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20: Review and Conclusion

THE question formulated at the outset of our enquiry was whether the facts of morality and ethical principles have any bearing—and if so what bearing—on the idea which we are justified in forming of ultimate reality. Is it possible, it was asked, that we may find in what should be a guide towards that which truly is? This question has now been answered. But the argument has been long, and it has entailed certain ethical discussions which were perhaps of secondary importance. It may be worth while, therefore, to take this opportunity of looking back upon the line of thought that has been traversed and of distinguishing the critical points in the advance. Only these critical points need be mentioned; and I will attempt, in a series of propositions, to make clear the logical consecutiveness of the steps which have led to the conclusion.

1. I begin with the distinction between knowledge of the individual and knowledge of the universal. Science—in the sense in which the term is commonly, though not very correctly, used—is of the universal or general; it is interested in the individual existent or individual case only as illustrating or helping to prove the general principle; it terminates in laws or formulae; and its ideal is a science like mathematical physics. On the other hand, history is concerned with the individual; it requires general concepts and universal principles, but only as ancillary to its purpose; its ultimate interest is in the individual not in the universal. Whenever our true interest is to understand the individual—whether the individual be a man, or a nation, or an institution, or the solar or stellar system in its evolution—our study differs from science commonly so called, however much it may be aided by universal principles and abstract reasoning. In certain subjects the interest is divided between the individual and the universal. Geology and biology, for instance, are on the border-line and incline to one side or the other according as the interest of the enquirer is in the history of the earth or of living beings, or in the general principles which have determined their course.

Now, not only is man himself an individual, but ultimate reality is an individual. Indeed it may be said that nothing else has complete individuality. Of it there is and can be no other example. But persons also have individuality, though of a less complete kind, owing to their uniqueness and to the consciousness which gives each a being for himself. Material things, on the other hand, have an individuality much less clearly marked, and their arrangement as distinct units is largely determined by human interests. Accordingly, notwithstanding the abstract arguments which enter into philosophy, its ultimate interest is in the individual.

2. In studying the individual—any individual—we begin with a first apprehension of it as a whole; next, we proceed to discriminate the different elements or factors of this object (and here is the region of analysis); then, with clearer knowledge of each factor, we attempt a synthesis; and, finally, we seek once more to see the object as a whole—to grasp its unity again, but with fuller information about its diverse features. Further, in the case of any individual, we distinguish two fundamental aspects—in respect of one of which we describe its properties, and trace the connexion of its parts with one another and of the object as a whole with other objects; while, in respect of the other aspect, we appreciate the value of the individual, and say that it has a certain worth. It is convenient to speak of these two aspects as that of causes and that of values. And it is to be noted that it is the investigation of causes that has led to the chief generalisations of physical and natural science, and that it has thus tended to direct interest towards the universal or general rather than towards the individual with which it begins, whereas, on the other hand, value resides in the concrete existent: it belongs to the individual, not to the law or general concept.

3. The laws which determine value are not of the same order as the laws which determine the causal or other connexions of things and persons. It is conceivable that a thing may be without value altogether, but it has always causal connexions and can always be described. And, in general, the value which we are in the habit of ascribing to material things is never value in the strict sense, but only a means to value: in technical language, it is instrumental, not intrinsic. Intrinsic values—at any rate, intrinsic moral values—belong to persons only.

4. These intrinsic values, however, are not less objective, not less a part or aspect of reality, than the qualities or the causal connexions which we ascribe to things and persons. There are only two alternatives. Either they are objective, or else they have no reality outside the mind of the subject who affirms them. And every argument which is relevant in support of the latter alternative would be equally relevant to prove that neither things nor their relations nor other persons exist outside the mind of the subject who asserts that they exist. The grounds for denying the objectivity of morality are equally grounds for denying the objectivity of knowledge. And as any argument with another person implies the latter's personal existence and implies also that arguer and argued-with are ‘up against’ the same world, it is legitimate to assume the objectivity of knowledge and consequently at the same time the objectivity of morality.

5. The enquiry was narrowed down to the moral values and their bearing on philosophy, to the exclusion of other values—to goodness rather than to truth and beauty. Of moral values it clearly holds that it is in persons that they are realised, not in mere things, and that they belong to persons in as truly objective a sense as any other characteristics belong to them. But something more than this is true. It is not merely the value actually realised in some one's conscious life that must be held to belong to objective reality. In bringing value into existence the individual person is conscious of a standard or ideal which has validity as a guide for his personal endeavour, or of an obligation which rests upon him. The attainment of value is recognised as a value only because of its conformity with this standard or law of value, or because of its approximation to this ideal of value. It follows therefore that the value or goodness actually achieved in personal life implies as its ground or condition a standard or ideal of goodness. Accordingly, we are compelled to form the conception of an ideal good or of a moral order, which, as the condition of actualised goodness, must also be regarded as in some sense having objective reality.

6. The whole burden of the later portion of the argument lies upon the way in which we are to understand and explain this objectivity of the moral ideal or moral order. The starting-point is that it is not merely subjective—a figment of the imagination or the understanding—but that it belongs somehow to the real or objective order in virtue of which the world is what it is. Reality must include it, and our view of ultimate reality must show what its place is. By ultimate reality is not meant material existents, or even the realm of persons, but that which is the ground of everything that is real. A comprehensive view of reality must include an account of things and persons, laws, and values, as dependent upon this ultimate ground. If we are unable to reach a view of it as a whole, then we have attained no philosophy; if we can reach such a view, then we must be able to see how existing beings and the laws or orders of their behaviour on the one side, and the realm of moral values on the other side, harmonise so as together to make a unity.

7. Reality as a whole includes within it many distinctions: all diversity, we should rather say, is within this whole. If we would understand its organic or systematic unity, we must see how these diversities can be reconciled in one whole. This involves many and various problems. But the most fundamental of all the distinctions which thought discloses is that between the two aspects of reality already discriminated—that of the connectedness of its parts, which we may call the natural order or the realm of causation, and that of the values which it contains, which we may call the moral order or the realm of ends.

The chief problem, therefore, for any synoptic or philosophical view of reality is the attainment of a point of view from which we can regard these two aspects as aspects of a whole. And the difficulty before which we came to a halt in working out this problem is just that fact upon which the most serious reflexion of all ages has concentrated—the lack of congruity between the natural order and the moral order. Their laws are entirely different: causal connectedness on the one hand, ideal valuation on the other. Their phenomenal appearances diverge: a law which is indifferent to morality produces effects of one kind; the inexorable categorical imperative requires action of another. Man, in whom the two meet, seems in the grip of conflicting powers, and unable to reconcile his allegiance to both.

8. This problem, accordingly, may be used as a test for deciding between different philosophical theories of reality. Such theories have often originated simply from the endeavour to explain the world and man as existing facts. The various forms of naturalism and of idealism are sometimes presented in this way; morality and value generally are left over as something consequential, whose explanation is to be found in theories derived from a different order of phenomena. But moral experience, and the moral order of which we are conscious, are part of the material which we have to take into account before we have a right to accept any philosophical theory or to adopt it as an adequate point of view for the interpretation of reality as a whole. If the customary examination of such theories does not give a clear decision of the philosophical problem, one reason at least for this indecision is that the theories have been based too exclusively uponthe facts of physical and psychical existence and have taken too little account of the other aspect of our experience, that which has to do with values.

Naturalistic theories were barely mentioned in my argument owing to their inability even to explain law in nature and the facts of psychical existence, as well as because they are obliged to deny the objectivity of moral and other values. But not naturalism only, but also certain theories in which spiritual reality is affirmed, were found unable to satisfy our test. Pluralism was to acknowledge an order of law and an order of values which were inexplicable in a universe where finite monads or selves alone are real. And those forms of idealistic theory which accentuate the unity of the world after the manner of monism or pantheism, were seen to be inadequate, and that for the express reason that they give no tenable explanation of the existing incongruity between the natural order and the moral order. It was found that monism—in spite of its emphasis on unity, and in spite of the appearance of rigid demonstration which has been given to it—tended in two opposite directions. On the one hand, it leaned to naturalism and gave purely naturalistic explanations of good and evil; on the other hand, everything became absorbed in One, and for this mystic vision the world and individual men with the values which they cherish, disappeared in illusion. In neither way was the monistic doctrine of the all as one able to comprehend in its view both the order of nature and the moral order, and to find an explanation of the discrepancy which they present to our experience.

9. In analysing the positive conditions of the reconciliation of this discrepancy it was found that these conditions were two. In the first place we must be able to explain how it is that the persons, in whom moral values have to be realised, do as a matter of fact realise them so imperfectly and make such slow progress in their efforts to realise them. And, in the second place, we should be able to show how it is that the order of the world as a causal system displays such apparent indifference to the standard of good and evil.

The explanation of the former difficulty relied on the postulate of individual freedom; and a defence of that postulate was offered. Freedom is essential for the explanation which I offer. The question is, How is it that persons do not realise the moral order of the universe? and the answer is, that moral values can be realised by free beings only: that freedom is necessary for goodness; that mere correctness of behaviour is not a realisation of that high value of which man is capable, which requires its free choice and attainment; and that the world would be a less noble and worthy event than it is if it did not contain the values which can be realised only by free beings, and therefore cannot be purchased except by the gift which makes evil possible as well as good.

The second difficulty can be explained only by the interpretation of the world as a purposive system, and this interpretation also was defended. We must postulate purpose in the world as well as freedom in man. The world with its order of natural law cannot be explained from its present appearance only: not only its justification but also its explanation depends upon the final issue; and we must have regard to the ends which it is adapted to serve. Its purpose cannot be to make the world a fit environment for perfect beings: it is not such; and there are no perfect beings on its surface. Nor can it be to return to each man the just rewards of his deeds, for it does not fulfil this purpose. But, even in its incongruities, with the unchanging moral order, the world of nature may be regarded as a fit medium for the fashioning and training of moral beings. We are led to acknowledge this purpose by recognising that the moral order belongs to the order of reality; and the manner of its achievement is made intelligible by the postulate of freedom.

10. With the recognition of this mode of harmonising the order of nature with the moral order, it is not any longer possible to regard both orders or either as merely unconscious law. The order of nature intends a result which is not found at any particular stage in the process of existence. It requires an idea of the process as a whole and of the moral order to which nature is being made subservient. It means therefore intelligence and the will to good as well as the ultimate source of power. In this way, the recognition of the moral order, and of its relation to nature and man, involves the acknowledgment of the Supreme Mind or God as the ground of all reality.

This is the conclusion of the central argument of this book. It gives a point of view from which reality may be interpreted without the incongruities into which other theories fall; and it succeeds in making intelligible just those features of experience which it is most difficult to combine into a harmonious view of the whole. At the same time, as I have repeatedly admitted, it does not solve all problems or remove all difficulties. It does not explain each particular situation, or the unique character of any particular person. Our knowledge of the details and of the issues of life is far too meagre to admit of our having more than a general principle of explanation. So far as the individual problem gets a solution at all, it is usually through the religious faith of the individual person; and there are few things more venturesome, or more offensive, than the attempt of any one else to interpret for him the ‘ways of providence.’ And, even within the region of general principles, there are questions left over, which may not be entirely ignored, though some of them carry us beyond the limits of the present enquiry.

It may appear that the line of thought which has been followed has tended to magnify morality overmuch, both in respect of the intellectual inferences which it justifies and as regards its place in life as a whole. On the other hand it may seem, in apparent conflict with this view of the supremacy of morality, that undue stress has been laid, at a critical turn of the argument, on the facts of moral failure and on the imperfection of the world. Concerning both these points, something should be said; and the latter, which is the simpler, may be taken first.

It was allowed—though only for the sake of argument—that if the world and man had presented a picture of complete adaptation to one another, in which there was no trace at all of imperfection, we might have been content to find in the conception of law—a law which might then have been regarded as at once natural and moral—an adequate explanation of reality, and that we should not have needed to go behind the law and make the inference to conscious intelligence and goodness. But it was argued that, since the facts do not exhibit this perfection, another explanation must be sought of the relation of nature to morality: an imperfect world, it was said, was required for the making of moral beings; they had to be tried in, and habituated to, all kinds of circumstances, in order that they might grow into goodness. Hence the very imperfection of the world was used as an argument pointing to the theistic conclusion.

But it was not said that free beings were necessarily only imperfectly moral, or that it was impossible for perfect moral goodness to exist in the midst of imperfect surroundings. Had man been morally perfect and had it been possible for his will to be firm though free, there would have been no need—no excuse, one may say—for the imperfection of the world he lives in. But, as he is free and needs to grow into goodness, the imperfection is an essential condition of the making of the good man. The completion of this process would not make him unable to live in this world, as Herbert Spencer imagined. The moral man, as ordinarily conceived, is the man who is able to adopt and does adopt the moral attitude in all the ordinary circumstances of his life. The completely moral man or morally perfect man is the man who would adopt this moral attitude in any possible circumstances.

Morality is of such great importance among the values because, as I have put it, it is not envious or exclusive. It does not, like the other values, depend upon certain special circumstances or some special endowment of intellect or skill. It can be exhibited in any circumstances whatever. In every situation there is always a right or moral reaction; and this reaction is simply an attitude of will; so that goodness is realised even when power is wanting to achieve the result which will make the good will manifest to the eyes of men. At the same time the will which adapts itself morally to one set of circumstances may not be so firmly set towards good as to achieve moral adaptation to circumstances in which the temptations are different or which call for a greater effort. Thus the variety of natural and social conditions offers a training ground for the good will, which may pass from range to range of experience perfecting its own nature and contributing to the improvement of its environment. The growth of morality is always marked by firmer stability of character, diminished danger of straying from the right way, increased ability to deal with new and unexpected situations. Placed in the midst of an imperfect environment, a will trained to goodness in this way endeavours to moralise the environment—to make it contributory to the realisation of value. And, when this has been accomplished, the agent will have become qualified to deal with new and more complicated conditions, and to solve new practical problems offered by fresh situations. The right use of his talents in ordinary affairs will have fitted him to be a wise ruler of ten cities.

Concerning the limits of the argument from morality not much needs to be added. It has not been put forward as, of itself and alone, constituting a rigidly demonstrative proof; still less has it been suggested that it excludes, instead of facilitating, other methods of approach to the theistic point of view. The way is not from the categorical imperative alone. From nature and art and knowledge men have risen to the contemplation of God and found in him the key to the problems of life. Each in his own way, and each starting from his own interest, has sought and often has found, in the idea of the world as a revelation of God, a view which has satisfied his desire to see beneath the appearances of things and to grasp the meaning of life. Yet this much may be asserted, that, when such views neglect altogether the moral aspect of reality or try to explain it away, they are apt to be an erring guide to knowledge and to confer a doubtful practical boon.

Much more important, however, are the considerations which may force themselves upon us pointing to the limits of morality itself.

In the first place, morality has been regarded in my argument as restricted to the will in its relation to the moral ideal; and the content of the moral ideal was not found to be an easy thing to define. A final definition, indeed, is not possible, for knowledge of the moral ideal grows in clearness and fulness as character approximates to it. As we have seen, it can be expressed best as a spirit or tendency in which the higher human capacities and the harmony of man with man triumph over sensual and selfish impulses. This is the characteristic of the good will, that it is guided by the highest and by the spirit of unity with others. But what the higher interests and capacities of man are—this question may seem to have received a less distinct answer. Indeed, an answer cannot be given without reference to the other values—of truth and beauty, for instance—which we recognise as having a superior claim to that of the demands of comfortable living or the satisfaction of appetite and impulse. In the widest sense of the word, therefore, ethics might be used to signify the whole realm of values, while morality proper is restricted to the virtuous attitude towards them. Morality includes the will to these values, but the values themselves and their worth are independent.

In the second place, morality seems to be limited in another way. Suppose all values realised, what would become of morality? There would be no further good to which to reach forward; attainment would put an end to endeavour; and the moral ideal, thus reached, would seem to destroy the moral life in the act of perfecting it. Suppose the moral purpose of the world to be achieved, and the time-process still to go on. What is there for the fully moralised man to do in the perfected environment? Herbert Spencer tried to describe his private life; and in his account it comes very much to this, that he might still eat and sleep and beget sons and daughters. There is not much about the higher values in this picture of the heavenly life upon earth. But why should the perfect man even do the things which Spencer leaves for him where-with to fill up the inane blank of his existence? If he and his surroundings are fully moralised, how can he desire the change which action involves? and, if he does act, is it not because there is still room for desire, so that the imagined future is better than the present, and, after all, he “never is, but only to be blest”?

Thus morality seems to be limited in two ways: first, by its dependence on other values; and secondly, by the conditions of the time-process, which entail unending endeavour and the struggle for a better—a struggle which seems capable of victorious termination only with the disappearance of time itself. These two limitations compel further reflexion.

The former is not a very serious or difficult matter. A full view, of the worth of life must take all values into account, not merely those which, from their specific reference to character and volition, are called moral values. Yet it is significant that value does thus fall asunder into different ideals—that the artist may be indifferent to the ordinary moralities and to all kinds of science; that the philosopher may be without the eye for beauty or the will to goodness; and that the good man may be neither an artist nor a philosopher. There are, in most cases and for most men, many and more pressing claims upon moral conduct than the production of beauty or the pursuit of truth. The man of science and the artist have often been reproached for selfishness, even when no other fault is found with them, while the interest in truth for its own sake is often suspected by the practical man and sometimes explained away by the philosopher. Yet, if we suppose the ordinary moralities perfected in men generally, even to the degree in which they are now perfected within some limited ranges of social conditions, what better things would there be to live for than just those ideals which science and art take for their own? And would we think any society worth living in in which they were disregarded, or in which specially gifted minds did not make them their chief pursuit?

The independence of the different values, moreover, is only partial, and it is not entirely onesided. We have seen how, in certain conditions, morality falls back, upon the other values, and takes them as its ideals, so that the good will finds satisfaction in their pursuit and attainment. And this may perhaps have suggested the view that these latter values have complete independence—that truth and beauty can stand alone, in no way affected by the moral character of their exponents. But the facts of life do not support this conclusion. The pursuit of truth and of beauty are themselves modes of moral activity. They may often indeed come into conflict with the more elementary moralities; yet this conflict is of the same nature as more familiar conflicts of duties. An artist may prefer beauty to honesty as another man may prefer generosity to justice, and thereby follow a course which does not bring out the highest value in his power. ‘Art for art's sake,’ ‘truth at any cost’ may be excellent maxims; it is only when art or truth, or anything else short of the highest good in one's power, is treated as the sole value in life, that the maxims become unethical.

Human nature is so imperfectly unified that a man may show high devotion to one region of values and treat all the others with neglect or contempt. But he does so at his peril. He loses thereby his own chance of developing a complete and harmonious character, and he risks also his perfection in the art or science of his choice. Morality cannot be isolated from any part of life. The ideas of good and evil which direct the lives of men are also formative influences upon their artistic production in picture or poem or building. Nor can knowledge claim to be completely independent of character. Character determines interest, and interest selects its objects and its method. It was not mere fancy that led theosophist and alchemist to hold that the mind that would find out the hidden things of the world must be purged from bodily and selfish desire, and that the philosopher's stone can be touched by none but clean hands Only the pure in heart can see God.

But, if we have this purity of heart, and if, in addition, the eye is satisfied with seeing and the mind with knowing—if all values are realised—does anything further remainfor men of good will or for the people of God? Or is there only, as the Scriptures say, ‘a rest’?

This is the final question, and it may be said that it will find its answer in that realm of religious values into which we have not entered. There, certainly, if anywhere. But even into this region difficulties press, and we meet problems which it is hard to solve. How are we to conceive this communion with God in which the whole ethical life attains its perfection and passes into another form? The enterprise is over: goodness has been achieved; all beauty is in our presence; knowledge is swallowed up in sight. But does the beatific vision content us? Who shall say—when his eyes are not yet fit to behold it—in what manner his transfigured spirit would receive this new experience? We can only look forward from the far distance of our present point of view, feeling always that our halting logic, with its ‘either—or,’ may be put out of court by a view of reality which we cannot now conceive.

If we let our anticipation confront the distant issue, there would seem to be only two ways in which we can regard it; and on either way difficulties emerge.

Can we assert that the training of the active life has been of such a kind as to fit a man for the contemplative life, so that in the beatific vision he will really find the satisfaction of his nature? If he has been bred in the world's struggle, has learned to endure hardness and to hold the right against all comers, finding in each situation that opens a new adventure of goodness, discovering and creating values in a world that seemed reluctant to admit them—if this has been his experience (and it is the good man's common lot), how will he adapt himself to the restful contemplation of an ideal that is fully realised, so that effort and enterprise are no longer needed? Will he not rather beg that he may be allowed to refresh himself for a moment in the vision and then begin the quest anew? It will be the same with others. The artist may be enchanted with the perfection: of beauty; but will he be content to be only a gazer? Will not the artist in him demand a material not yet beautiful to which he may convey the new ideas he has received? Would he not willingly forgo some of the fulness of that beauty that it might be his lot to contribute something to the picture or to transfer his own visions to a virgin canvas? This is what his career has fitted him to do, and life seems worthless unless he can continue his work. It is the thinker who is responsible for the ideal of the contemplative life; he shaped the conception of the beatific vision. But would it suffice even for the thinker? After the toil of thought is truth by itself sufficient? Is not the impulse strong to seek new problems and fresh fields of enquiry, so that knowledge may be continually enlarged and insight deepened? And, if everything is disclosed to his view in a single vision, is there not an arrest of the faculties that have been trained by assiduous exercise? The wings are preened for a new flight, but they beat in vain against the subtler air. The contemplative life which the thinker really prizes is, after all, not a single and eternal beatific vision, but a life in which truth after truth is discovered as the result of repeated intellectual effort. And time and again the philosophers themselves have acknowledged that it is so. Witness the words of Malebranche: “If I held truth captive in my hand, I should open my hand and let it fly, in order that I might again pursue and capture it.” And Lessing's choice has become almost proverbial. “Did the Almighty,” he said, “holding in his right hand Truth, and in his left Search after Truth, deign to tender me the one I night prefer, in all humility, but without hesitation, I should request Search after Truth.” “It is not the goal but the course which makes us happy,” it has been said1. How can man's nature, trained in the stress of mundane adventure, be satisfied with a finished course, a goal from which there is no further advance?

Morality, as we know it, consists in a life which never rests satisfied in the present but is always pressing onwards to fresh achievements. Experience does not fit a man for motionless ease, but for new endeavour. The beatific vision itself, unless it inspire him to higher service, may seem to him a temptation to emotional indulgence unworthy of the free man. One of two things he will be apt to demand of the future: either that the call of service come to him anew, and that fresh enterprises may be his, or else that his individual life may lapse into the source of all being.

Can we tell which is to be the issue? Must absorption in the one source of all life be the end, and must the true goal of life's fitful fever be the surrender of that separate individuality which has given its surpassing interest to the moral drama of the world? If the time-process itself is but a transitory phase of reality, if

The Bird of Time has but a little way

To flutter—and the Bird is on the Wing,

then it may be that values will still persist; but of what lies beyond for the soul of man we can form no idea, and in the realm of eternal values morality as we now know it will have reached its limit. If this is to be the end, a question remains—a question which the ethical view of reality may not shirk. How is the end better than the beginning? does the goal justify the course? For what purpose the infinite pain and effort of individuals, if their free consciousness must be relinquished, perhaps just when it has proved itself worthy of freedom? All that remains of their efforts could surely have been attained without their intervention. No time-process would have been needed to realise it, and the world would have been spared the evil and suffering of which it has been the scene. The one purpose which, so far as I can see, justifies the field of havoc through which the world passes to better things, is the creation of those values which only free minds can realise. And if free minds, when perfected, are to pass away, even for absorption in God, then that value is lost; and we must ask again the question, with less confidence in the answer, whether the values which the world's history offers are worth the price that has been paid for them.

But if absorption is not the goal, and free minds still endure, it is hardly possible to regard them as passing their time in the restful bliss of some paradise of the medieval pattern. For a life such as that—if life it can be called—would do little or nothing to bring to light the values and capacity for the creation of values which are the ripe fruit of moral experience. Beautiful souls are always something more than beautiful; they have a moral energy which inactivity would not content. Surely there has been much irrelevant suffering in the making of such souls if, after the struggle has given them command of circumstances, all enterprise is shut off from them.

What lies beyond we cannot at tell, and it is vain to imagine. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be.” But if free minds endure, it must surely be for range of activity suited to the capacities and values which they have acquired in their mundane experience. And if, here or elsewhere, they attain that complete harmony between will and ideal in which moral perfection consists, they will surely, be fitted thereby for nobler enterprise. It is not true that it is impossible for a morally perfect man to exist and work in an imperfect world. The view is merely an echo of a narrowly hedonistic theory of what constitutes goodness and perfection. On the contrary, the more perfect a man is, the greater is the variety of conditions in which he will master each situation and prove his goodness. As long as the time-process continues we can conceive free minds as working towards the goal of moral perfection; we can even think of them as, themselves, made; perfect, still pressing forward into new and untried ways, enhancing the values of the world. It is not only evil (that is, moral evil) that has to be mastered. The artist or the man of science has not been fighting against moral evil in his effort to produce things of beauty or to enlarge the sphere of knowledge; and yet he has been producing values. In this way it is conceivable that moral evil might be overcome, and yet that adventure would not cease. There would still be call and room for pressing further into the unknown and making all things subservient to the values which it is the function of free spirits to realise.

  • 1.

    The quotations are to be found in Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysic, vol. I, p. 13.