throw away his Reason, and see without his eyes. Reason, instead of deifying itself, and then falling upon its knees to worship its own image, exclaims,