The Wrestle of Religion with Truth

By Henry Nelson Wieman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
ULTIMATE CAUSE, SUPREME GOOD AND RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE (Continued)

We adopt Professor Perry's1 approach to the problem of goodness or value, although we do not follow him in all his conclusions. In fact our main contention now, namely, that ultimate cause and supreme good involve one another, is in opposition to one of his main contentions.

The good is any fulfilment of interest. Interest is any motor-affective attitude. One may have such an attitude with respect to conditions without being conscious of the conditions or of the attitude. Hence interests may be unconscious as well as conscious. Interest may be more or less inclusive. One interest may include many subordinate interests. Love at its best is the most inclusive of all interests, for it provides the most complete integration of the greatest number and diversity of interests of the individual and of associated individuals. The supreme good is fulfilment of the most inclusive interest, or, if one prefers the phrase, of the most inclusive system of interests.

The ultimate cause, as we here propose to treat it, is that structure of the totality of all being which determines the bearing of this totality upon our interests, whether to fulfil or to frustrate them. Largest fulfilment of human interest can ensue only through some

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1
See Ralph Barton Perry, The General Theory of Value.

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