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IMMORTALITY


essence of the mind, ” it is “ conceived by -a certain eternal necessity through the very essence of God.”

Leibnitz, in accord with the distinctive principle of his philosophy, affirmed the absolute independence of mind and body as distinct monads, the parallelism of their functions in life being due to the pre-established harmony. For the soul, by its nature as a single monad indestructible and, therefore, immortal, death meant only the loss of the monads constituting the body and its return to the pre-existent state. The argument of Ernst Platner (Philos. Aphor. i. 1174, 1178) is similar. “ If the human soul is a force in the narrower sense, a substance, and not a combination of substances, then, as in the nature of things there is no transition from existence to non-existence, we cannot naturally conceive the end of its existence, any more than we can anticipate a gradual annihilation of its existence.” He-adds a reason that recalls one of Plato's, “ As manifestly as the human soul is by means of the senses linked to the present life, so manifestly it attaches itself by reason, and the conceptions, conclusions, anticipations and efforts to which reason leads it, to God and eternity.”

Against the first kind of argument, as formulated by Moses Mendelssohn, Kant advances the objection that, although we may deny the soul extensive quantity, division into parts, yet we cannot refuse to it intensive quantity, degrees of reality; and consequently its existence may be terminated not by decomposition, but by gradual diminution of its powers (or to use the term he coined for the purpose, by elanguescence). This denial of any reasonable ground for belief in immortality in the C rilique of Pure Reason (Transcendental Dialectic, bk. ii. ch. i.) is, however, not his last word on the subject. In the Critique of the Practical Reason (Dialeetic, ch. i. sec. iv) the immortality of the soul is shown to be a postulate. Holiness, “ the perfect accordance of the will with the moral law, ” demands an endless progress; and “ this endless progress is only possible on the supposition of an endless duration of the existence and personality of the same rational being (which is called the immortality of the soul).” Not demonstrable as a theoretical proposition, the immortality of the soul “ is an inseparable result of an unconditional a priori practical law.” The moral interest, which is so decisive on this question in the case of Kant, dominates Bishop Butler also. A future life for him is important, because our happiness in it may depend on our present conduct; and therefore our action here should take into account the reward or punishment that it may bring on us hereafter. As he maintains that probability may and ought to be our guide in life, he is content with proving in the first chapter of the Analogy that “ a future life is probable from similar changes (as death) already undergone in ourselves and in others, and from our present powers, which are likely to continue unless death destroy them.” While we may fear this, “ there is no proof that it will, either from the nature of death, ” of the effect of which on our powers we are altogether ignorant, “or from the analogy of nature, which shows only that the sensible proof of our powers (not the powers themselves) may be destroyed.” The imagination that death will destroy these powers is unfounded, because (1) “ this supposes we are compounded, and so discerptible, but the contrary is probable ” on metaphysical grounds (the indivisibility of the subject in which consciousness as indivisible inh es, and its distinction from the body) and also experiment persistence of the living being in spite of changes in the bo y or even losses of parts of the body); (2) this also assumes that “ our present living powers of reflection ” must be affected in the same way by death “ as those of sensation, ” but this is disproved by their relative independence even in this life; (3) “ even the suspension of our present powers of reflection ” is not involved in “ the idea of death, which is simply dissolution of the body, ” and which may even “ be like birth, a continuation and perfecting of our powers.” “ Even if suspension were involved, we cannot infer destruction from it ” (analysis of chapter i. in Angus's edition). He recognizes that “ reason did, as it well might, conclude that it should finally, and upon the whole, be well with the righteous and ill with the wicked, ” but only “ revelation teaches us that the next state of things after the present is appointed for the execution of this justice ” (ch. ii. note ro). He does not use this general anticipation of future judgment, as he might have done, as a positive argument for immortality.

Adam Ferguson (Institutes of Moral Philosophy, p. 119, new ed., 1800) argues that “ the desire for immortality is an instinct, and can reasonably be regarded as an indication of that which the author of this desire wills to do.” From the standpoint of modern science John Fiske confirms the validity of such an argument; for what he .affirms in regard to belief in the divine is equally applicable to this belief in a future life. “If the relation thus established in the morning twilight of man's existence between the human soul and a world invisible and immaterial is a relation of which only the subjective term is real and the objective term is non-existent; then I say it is Something utterly without precedent in the whole history of creation ” (Through Nature to God, 1899, p. 188, 189). Whatever may have been Hegel's own belief in regard to personal immortality, the logical issue of his absolute idealism has been well stated by W. Windelband (History of Philosophy, p. 633). “ It became clear that in the system of perpetual Becoming and of the dialectical passing over of all forms into one another, the finite personality could scarcely raise a plausible claim to the character of a substance and to immortality in the religious sense.” F. D. Schleierrnacher applies the phrase “ the immortality of religion ” to the religious emotion of»oneness, amid finitude, with the infinite and, amid time, with the eternal; denies any necessary connexion between the belief in the continuance of personal existence and the consciousness of God; and rests his faith on immortality altogether on Christ's promise of living fellowship with His followers, as presupposing their as well as His personal immortality. A. Schopenhauer assigns immortality to the universal will to live; and Feuerbach declares spirit, consciousness eternal, but not any individual subject. R. H. Lotze for the decision of the question lays down the broad principle, “ All that has once come to be will eternally continue so soon as for the organic unity of the world it has an unchangeable value, but it will obviously again cease to be, when that is not the case ” (Gr. der Psy. p. 74).

Objections to the belief in immortality have been advanced from the standpoints of materialism, naturalism, pessimism and pantheism. Materialism argues that, as life depends on a material organism, thought is a function of the brain, and the soul is but the sum of mental states, to which, according to the theory of psycho physical parallelism, physical changes always correspond; therefore, the dissolution of the body carries with it necessarily the cessation of consciousness. That, as now constituted, mind does depend on brain, life on body, must be conceded, but that this dependence is so absolute that the function must cease with the organ has not been scientifically demonstrated; the connexion of the soul with the body is as yet too obscure to justify any such dogmatism. But against this inference the following considerations may be advanced: (1) Man does distinguish himself from his body; (2) heis conscious of his personal identity through all the changes of his body; (3) in the exercise of his will he knows himself not controlled by but controlling his body; (4) his consciousness warrants his denying the absolute identification of himself and his body. It may further be added that materialism can be shown to be an inadequate philosophy in its attempts to account even for the physical universe, for this is inexplicable without the assumption of mind distinct from, and directive of, matter. The theory of psycho physical parallelism has been subjected to a rigorous examination in James Ward's N naturalism and A gnosticism, part iii., in which the argument that mind cannot be derived from matter is convincingly presented. Sir Oliver Lodge in his reply to E. Haeckel's Riddle of the Universe maintains that “life may be something not only ultra-terrestrial, but even immaterial, something outside our present categories of matter and energy; as real as they are, but different, and utilizing them for its own purpose ” (Life and Matter, 1906, p. 198). He rejects

the attempt to explain human personality as “generated by