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To these very powerful and cogent arguarguments the advocates for philofophical liberty, viz. Clarke, Beattie, Butler, Price, Law, Bryant, Wollaston, Horsley, &c. reply to the following purpose:-As all mankind have an internal consciousness of freedom, and as it is impossible for any metaphysical subtilties so totally to overpower the original and genuine dictates of nature, as to excite a real belief in the mind of any rational being that he is not master of his own actions, but that he is a mere machine, and as incapable of controlling the events of his life, or the determinations of his will, as a puppet to resist the impulse of the wires by which he is put in motion, it might seem sufficient to appeal to common sense for the refutation of assertions so extravagant and absurd; but in order more completely to expose the fallacy and detect the sophistry of those arguments by which their antagonists attempt to reason men out of their reason, it is proper, fay they, to enter into a more full and accurate investigation of them; and with respect to the fo much boasted argument from the necessary operation of causes and effects, they profess their readiness to acknowledge the necessity of a cause to the production of any effect, but they can by no means admit the application of this axiom to the support of the hypothesis in question, nor by any means allow that motives are to be considered as the efficient causes of volition: The man alone is the agent, and forms the volition, upon the view and consideration of motives indeed
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which may be, and usually are, the occasion of the volition, but which cannot with any degree of propriety be stiled the impellers or the true and physical causes of it. To set this proposition in a clearer light, they observe, that amongst other wonderful and incomprehensible powers with which it has pleased God to endow the human mind, is the faculty of self-determination, of beginning motion, of putting itself in action; and though no reasonable person will exert this power in a total disregard to motives, yet must the power indisputably be allowed to exist independent of the motive ; and should two different volitions be supposed to take place in the same precise situation, they cannot surely, with any shadow of justice, be represented as existing without any adequate cause, when the self-determining power is itself the cause of each volition.
In various instances the different motives presented to the mind appear equally forcible : at other times we cannot with the utmost attention perceive our minds to be influenced, previous to the act of chusing, by any motive whatever, to a definite choice. In such cases can any one be fo absurd as to imagine that the man is not at liberty to act at all. Has not a man a power of walking, because he is not incited by any particular motive to turn either to the right or to the left? Or is a traveller incapable of proceeding to the place of his destination till he has come to a formal determination whether the shorter and rougher, or the farther and easier road will be more eligible ? No; doubtless he has a power of instant determination, notwithstanding the impossibility of ascertaining the preponderance, or even the existence of any motive which could in any manner influence the volition. Even in those cases where the preponderance of any motive is visible and notorious, no man can truly say that the action consequent upon it was, strictly speaking, necessary : for great as the weight of the motive may be supposed, if it was not actually of a violent or compulsive kind, the self-determining power might have decided in opposition to that, or any other motive whatever.--So that the weakness and fallacy of that reasoning must be apparent to every unprejudiced enquirer, by which it is pretended, that the mind will be necessarily and invariably influenced by the strongest motive. In the multifarious and eventful business of life it perpetually happens, that the mind is agitated and perplexed by a conflict of opposite and contending motives; and we too frequently find virtue and reason ranged on one side, passion and inclination on the other. In this unhappy situation what is to be done ? Are men quietly and passively to submit to the strong and violent impulse of passion, and refuse to listen to the still and feeble call of reason? No; they must exert their own inherent power of self-determination, and form their resolutions in spite of the superior force of those inclinations which they know to be highly culpable and unworthy. If it is sufficient to say, in
vindication of a vicious action, that the notives which influenced us to the perpetration of it were at the time predominantinthe mind, no villainy could ever want an adequate apology; the very foundations of virtue would be subverted, the ideas of virtue and vice would be totally confounded, and the moral character of the Deity himself, as the author of a constitution of things which neceffarily and inevitably led to the commission of every species of immorality, would be highly reflected upon, and most injuriously, not to say profanely traduced, and misrepresented. And in regard to the collateral argument deduced from the divine prescience, it may be faid, in the language of fcripture, that as the heavens are high above the earth, so are God's ways higher than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts ; and it would be most unreasonable and presumptuous to expect that men should be able to comprehend or explain the mode in which the divine attributes exist or operate. We know by intuition, as well as induction, that the will of man is free ; and we know, by the accomplishment of prophecies, as well as by the express claims and declarations of the Divine Being, that all futurity lies open to his immense survey: and these truths, if separately proved, must undoubtedly be consistent with each other, however inconsistent or irreconcilable they may appear to our weak and limited capacities. But even if it fhould be allowed that the free-will of man, and the fore-knowledge of Deity, when understood in its utmost latitude, are express
contradictions, it would surely be much less derogatory to the honour and glory of Almighty God, to acknowledge that the attribute of prescience is not, absolutely and strictly speaking, without limitation; than to assert the existence of it in such a sense as to imply the impossibility of imparting to man freedom of agency, the glorious and inestimable privilege of self-determination. If it is in the nature of things impossible, that the attribute of prescience can subsist in its fullest extent,without depriving men of that faculty which can alone render them moral or accountable agents, with profound submission and reverence we may venture to affirm, that in this sense, and to this extent, it does not subfist ; though doubtless that Almighty Being, to whom all hearts are open and all desires known, cannot fail to judge, with a degree of precision to us wholly incomprehensible, concerning the effects which will arise from causes actually existing. His foresight extends to every possible contingency, and his power and wisdom will infallibly make every event fubfervient to the most glorious and falutary purposes.
The Necessarians, far from being silenced by these popular and specious reasonings, with great ardour and confidence thus resume the argument :-It is acknowledged, say they, by our opponents,then, that nothing can come into existence without a cause. All the affections, emotions, and feelings of the mind, however modified and however distinguished, are the real and genuine effects of some