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between individual and individual. Whether a believes in the existence of God or not, he is clear in his own mind that he has a duty ad externam. “Could Robinson Crusoe do wrong?” is an old question. At least, this is fairly certain that Crusoe had periods of moral depression, had a sense of “reigning in this solitary place,” and if reigning does not connote the performance of right and wrong, nothing does. It does not require any dogmatism as to the nature or attributes of God to help us to lay down quite categorically that a large sphere of moral action does not concern our relations towards other human beings. Similarly, our duty to ourselves is but a small section of our duty. Hence it follows that outside us, independent of our existence, there is right and there is wrong, an objective ethic. It may seem that I have shewn that mere reason cannot give us a moral doctrine only to prove afterwards that, by way of intuition, reason succeeds in performing the impossible. If this were so, I admit the . argument is vicious. But my contention is that reasonapart from moral intuitions-is insufficient to establish moral doctrine; and that reason, co-operating with moral intuition is all-sufficient, not merely to establish moral doctrine, but to point and to rationalize its ultimate aims and its inalienable results.

What follows from the acceptance of an objective right and wrong, subjectively cognizable, but independent of the mere existence of the subject ? At once follows the existence of a Subject to whom right and wrong is cognizable independent of our existence. It is Berkeley's argument for the existence of God stated in ethics, rather than in metaphysics as Berkeley states it. Things only exist, he says, in relation to a sentient mind; things in themselves exist in relation to the sentient mind of God. As regards moral sentiments, therefore, since they are not

mere fleeting phantoms in the minds of individuals, but moral apperceptions of objective morals, these will exist when the mortal minds are no more: they will exist in the mind of God.

And our old friend, the man-in-the-street, bears eloquent testimony to the argument. He may cast away religious influences from him, but none the less he has his perceptions of right and wrong - perceptions clear and unmistakable - only mistakable indeed when wrong chooses for its purpose the chameleon nature. Not from legislation, or convention, or from expediency, did he gain his moral intuitions; though legislation and convention and expediency may and do have their due effects upon them. He has obtained them, though perhaps he does not admit it, by the broken light of reflection from the greater light of eternal moral truth.

65

THE THEORY OF DETERMINISM
IN ITS RELATION TO HUMAN NATURE.

By Rev. CANON S. C. ARMOUR, D.D. A GREAT step in the progress of human thought has been the recognition of the close inter-dependence of the various departments of nature. This doctrine has been especially brought home to us in this age of physical research. Departments of knowledge which were formerly regarded as distinct are found to be very definitely related, mutually illuminative, and commonly subordinate to a great system of scientific truth.

And our progress in this research has likewise deepened our conviction of the universality of law. Science has revealed to us "an infinite number of invariable sequences” brought about by the operation of definite forces; and it has been found that though we traverse immeasurable space and countless ages of time, we shall find the same forces producing the same phenomena. “ The progress of science,” says Professor Huxley, “has meant the extension of the province of what we call matter and causation, and the concomitant gradual banishment from all regions of human thought of what we call spirit and spontaneity.”

In this general research man has had his due share of attention. Former theories about him have been scrutinised in the light of new discovery. Especially has the Doctrine of Evolution led to some important modifications of the old views about his nature and constitution—views which, however at variance, had yet one common ground

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of agreement, in regarding man as something isolated from other forms of sentient life.

Evolution, however, has now taken away the boundaries which fenced him off; and man, as represented by modern theories, now appears no longer as a being apart, but as the last and highest term in an infinite series of development. His faculties, corporeal, mental and moral, are now regarded as but higher and more complex developments of the rudimentary types found in the lower animals. To judge of him fairly he must be considered in his relation to the anterior organisms from which he was evolved, and to the modifying conditions which have continuously moulded, and are still moulding his life.

Now this scientific observation of human nature in relation to its origin and environment, has revealed more and more the reign of law in the events of human life. Here we see the potency of inherited tendencies, combined with the external influences to which man is subject. We find wide areas of life exhibiting a general uniformity of sequence, similar antecedent combinations producing similar results. Statistics, social, industrial, criminal, sanitary, show more and more that man in the mass is to a large extent the creature of circumstances, and that given a certain set of known antecedent conditions, a nearly uniform average of results may be expected to follow.

Now this general correspondence of human actions to inherited tendencies and environing conditions has encouraged a certain class of thinkers to seek to interpret all the experiences of human life in terms of natural laws, whose operations we can observe, and whose results we can predict, with unerring accuracy. Let us only ascertain pre-existent or present conditions and environments, and the riddle of every life can be read. Each action, good or

evil, can be scientifically accounted for, as a process in the alchemy of life, by which antecedent conditions re-appear, as it were, in new form, transmuted into their consequent moral equivalents.

Though I am well aware that I must be treading on ground very familiar to the members of this learned society, yet it may not be an evening entirely wasted if we examine this Determinist Theory of Positivism, and inquire whether it adequately accounts for the whole of human experience, or whether its advocates have not come to a too hasty conclusion in assuming that the same laws of unvarying sequence which their researches have discovered in external nature really govern all the phenomena of life, and whether in their equation of human nature, they have not omitted one or more of its essential factors.

Is man simply a product? or is he in part an originating cause? Is he merely the passive creature of the cosmic forces which contributed to form him, and which are still at work in the scene around, and the constitution within him? Or does an inner self stand in the midst of these forces, master of a reserve of power which he can bring to bear, ere things have drifted irretrievably beyond him? This, I think, is a question which must be considered before we can judge of the merits of the case between the determinists, and the advocates of human freedom.

I venture therefore to select a passage from Professor Bain's work on The Emotions and the Will, as a fair representative of the views of a large section of Positive Philosophers. The passage I quote from him is a very significant one, containing in fact the very crux of the position.

In the setting up of a determining power under the name of ** self” as a contrast to the whole region of motives generated in the

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