Christianity and Greek Philosophy: Or, the Relation between Spontaneous and Reflective Thought in Greece and the Positive Teaching of Christ and His Apostles

By B. F. Cocker | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI. THE UNKNOWN GOD (continued).

IS GOD COGNIZABLE BY REASON?

"The abnegation of reason is not the evidence of faith, but the confession of despair." -- LIGHTFOOT.

AT the outset of this inquiry we attempted a hasty grouping of the various parties and schools which are arrayed against the doctrine that God is cognizable by human reason, and in general terms we sought to indicate the ground they occupy.

Viewed from a philosophical stand-point, we found one party marshalled under the standard of Idealism; another of Materialism; and, again, another of Natural Realism. Regarded in their theological aspects, some are positive Atheists; others, strange to say', are earnest Theists; whilst others occupy a position of mere Indifferentism. Yet, notwithstanding the remarkable diversity, and even antagonism of their philosophical and theological opinions, they are all agreed in denying to reason any valid cognition of God.

The survey of Natural Theism we have completed in the previous chapter will enable us still further to indicate the exact points against which their attacks are directed, and also to estimate the character and force of the weapons employed. With or without design, they are, each in their way, assailing one or other of the principles upon which we rest our demonstration of the being of God. As we proceed, we shall find that Mill and the Constructive Idealists are really engaged in undermining "the principle of substance;" their doctrine is a virtual denial of all objective realities answering to our subjective ideas of matter, mind, and God. The assaults of Comte

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