Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
We ask, whose reason, as to what is demonstrated or demonstrable, should we follow, since individual reason, left entirely to itself, is almost as diverse as there are individuals who use it? Should not the fact of this diversity move us to the reasonable conclusion that unaided reason cannot in man's present imperfect condition be accepted as a sufficient and satisfactory guide? And should this fact not move us to be open to help from other sources than unaided reason? Since heredity, environment and training make reason in many cases approach a subject with wrong and insufficient data and presuppositions, how could we be sure of what is demonstrated or demonstrable by fallen individual reason? Is it not therefore, if certainty is to be reached, reasonable to expect from an infallible and benevolent Power, if such exists, the aid so desperately needed by unaided individual reason? If not, then the quest for Truth is vain; and we will always have to remain with Mr. Huxley in the "dark depths of a wild and tangled forest" doomed "never to find the way out." If such outside aid does come to reason, we may be sure that it does not stultify our God-given reason, as the creeds do, but completely satisfies it by supplying just what it lacks and then lets it test such supplies with every intuition and other power that it has and comes out of the test fully satisfactory to reason. This the writer desires to give as his personal experience in the use of his reason on Biblical data, which, under as thorough and searching a test as he could apply, have always proven themselves both reasonable and complementary of what his reason has lacked. So we say in real friendliness and good will to our troubled agnostics: Come with us and see whether the Bible does not supply the reasonable solution of God's being and of the problem of existence, which the word agnosticism itself implies it cannot of itself attain. Many agnostics to their head's and heart's blessing have found it to give that solution. And, approached in the
right spirit, it will always so do; for He who alone had an infallible reason said of such: "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6: 37).
Another evil that is associated with Mr. Huxley's negative principle of agnosticism—"in matters of intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable"—is its practical outcome: it always leads into the miasmic swamp of unbelief. Never has there been an agnostic who, given time enough, did not advance from the proposition: God's existence cannot be known, to the proposition, I do not believe in God's existence. Such retrogression lies, not accidentally, but essentially in a long abiding in agnosticism. Hence every thoroughgoing agnostic became an unbeliever in the God of the Bible. Messrs. Huxley, Spencer and Ingersoll are familiar examples of this fact. Accordingly, agnosticism is not a helper Bibleward, but is a turner away therefrom and is in practice essentially anti-religious. It, therefore, creates a condition that makes it unlikely that one will get the help that his reason needs to supplement its lacks; and it draws one away from the congenitally created quality—faith— indispensable for an approach to God and Truth on God's existence and the problem of being. And this (unbelief, irreligiousness) is the greatest evil that it inflicts on its votaries, whom, like the man that fell among thieves, it strips, wounds and leaves half dead, without encouraging, but seeking to prevent, the good Samaritan to come to their succor. This evil alone, apart from any other consideration, makes it a culprit at the bar of Divine and human justice. And with this remark we leave the Huxleyan form of agnosticism as an unsatisfactory theory.
We would now devote our attention to Mr. Spencer's form of agnosticism. Mr. Spencer's agnosticism may be summed up in the following statement of his: "The Power that the universe manifests to us is utterly
inscrutable." He thus admits that there is a Power back of the universe which the universe manifests to us. Thus he advances from the Huxleyan incomprehensible universe to a Power to which incomprehensibility is attributed. Moreover, Mr. Spencer holds that religiousness is an essential constituent of man's nature; and therefore he accepts the reality of its object—a higher Power, however inscrutable. So far we can walk hand in hand with Mr. Spencer. But Mr. Spencer then says that religion has erred in ascribing anything except existence and inscrutability to this Power. Therefore, he denies personality to this Power, claiming that thought can never reach the reality back of phenomena. This would mean that because God is the First Cause, the Infinite and the Absolute, He cannot be known. Mr. Spencer puts it like this: "Though the Absolute cannot in any manner or degree be known, in the strict sense of knowing, yet we find that its positive existence is a necessary datum of consciousness; that so long as consciousness continues we cannot for an instant rid it of this datum, and that thus the belief which the datum constitutes has a higher warrant than any other whatever." These words prove that his agnosticism is not irreligious, though unchristian. Indeed his position is that religion always has been, is and will be necessary to man's nature, though he claims that in all forms it is as near an approximation to Truth as man's imperfection will allow, none of its forms (hence, the Bible's form of religion) being the real and full Truth. Therefore, Mr. Spencer would tolerate all religions as attainments needed by the condition of their respective votaries. Mr. Spencer's and Mr. Huxley's agnosticism differ in this: whereas the latter insists on the limitation of our faculties, the former insists on the transcendent nature of the Object of religion. Yet they come to the same conclusion—it is impossible for man to know God.
We would not quarrel with Mr. Spencer if, when he speaks of God as inscrutable, he means that we cannot fully comprehend God; for we certainly do not comprehend His nature. We know not the shape of His body, the sound of His voice (John 5: 37), nor do we know the substance or substances of which His body consists. The Bible teaches that our knowledge of Him, instead of being complete, is decidedly piecemeal (1 Cor. 13: 12). The heights and depths, the lengths and breadths of His qualities are beyond our power of comprehension. With the Psalmist we must confess that these are too much and too wonderful for us. The following passages prove this thought abundantly: Job 5: 8, 9; 26: 14; 11: 7-9; 37: 23; 1 Cor. 2: 16; Ps. 139: 6; 145: 3; Eccl. 11: 5; Is. 40: 28; Eph. 3: 8. If our inability thoroughly to fathom God were the thing that Mr. Spencer affirms, we would say, Amen to his thought, as taught in the above-cited passages. But Mr. Spencer means more than this. He denies that we know or can know anything of this Great Power, except that It is the First Cause and is infinite and absolute. While many of the Lord's children have professed to know practically everything about God and have gone in this belief far beyond that which is written, and while Mr. Spencer's position conveys to them a needed rebuke, still to affirm that we know only of the existence of the Great Power and Its Infinity and Absoluteness is going too far in the other extreme. Mr. Spencer's error is basically the identification of two distinct propositions: (1) we do not and cannot know all about God; (2) we do not and cannot know anything about God. The first is true; the second is false, and is not to be allowed to be substituted for the first, as Mr. Spencer does.
Jesus taught us that God is a Spirit and frequently dwelt on many of His attributes of being and character, and on His relation to mankind and the world. Above we treated on God's attributes of being and
character, in which we cited multitudes of pertinent Scriptures. We can, therefore, see that Mr. Spencer's form of agnosticism denies very much of God as set forth in Scripture. It equally denies very much that we learn of Him from that other book that He has furnished us—nature, which is replete with thoughts of Him that are more than those of a great infinite and absolute Power. St. Paul tells us that His Eternal Deity, which includes personality, as well as power, are taught by nature (Rom. 1: 20). And the Psalmist tells us that the heavens declare the glory [the character, especially its wisdom, power, justice and love] of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork (Ps. 19: 1).
But what right has Mr. Spencer to limit our knowledge of God to His being an infinite and absolute Power? Surely neither our reason, nor nature, nor experience, nor the Bible, so limits our knowledge of Him. For our intuitions invest Him with personality, spirituality, omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, as well as with benevolence and justice. In this nature also agrees; so does the Christian's experience and, assuredly, so also does the Bible. His only ground for so doing is his agnosticism—we cannot know any more of Him, or "It," as he would say. But why can we not? To this he has and can have no real answer, except that this is his belief. But others, with the intuitions of reason, the books of nature and Revelation and many experiences as their guarantees, affirm that they can and do know more of this Power than that. Certainly on such bases these have a better right to ascribe other attributes to that Power than he has to limit them as he does. He claims that there can be a higher mode of existence than that of personality and that our inability to grasp it is no proof against it, rather the reverse. This actually resolves itself into a mere evasion of the unanswerable arguments for God's personality given above. He thereby asks us to believe in a higher mode of existence than personality,
because we cannot conceive it. But the absurdity of such a position is evident; for it makes incomprehensibility a proof of truth. On this ground the incomprehensibility of transubstantiation would be a proof of its truth. The incomprehensibility of the creedal, as distinct from the Bible Trinity, would be a proof of its truth. The incomprehensibility of God's love and His providing for eternal torture would be a proof of the latter's truth. In other words, the inconceivability of any absurdity would be a proof of its truth, if Mr. Spencer's logic on this point were true.
It is a law of our thinking to ascribe personality to any cause that shows intelligence and design; and we do it because our minds are so constituted as to force us so to do. When we see intelligence and design in any human cause, our minds by their very nature cause us to ascribe personality to that human cause; and that same nature of our mind when we see a non-human cause that exhibits intelligence and design compels us to assign to that nonhuman cause personality. Hence only those thinkers who deny intelligence and design in the world can escape attributing personality to their source. But such a denial is first-class proof of the folly and unreasonableness of the deniers, and is corroborative proof of the truth of that which they deny. Hence, thinking according to the laws of our mind, which is the only way normal people can think, we are compelled to attribute personality to God. And this for normal thinking people refutes Mr. Spencer's view on God's personality.
We have examined the theories of the two main agnostics and have found their theories untenable; but additionally there is another form of agnosticism that denies that we can be sure of anything and that affirms that nothing can be known. But these theories are selfrefutative; for if we can not be sure of anything, we can not be sure of the certainty of this theory, otherwise certainty would exist on that proposition.
Again, if we can know nothing, we can not know that we know nothing, since knowledge would exist on that proposition. Hence both of these agnostic theories are self-annihilative. We may therefore well leave the subject of agnosticism as a thing that hardly rises above quibbling with words, and whose fundamental thoughts when analyzed are found to be quite inconsistent, illogical, fruitless and negative.
So far in studying false views of God we have considered atheism, materialism and agnosticism. These more or less seek to set aside the existence of God. As to agnosticism, its influence has been decidedly favorable as an impetus to atheism. Mr. Huxley drew his principles largely from atheistic views, while Mr. Spencer drew his more from pantheistic theories. The word pantheism, like the words atheism and agnosticism, is a Greek derivative. It is compounded—from the words pan (all) and theos (God). Etymologically it means all—god. It is used to designate the theory that everything is God, i.e., God is the sum total of all things. God and the universe, in the sense of all things, according to pantheism, mean the same thing. Each and every thing is a part of God. Accordingly, the planets and suns of all solar systems and whatever is in, or connected with them are God.
The inventor of pantheism in Christendom was Baruch Spinoza, a Jew, who was born in 1632 and died in 1677 and who while a young man for his unorthodox opinions was excommunicated from Jewry. While he claimed to accept both the Old and New Testaments, this was with reservations very much like those of our modern higher critics, whose father he might with propriety be called. Pantheism underlies Buddhism and Hindooism; and Averroes, the greatest philosopher of Mohammedanism, was a pantheist. It, therefore, is a plant foreign to Christian soil and is in violent opposition to the Biblical view of God. Casting away our glance from its heathen and Mohammedan
forms, we will view it as it appears in Christendom; though we may say to the credit of the Nominal Church that it never sanctioned it; nor has orthodox Jewry ever approved it. Its theory is, therefore, contrary to the views of God entertained by both fleshly and spiritual Israel. Spinoza as a philosopher sought to reduce all things to a single substance in order to attain, as he thought, to simplicity in philosophical thought. This one substance he called God, and claimed that He or it has two attributes: extension and thought. This one substance is the whole of being, and as such is God, whose irreducible attributes are extension and thought. Some pantheists look upon this one substance as spiritual and some consider it as material; but most of them evade a definition of it as one or the other—a fact which greatly militates against their doctrine that there is but one substance.
Their view compels them to deny the personality of God and even that of man, since they claim that the all—their God—is a numerical unity. Humans they teach have no individuality and therefore no personality. They also deny to their God the possession of intelligence. Their view denies, not only God's personality and intelligence, but in consequence of that denial, as well as of the nature of their view, it also denies His freedom of will and also man's freedom of will. Defining God as all, of course nothing outside of Him could affect the kind of freedom they ascribe to Him; for nothing, according to their view, is outside of Him—all things being parts of Him. They claim that He is free because He acts out the law of His being and therefore has no liberty of choice, but does what He does from the necessity of His essence, the essence of the universe. Hence blind necessitarianism, not free choice, is His freedom, which is no freedom of will, since the latter implies liberty to choose or reject this, that or the other thing. This same necessitarianism makes man do as he does; hence he has no free will.
As a result, they also deny moral responsibility in man and consequently affirm that the good and bad acts, motives, thoughts and words of men are alike God's, since men are parts, in fact the highest modes, of God. Consequently they make no difference between good and evil as qualities, except that they may have pleasant or unpleasant effects as between man and man. Such is a brief explanation of pantheism as a theory of God, which, as unbiblical, unreasonable and unfactual, we reject. We will now proceed to a refutation of this false view of God, as we have of other such views.
First of all, we hold against it that it is merely an unproved supposition. Contrary to the facts that we gave it our discussion of materialism, it denies that there are two substances, spirit and matter, and posits but one substance: some claiming it to be spirit, others matter and most of them evading a decision as to what it is. This condition is the factual refutation of their claim than substance is a numerical unity. Their desire that there be but one substance, so as to make it easier and pleasanter for them to think on the philosophy of being, of course cannot be accepted as proof of the truth of their foundation principle. Self-evident principles may in an argument be assumed without proof; but not so may we do with principles that are not self-evident, as in the case under discussion. For principles that are not self-evident we are warranted in demanding proof; and none has ever been offered for their foundation principle. It is therefore an unproven supposition set up against the proposition that there is a personal God, which has many cogent proofs in its favor, while this contradiction of it has none in its favor, it being nothing more than a mere proofless assumption—guess; which as thinkers we should reject.
Furthermore, not only is its foundation principle, that there is but one substance, an unproven guess; but the theory that all is God, built upon that supposition,
is also a supposition for which not one proof has been forthcoming. How do they know that the universe is God? To know such a thing one must be omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, and from the exercise of these qualities be able to say with knowledge of all facts and all existence that nothing else except the universe and its belongings are God. Of course no pantheist has these attributes and therefore cannot have the knowledge that proves the universe and its belongings to be God. Their denial of will as the power of choice, i.e., will in the true sense of the word, is equally unprovable. The same thing may be said of their denial of intelligence in God. The universe is replete with proofs of the contrary of these two denials. Thus, too, they can advance no proof that we are not individuals and that we do not have personal wills. What proof can they offer for their mischievous thought that there are no such differences as virtue and vice, good and bad? Yet there are views that logically flow from their groundless assumptions that there is but one substance and that all is God. Given these unproven assumptions and the rest of their errors logically follow. Should we not rather reason that assumptions that carry with them such erroneous consequences must themselves be thoroughly erroneous?
The opposites of their assumptions and implied conclusions are proven to be true. The underlying principle of pantheism, that there is but one substance, is contrary to facts. Experience and observation prove that there are two substances: spirit and matter. We instance the undoubted facts of spiritistic phenomena in innumerable cases proven beyond doubt by being subjected to the severest scientific tests on the part of such scientists as Sir Oliver Lodge and Professors Hyslop and Lombardo, as proofs of the reality of spirit beings. The existence of spirit substances like life-principle and ether are other proofs of the reality
of spirit substances, while the objects palpable to sense about us are proofs of the existence of material substances. These facts destroy the fundamental assumption of pantheism, that all substance is one. Moreover, the fact that no thought is possible in the animal creation without the union of the spiritual substance called life-principle and an organized material organism (since unconsciousness always is in, and follows on their separation), is another proof that there are two substance realms: spirit and matter. Thus facts prove that the foundation principle of pantheism is an unfactual supposition, instead of being a self-evident truth. This, of course, refutes the entire theory; for it leaves it without a foundation upon which it may rest its unsteady feet.
Their view that God, being identical with the universe, is inseparable from the universe, is also unfactual; for this implies that He made Himself, i.e., the universe. If anything is scientifically true, it is the proposition that a cause precedes, produces and is different from the effect. But here we find a theory that identifies cause and effect, which implies that nothing produced everything, and that it acted before it existed and existed before it existed. The formula of pantheists, set forth in their Latin expression, natura naturans et natura naturata, i.e., nature making nature and nature made nature, as an attempt to explain the being of their God, is as remarkable a piece of nonsense as can be found in the whole realm of philosophy falsely so-called. This formula in ultimate analysis implies that nothing made everything, and that a thing existed before it existed. The proofs from facts that we gave above for God's eternal existence, His personality, His independence of, and activity in the universe—all contradict the view that the impersonal universe is God. Innumerable facts of nature prove His exercise of volition and therefore contradict the assumption of His having no power of
choice. The facts of our consciousness and experience prove the personality of humans; for our self-consciousness is the primary fact of our knowledge and of our relations to others and the universe.
And the same kind of facts proves our having the power to choose—ability to exercise volition. The same kind of facts plus our consciences prove the actuality of moral responsibility and the worldwide difference between the good and the bad, the virtuous and the vicious, which pantheism with its all-God must deny on pain of making its God sinful. Hence, since facts disprove the main superstructural principles, as well as the foundation principle of pantheism, it must be a wrong theory of God; for there is not one single fact that proves this theory, which, accordingly, is nothing more than a baseless assumption. Of course if we should concede their two main principles, that all substance is a numerical unit and that it is God, we would have to concede their other principles; but principles having such consequent principles as these two have cannot be true, and of course only a most careless opponent of pantheism would concede these two unproven and unprovable principles, so violently contradicted by all the pertinent facts.
Again, this theory makes God an errorist and sinner. If everything is God, then we, as pantheists hold, are parts or "modes" of God. Therefore, when we think, it is not we (who according to the theory have no personal and independent existence) who think, but it is God who thinks. Hence God thinks all the errors that have been among men from mankind's beginning until now; and He will continue to think all future errors! This implies His contradicting Himself as often as men contradict one another. This makes Him think out and palm off all the false religions and contradictory creeds of the past and present. This makes Him the inventor of all the contradictory theories of philosophy, science, art, literature and sociology,
from the beginning of these to the present, as well as future ones. This also makes Him the inventor of everything true in religious, philosophical, scientific, literary and sociological theories. Hence He is a mixed God, not perfectly inerrant, but a muddler, who hits and misses the truth and who hits and misses error, a vast giant wandering through the realm of thought, usually erring and sometimes gaining a glimpse of truth, but never attaining the full truth on any one subject. What a sham God of sham truth is the pantheists' God; for He is the greatest conceivable intellectual muddle and self-contradiction!
But the matter is worse yet when we come to the realms of moral and religious motives and acts. It is really God, according to pantheism, who worships and serves the gods of polytheism, pantheism, deism and theism, as well as abhors these gods in atheists, materialists and agnostics! It is really God who offered the human sacrifices that have defiled heathen altars, including the horrors of Moloch worship! It is really God who engages in the senseless and injurious rites of false religions! It is really God who prostrates Himself before the idols of heathenism and Christendom! It is really God who engages in the various rites of self-expiation to Himself in heathenism and Christendom! It is really God who takes His name in vain in the perjuries, blasphemies, sorceries and profanities of men! It is really God who exercises the unbeliefs in Himself rife among mankind! It is really God who disobeys and disrespects Himself in the disobedience and disrespect that children give their parents! It is really God who murders Himself in the human murders and devastates and kills Himself in the wars and executions among mankind! It is really God who commits adultery, and that with Himself, in the marital infidelities among mankind! It is really God who hates, scorns, despises, envies, cherishes resentment, revenge and implacability, and that toward
Himself, in the pertinent acts of His human "modes"! It is really God who steals, defrauds, cheats, counterfeits, forges, plunders, swindles, and that against Himself, in the pertinent acts of His human "modes"! It is really God who misrepresents, defames, slanders, falsifies and deceives in the pertinent acts of mankind! It is really God who exercises covetousness, avariciousness, miserliness in the self-seeking! It is really God who indulges in drunkenness, gluttony, narcotic drugs, laziness, pride, vanity, cowardice, hypocrisy and temper, in the pertinent acts of His human modes! In a word, it is the God of pantheism who has been indulging in the terrible list of sins mentioned by St. Paul in Rom. 1: 29-31; for if humans are merely modes of God, parts of God, God in them does all the wickedness that they do. What an abominable God the God of the pantheist is! He is even worse than the gods of Greek mythology; for with all their shortcomings, they were rather decent gods compared with the God of pantheism. Certainly, such an erroneous and sinful God as the God of pantheism is one repulsive to our Christian moral and religious sentiments and we would have none of Him as a God, because of His ungodlike thoughts, motives, words and acts.
Another argument against pantheism is its degradation of man. We have just seen that it degrades God. We now proceed to show that it degrades man. It degrades him by denying personality to him; for, according to it, men are not individuals who, as such, are separate and distinct from one another, and, as such, have self-consciousness, as well as consciousness of others. Man, according to pantheism, is only a mode or part of the non-self-conscious universe. This results in negativing much of man's knowledge, e.g., self-knowledge and knowledge of others as separate and distinct. Pantheism also degrades man's moral powers through its denial of his freedom of choice. According to it, the good man acts, feels and speaks
according to an irresistible principle which makes him act, feel and speak the good he does. This of course robs him of all real moral power, which expresses itself in its choosing the good from an appreciation of its intrinsic worth and rejecting the bad because of an abhorrence of its intrinsic worthlessness. Again, it makes guiltless the vilest of sinners, because it denies him freedom of choice and ascribes to him the natural enslavement of his motives, words and acts, and the compulsory character of these expressing itself as it does, makes the wicked characterless automatons who perforce do evil. Accordingly, it makes automatons of both the good and the wicked and thus degrades mankind to the condition of the brute creation. Of course: for does not this theory make them all alike so many modes of their God, parts of their God?
Furthermore, this degradation is religious, as well as mental and moral. Of course such a theory makes man a religious automaton and, according to it, there can be no virtuous difference between religionists and religionists. Religiously, the saintly person is of no more worth than the most depraved fetish worshiper—each is forced to religionize as he does, without being able to exercise choice in the matter at all. But in a fuller sense pantheism degrades one religiously; for it makes him incapable of exercising Godward some of the highest religious faculties of the human heart. Its identification of God and nature works ruinously on some of the religious qualities of man. The one idea of pantheists flowing from the consideration of nature is that of power. Nature is replete with evidence of power. Its lack of personality and the manifestations of the curse make it seem to the natural man to lack decidedly in wisdom, justice and love, though vestiges of these can be seen in nature about man; but under the limitation and conditions of the curse these are to the natural man poverty-stricken. Accordingly, the pantheist offers us power in God as the object of the
religious feelings. Certainly the God of pantheism, nature, does not call forth the exercise of devotion, sacrifice and disinterested love; for what is there in power to call these forth in our hearts? Power, therefore, of itself does not so act on such of our religious faculties. Nor does it arouse gratitude in us; for there is nothing to be grateful to and for. It is powerless to effect in us the desire of intimate fellowship and communion with such a God; for He offers us no basis of fellowship and communion; for these can go out only to a person, which the pantheists' God is not. Nor can it give us the sense of reverence; though it can, and often does, arouse in us the feeling of fear and dread. Again, such a God cannot arouse in us the sense of duty-love to God, which also requires personality in the one toward whom it expresses itself as a God. Accordingly, failing to call forth the highest religious qualities and to develop them, its effect on man religiously is not of an uplifting, but a degrading character. All of its religious tendency, therefore, at its best is on a very low level and at its worst is almost as bad as atheism and materialism.
If we look at the religious qualities that it can arouse by the sense of power that it impresses, we will readily see that it cannot raise man very high religiously. What are the feelings in us that go out toward power? One of the finest of these is admiration, which does go out to those of its expressions that do not harm the observer of power's phenomena. But this is as much an aesthetic as a religious feeling. Wonder is another of the feelings that the sense of power can arouse. Others are awe and sublimity. But all of these are mainly artistic emotions and may be felt apart from any religious sentiment. When power is exercised to our injury it naturally arouses fear and terror, which certainly are not religious feelings in the true sense of the word, according to the express statement of Holy Scripture (1 Tim. 1: 5), with which
statement certainly our Christian experiences are in harmony. Certainly mere power of an impersonal character will not lead to worship and adoration, which requires a person as their object. We can exercise a certain phase of hope and faith toward certain manifestations of power; but if their source is impersonal such a hope and faith fall far short of the hope and faith that true Christians experience. Even such a low degree of faith and hope the atheist can and does exercise. In fact, the atheist and pantheist hold the same notion of the power that is in the world; only the atheist does not stultify himself by calling it God, as the pantheist does. If the pantheist divests himself of every iota of theism, which in practice he holds, then there is no difference between him and the atheist, except in words. While contemplating the universe the atheist feels the same admiration, wonder, awe, sublimity, fear, terror, hope and faith, as does the pantheist in the contemplation of the universe—the pantheists' God. On the other hand, the true child of God, with the theistic belief, gives the aroma of religiousness to the above feelings, and additionally exercises worship, adoration, devotion, consecration, disinterested and duty love, fellowship and cheerful obedience to the Biblical God on account of His personality, and thereby reaches the highest degree of religious development, from which, of course, the pantheist's faith cuts him off.
Pantheism is false because it teaches that the All is a numerical unity. Modern pantheists, like Haeckel, Carus, Hoeffding, Forel, etc., are wont to call themselves monists and their theory monism; but they mean by it exactly what former pantheists meant by pantheism. Carus, speaking of it, says that it "means that the whole of reality, that is everything that is, constitutes one inseparable and indivisible entirety. Monism accordingly is a unitary conception of the world. … The All being one interconnected whole,
everything in it, every feature of it, every relation among its parts, has sense and meaning and reality only if considered with reference to the rest of the world and to the whole itself. In this sense we say that monism [pantheism] is a view of the world as a unity." This language proves that pantheists hold that the All is a numerical unity; for they claim that only the whole is a reality and that its parts, considered separately, are only abstractions, mental ideas, but not realities. A numerical unity cannot have within itself differences of kind; for these would make it a duality or plurality of realities, which pantheism denies. But such a theory of the All as being a numerical unity that has in itself no differences in kind contradicts every known fact of existence. This contradicts the known facts of physics, which proves that matter varies in molecules, atoms and electrons. It contradicts chemistry, which classifies chemical elements into at least ninety-two kinds. It contradicts astronomy, which not only differentiates billions of suns and tens of billions of planets from one another, but also billions of solar systems from one another. It contradicts biology, which differentiates genera from genera and species from species throughout the animal, insect and bird world. It contradicts geology, which differentiates earth's strata, fossils, etc.; and mineralogy, which does the same with earth's minerals. It contradicts physiology, which differentiates the various elements of our bodies. It contradicts dendrology, which differentiates trees. It contradicts botany, which differentiates flowers and plants. It contradicts carpology, which differentiates the fruits and vegetables. It contradicts anthropology, which differentiates human individuals, as well as races and nations, from one another. It contradicts medicine, which differentiates remedies from one another. It contradicts psychology, which differentiates the minds of individuals, all having as the faculties of mind intellect, sensibilities and will.
It contradicts phrenology, which differentiates the various organs of the brain. It contradicts ethics, which differentiates between the good and evil. It contradicts theology as the doctrine of God in distinction from all His creatures. In a word, it contradicts the facts of every science, everyone of which proves, and that by observation and the mind's intuitions, the separateness and distinctness of being in the various spheres of existence. It contradicts the intuitions of the mind, which differentiate self, world and God from one another. Therefore pantheism, or to use its more modern name, monism, is a theory contradictory of every realm of knowledge based on reason, sense and intuition; for according to all realms of knowledge the world is an aggregation of individual things, more or less related, and not a numerical unit; since manifoldness is the voice of all creation and not a numerical unity. This proves that pantheism is a false view of God and the world and man.
The doctrine of pantheism intrinsically contains not a few absurdities, which of course make it unworthy of acceptance. According to it all is God and God created all. This analyzed proves that God made Himself; hence He must have existed before He came into existence; for a cause precedes its effect. This is further absurd, because it implies that the first cause was not causeless. But denying His personality denies that He could have created all; for existing before creation He must have been personal to bring it into existence; since it is replete with expressions of personality—wisdom, power, purpose, beneficence and justice. Hence these being in the effect must have been in the cause and they imply personality. Their doctrine of nature making nature (natura naturans) is absurd, because it implies the existence of the thing made before it was made, and while it was so non-existent it busied itself creatively on itself. Why nothing was the product of this non-existent
creator, we cannot figure out, nor, we opine, can pantheists. As an absurdity this one surely is worthy of the chief booby prize and deserves for its holder the high seat in the schoolroom's corner, with the dunce cap on his head and his back turned toward the school and teacher. To deny personality to man when man has the very things that constitute personality—self-consciousness and others-consciousness, which all sentient beings have, is certainly a transparent absurdity. To assert, as pantheism does, that man, considered as a part of the all, is a mere abstraction and not a reality, is another absurdity, since abstractions are only ideas, while it takes real existent and sentient beings to feel, know and will, as man does. To assert that there is no real difference or differing worth between good and evil, the saint and the sinner, is not only intellectually absurd, but is as morally absurd as it is morally mischievous. These considerations prove pantheism to be as absurd as it is untrue.
Another argument against pantheism is its insufficiency to explain the involved phenomena that it professes to explain. Its explanation of the nature of God is insufficient to account for His existence and work; in fact it explains neither. Its making Him His own Creator is insufficient to explain either Himself or His creation. Its denial of personality to Him leaves Him as an abstraction before our mind and an incompetent and insufficient originator of all things. Explaining Him to be the universe and the universe to be Him leaves both unexplained to us. Positing a numerical unity for the universe as against the unity of a systematic aggregation of diverse individual things, and reducing all the parts of this universe separately considered to mere abstractions, ideas, neither explains the universe nor its real parts; but does reduce the universe to mere abstractions, ideas, since, if all its parts are abstractions its whole of necessity is such. Doubtless it was for this very reason that