meanings of the word belief. This word "is habitually applied to dicta of consciousness for which no proof can be assigned: both those which are unprovable because they underlie all proof, and those which are unprovable because of the absence of evidence." In the pages of this review for July, 1865, I exhibited this distinction as follows:
Now, that the belief which the moral and religious feelings are said to yield of a personal God is not one of the beliefs which are unprovable because they underlie all proof, is obvious. It needs but to remember that, in works on natural theology, the existence of a personal God is inferred from these moral and religious feelings, to show that it is not contained in these feelings themselves, or joined with them as an inseparable intuition. It is not a belief like the beliefs which I now have that this is daylight, and that there is open space before me—beliefs which cannot be proved because they are of equal simplicity with, and of no less certainty than, each step in a demonstration. Were it a belief of this most certain kind, argument would be superfluous: all races of men and every individual would have the belief in an inexpugnable form. Hence it is manifest that, confusing the two very different states of consciousness called belief, Sir W. Hamilton ascribes to the second a certainty that belongs only to the first.
Again, neither Sir W. Hamilton nor Dr. Mansel has enabled us to distinguish those "facts of our moral and emotional consciousness" which imperatively demand the belief in a personal God, from those facts of our (or of men's) "moral and emotional consciousness" which,
- "Principles of Psychology" (second edition, § 425, note).