In metaphysics there are two distinct systems of thought...

The Arena

In metaphysics there are two distinct systems of thought, one of which must be true and real and the other false and unreal; the two positions are in contradistinction one to the other, and hence a third theoretic system, a combination or compromise of the two, is unreasonable, impossible, and untenable. Upon the premise that matter is all-in-all, and that the five physical senses furnish the only testimony upon which to base accurate deductions, all the so-called sciences have been formulated. This position, when accepted in its entirety (which must be done in order to accept its deduced sciences), reveals the existence of substance or cause, found abstract from matter, as an impossibility. . . . This position precludes the presence of Spirit, Mind, or intelligence, apart from matter. All is physical and of the material senses. There can be no force nor power without matter, no spirit, no God, no unseen intellectual agency sustaining and maintaining the universe, that is not inherent of substance-matter. An inquiry into a cause or creator outside of matter is an illusion, a seeking for something that has no existence. All things are physical and mechanical, not mind nor mental. This material monistic philosophy had as its chief exponent in modern times, Auguste Comte, who was a student of the ancient schools of Protagoras and Heraclitus. It is the position of the atheist. It can go no farther than human reason and is not subject to pure philosophy or true theology. There can be no continuity of spiritual or mental existence, since a succession of monistic physical phenomena is the ultimate of all materialistic action. There can be no God, no prayer. There is no problem of future existence, for there is no existence without matter, and the material man with the mortal mind is the highest exposition of all substance-matter. Materialism, pure and simple, and atheism are catalogued in the same concept of human investigation and existence.

The second school of thought accepts the other position, that Spirit (God) is All-in-all; that God is, of His very nature, substance, eternal; that His whole creation, of which man is the highest ideal, is spiritual. Theoretical logic or the theology of religion has attempted to establish a dualistic school of thought, which finds its adherents among those who seek a union or compromise between a materialistic and a spiritual creation. It presupposes that matter and spirit both exist, are eternal, and have equal or comparative reality. The doctrine of the union and nature of matter and spirit is seldom attempted and never made clear. Advocates and students of philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, materia medica, and all the so-called sciences, rarely accept the theory except as a belief, and all experimentation is in the line of materialism. These so-called scientists refuse to accept as testimony any deductions not derived from matter, and centuries have been given to experiments in trying to find life, spirit, intelligence, as not only existing in matter, but also existing as matter. The effort has been to find life or spirit having form, outline, and mobility, rather than to seek life or spirit as existing independent of matter.

This dualism always partakes of some form of pantheism, and upon this dualistic basis rests polytheism, spiritualism, hypnotism, theosophy, telepathy, animal magnetism, mesmerism, etc. This dual position is responsible for much of the philosophy of materialism and the theology of religion of the present era. Little or no effort is made by the so-called scientists to reconcile revelation or religion with what is called the physical sciences, and theologians often accept the physical sciences with a theological interpretation that is at great variance with the recognized process of determining results in material science. In fact, the natural or material scientist has met and almost eliminated the arguments of his opponents, yet humanity clings to the innate conviction that there is a God and that revelation and religion are necessary. At the same time the belief in the necessity for sin, sickness, and death remains as a part of the dualist's creed. This position proclaims God as the author of good and evil, health and sickness, and makes life and death coexistent in matter. This double attribute is pantheistic rather than Christian. God is recognized as being "in" things,—God in nature, therefore God in the mountain, in history, in peace, in war. Likewise, according to the dualist, God is in health, in sickness, in life, in death, in calamities of nature, even in sin. God creates sickness and then makes medicine to cure sickness. He brings suffering, according to this belief, and wills that medicine should fail, in order to punish His child for disobedience. This contradictory position leads its advocates to believe in fate and predestination, and asks us to bow our heads in humble submission to a dualistic God, a God of life and a God of death. The history of theoretic religion shows a strange and unreasonable commingling of materialism and sensualism with pious reverence. With the two opposite and conflicting pathways no definite end can be reached. All systems of dualism teach life in matter and make God responsible for all physical and moral evil, and the only escape is by a process of natural laws, or by a regenerative and supernatural grace administered by a priestly mediator.

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