Modern Materialism: Its Attitude Towards Theology

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Williams & Norgate, 1876 - 80 pages

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Page 31 - But the passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a definite thought, and a definite molecular action in the brain occur simultaneously; we do not possess the intellectual organ, nor apparently any rudiment of the organ, which would enable us to pass, by a process of reasoning, from the one to the other.
Page 56 - It is our own immediate consciousness of effort, when we exert force to put matter in motion, or to oppose and neutralize force, which gives us this internal conviction of power and causation, so far as it refers to the material world, and compels us to believe that whenever we...
Page 32 - If, on the other hand, you drop attributes from the mass in your retreat to the elements, on your return you can never pick them up again : starve your atom down to a hard, geometrically perfect minimum, and you have parted with the possibility of feeding it up to the qualitative plenitude of our actual material forms ; for in mere resistance which is all that is left you have no source of new properties, only the power of excluding other competitors for its place. Accordingly, the " atom...
Page 35 - are conformed," we are assured, " to a constant type with a precision which is not to be found in the sensible properties of the bodies which they constitute. In the first place, the mass of each individual," " and all its other properties, are absolutely unalterable.
Page 30 - ... find their way, its phenomena being intrinsically inappreciable by their instruments of research. Here, then, in this establishment of two spheres of cognition, separated by an impassable gulf, we surely have a breach in the continuity of our knowledge : on the one side, all the phenomena of matter and motion ; on the other, those of living consciousness and thought. Step by step the " Naturforscher " may press his advance, through even the contiguous organic provinces; but at this line his movement...
Page 7 - That the upper zones of human affection, above the clouds of self and passion, take us into the sphere of a Divine communion. Into this overarching scene it is that growing thought and enthusiasm have expanded to catch their light and fire.
Page 26 - This is not a process of reasoning, but an act of will a decretal enveloped in a scientific nimbus. Nothing can be less relevant than to show (and nothing else is attempted) that the forces of heat, of attraction, of life, of consciousness, are attached to material media and organisms, which they move and weave and animate : this is questioned by no one.
Page 23 - ... as in the expansive energy which propels a loaded shell, or within, as in that which ultimately bursts it. In any case, you have here a clear dynamic addition to that scheme of regimented and marshalled phenomena which results from the lonely conception of matter. Will you rid yourself of the dualism by insisting, while you concede the power, that it is only a property of the matter ? " See," says Lange, " whether here you are not in danger of a logical circle.
Page 56 - Matter we find recurring the same dualism which presents itself in the ideas of God and the world, of soul and body ; the same want which once impelled men to people bush and fountain, rock, air, and sea, with creatures of their imagination. What do we gain by saying it is reciprocal Attraction whereby two particles of matter approach each other ? Not the shadow of any insight into the nature of the process.
Page 25 - ... explanation of natural processes."* And respecting the law of Conservation of energy, Lange observes that, taken in its " strictest and most consequent meaning it is anything but proved: it is only an 'Ideal of the Reason?

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