Our critic desires to know what the Christian Science...

Dublin (Ireland) Express

Our critic desires to know what the Christian Science theory of microbes is. There is not the slightest difficulty in answering him. Microbes are part of the phenomenon termed matter, and are just as real or just as unreal as all material phenomena. It has been said that every man, whether he knows it or not, is a materialist or an idealist. The theory of pure materialism is not difficult to grasp. It may be stated roughly as the hypothesis that nothing exists beyond the forces inherent in matter, and that the life and civilization of this planet, as it appears to us today, were evolved by a process of natural evolution. Idealism, on the other hand, is the doctrine that matter is the hypothetical substance of mind. If you regard this mind frankly as energy, your first cause becomes practically as purely physical as the materialist's; if, on the other hand, you regard this mind as God, you reach the standpoint of what is known as orthodox theology.

The first position is that taken up by Professor Ostwald, and explained by him with the utmost clearness in the phrase, "Matter is only a thing imagined which we have constructed for ourselves, very imperfectly to represent the constant element in the changing series of phenomena. Now that we begin to understand that the actual, i,e., that which acts upon us, is only energy, we have to ascertain by tests in what relation the two conceptions stand, and the result is, without a doubt that of energy alone can reality be predicated." The second position is that taken up by Berkeley, and explained in the words that there is "no substance of matter, but only a substance of mind termed spirit; that there are two kinds of spiritual substance, the one eternal and uncreated, the substance of Deity, the other created, and, once created, naturally eternal."

September 18, 1909

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