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matter at what point or how many times the string is cut, there results the same chaos.

We cannot admit contingencies and retain the uses of reason. Philosophy and science become impossible, for at any point there may be an intrusion of that which negates their use. And it is questionable if religion will then survive at a less cost than that of admitting the finitude of God, and attributing to at least a portion of the world-process an irrational spontaneity. Events that are not cannot create themselves; nor can they come from nothing, having no antecedent. Is it not likely, seeing that no one ever discovered such events, and there is no science, philosophy, or religion which can consistently search for them, that we have no evidence that they exist?

The refuge in the idea of occurrences outwith the principle that manifests itself in the world-process cannot be justified by any ethical considerations. It is to seek shelter under the wings of what is irrational. Rather than seek such a way of escape, it were better to admit one's failure. Only, that course requires courage! There can be no doubt of the demands of reason or of philosophy. The Absolute leaves no room for its absolute "other," which a contingency would be. The Absolute is not at all, if it be not all-comprehensive: there is then no Universe, or the Universe is not a "single system," and philosophy and the sciences are out on an impossible mission.

But are we justified in the course which we have followed throughout these lectures? Have we a right thus to identify the Absolute of philosophy with the God of religion? I must try to answer this question in the next lecture.




I ENDED the last lecture with a question. I asked if God and we were justified in identifying the God of religion Absolute. with the Absolute of philosophy, as has been done throughout our whole course. Is it true that our intellectual and our religious needs find satisfaction at the same ultimate source? Will the yearnings of "the heart" be stilled by the same conception of reality as that to which the frank and rigorous use of the methods of reason points? Or must we distinguish between God and the Absolute ?


The same problem meets us in another form. Love and What is the relation of Love and Reason, and what are their their respective functions? It is generally assumed that religion is not less obviously an affair of the emotions than philosophy is of the intellect. A religion that leaves the worshipper cold and indifferent and self-centred fails just as hopelessly as the philosophy which does not satisfy the demands of reason. Emotion appears thus to have a place and function in religion which it does not claim, and which would not be readily conceded to it in a philosophical theory. This fact is usually overlooked by philosophers, and to do so is an error; for, although

in the last resort the whole man is involved in all his moods and activities, the differences between these still remain. There are many different ways in which the spirit of man expresses itself, just as there are many different kinds of reality to which it is called to respond.

As to the relation of God and the Absolute, Mr. Bradley says quite roundly (as is his admirable way), For me the Absolute is not God. God for me has no meaning outside of the religious consciousness, and that essentially is practical. The Absolute for me cannot be God, because in the end the Absolute is related to nothing, and there cannot be a practical relation between it and the finite will. When you

begin to worship the Absolute or the Universe, and make it the object of religion, you in that moment have transformed it. It has become something forthwith which is less than the Universe." There are thus two supreme beings-the Absolute which Mr. Bradley identifies with the Universe and with the reality to which speculative research leads; and God, who is something less than the Universe and everything to religion. The Absolute is related to nothing, and there cannot be a practical relation between it and the finite will. Nothing stands over against the Absolute. All that exists is part of its content. God, on the other hand, must stand in relation to my will. Religion is practical. There is a perfect will, and there is my will; and the practical relation of these wills is what we mean by religion. And yet, if perfection is realized, what becomes of my will, which is over against the complete Good Will? 1 Truth and Reality, p. 428.


While, on the other hand, if there is no such Will, what becomes of God?

Mr. Bradley refuses the escape offered by the idea of rejecting the Perfection of God, and, instead, accepts as final a fundamental contradiction in religion. Religion demands and at the same time rejects`a perfect God. God's will expresses itself in the activity of man, and yet it must stand over against the will of finite beings. Mr. Bradley emphatically insists that the real presence of God's will in mine, our actual and literal satisfaction in common, must not in any case be denied or impaired. This is a religious truth, he adds, "far more essential than God's personality." But is it compatible with his personality?

Mr. Bradley's affirmation of the personality, whether of God or man, is almost always hesitating and qualified; and he denies altogether the personality of the Absolute. He also speaks of the super-personal, a word to which I can attach no definite meaning at all. "A God that can say to himself 'I' as against you and me, is not in my judgment defensible as the last and complete truth for Metaphysics." 1 "The highest Reality, so far as I see, must be super-personal."2 It is on this matter of the significance of personality that I differ most deeply from Mr. Bradley-if I understand him correctly.

But I must first refer to another matter. Mr.

Bradley denies that Religion has to be consistent theoretically." If we seek consistency, we will be "driven to a limited God." But apparently we 2 Ibid. p. 436.

1 Ibid. p. 432.

We must rest in contradictions as ultimate.

ought not to seek it. We should be content, so far as religion is concerned, with contradiction. He is convinced that there are "no absolute truths," and that on the other side there are no mere errors. Subject to a further explanation, all truth and all error on my view may be called relative, and the difference between them in the end is one of degree.' 1

The defect of what we call truth arises from its incompleteness. Something is always left out by us. It is abstract; above all it omits its own opposite; and "with every truth there still remains some truth, however little, in its opposite." 2 "The idea that in the special sciences, and again in practical life, we have absolute truths, must be rejected as illusory. We are everywhere dependent on what may be called useful mythology, and nothing other than these inconsistent ideas could serve our various purposes. These ideas are false in the sense that they are not ultimately true. But they are true in the sense that all that is lacking to them is a greater or less extent of completion, which, the more true they are, would the less transform their present character. And, in proportion as the need to which they answer is wider and deeper, these ideas already have attained actual truth." 3

It is not possible to deny that all our knowledge is incomplete. It is also, in the last resort, hypothetical. But it is another thing to admit that there is no difference between truth and error except a difference of degree." True ideas, as Mr. Bradley admits in the last sentence I quote from him, answer to needs. That is to say, they fit into, are consistent with, find a place 2 Ibid. p. 253. 3 Ibid. pp. 430-1.

1 Truth and Reality, p. 252.

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