The Idea of God in Relation to Theology: A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate Divinity School in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Systematic Theology (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Idea of God in Relation to Theology: A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate Divinity School in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Systematic Theology

Among all these attempts to prove the existence of God the onto logical argument is the most conclusive. From the days of Anselm until now this form of thought has been recognized as containing the elements of a satisfactory solution to the difficulty presented in our question. But the most complete arrangement of these elements which modern philosophical literature contains' is satisfactory, not as proof, but as a statement of a fact lying deeper in human consciousness than cognition, in the strict use of that term, can possibly go. To say that the very fact of self-consciousness demands a higher self in which the reflected phases of experience, the self and the not-self, are unified is, of course, to prove the necessity of the higher self in a process of com plete thought; but this necessity is a logical necessity only, and hence the higher self is not real in the sense of having objective existence. In the fact that this higher self exists for reason knowledge lies the weak ness of the ontological argument.

The cosmological argument is equally unsatisfactory. This is an attempt to prove from the assumed facts of finite, conditioned, and contingent existence the reality of the infinite, absolute, ontologically necessary, perfect Being. Without the assumption the argument van ishes away. Now, the nature of the assumption is that of a partial truth. The finite, the conditioned, the contingent have relative mean ing only. From the point of View of the universe as a complete whole these things are unreal. We cannot say, from either the individual or the universal standpoint, that they are more than objects of thought. In contemplating the facts of finite existence the mind naturally seeks the higher sphere of the infinite which alone gives meaning to the finite as an idea. But the infinite, in this case, is only a condition of thought. Likewise the idea of a first cause may be the completion of a logical process in which the causal notion finds rest, but to suppose that this notion is identical with the perfect Being is at once to beg the question under discussion. On the basis of Aristotelian realism the argument is valid, but if Peripatetic dogmatism is not final authority in meta physics, the argument must be abandoned.

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Details

Publisher -

Language - English

Author(s) - Eliphalet Allison Read

Hardback

Published Date - August 22 2019

ISBN - 9780484516488

Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 0.7 cm

Page Count - 69

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