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i6 THE IDE A O F GO D THERE I S NOTHING tha t w e d o o r thin k whic h doe s no t i n som e way impinge upon th e idea of God. Fo r this idea is the most fundamen tal an d all-embracin g o f concept s i n th e rang e o f thought . Ho w the n shall w e begi n t o explor e th e natur e o f Go d an d arriv e a t an y under standing o f Hi s essence ? I t i s commonl y believe d tha t ever y argumen t must begi n wit h definitions . Indeed , classica l Gree k philosoph y fol lowed thi s pattern . Bu t i n th e cas e o f God , w e canno t defin e withou t begging th e question . Wa s i t no t pointe d ou t lon g ag o tha t ever y definition constitute s a delimitation i n some way or other, while Go d is the Infinit e an d th e Undeterminable ? Thus , i f w e shoul d launc h ou r search fo r Go d wit h a definitio n w e shoul d b e compelle d t o follo w Spinoza i n assumin g a s our first axio m tha t whic h i s th e ultimat e goa l of our investigation . We migh t begi n b y tracin g th e conception s o f Go d evolve d b y th e great philosopher s o f history, an d evaluatin g thei r adequac y i n th e ligh t of moder n knowledg e an d research . Bu t i f w e begi n i n thi s fashion , would w e eve r end ? Conside r ho w multifariou s ar e th e way s in whic h God ha s appeare d t o ma n an d ho w profitles s th e tas k o f demolishin g the images an d concept s man ha s fashioned o f Him! Such a n undertak ing appears imperative onl y if we accept Hegel' s dogm a tha t philosoph y is nothing bu t th e histor y o f West Europea n thought , bein g th e recor d of th e progressiv e unfoldin g o f th e universa l min d throug h th e socia l and literary molds of the mos t advance d nation s o f the world. I n recen t 349 350 The Idea of God years, w e hav e grow n to o humbl e t o pos e a s th e final incarnation s o f Absolute Reason . Furthermore , w e d o no t g o fa r i n ou r stud y o f th e histories o f philosoph y befor e w e realiz e tha t i t i s one' s basi c world view which determine s th e manne r i n which h e construe s th e intellec tual evolutio n o f mankind. I n th e beginnin g i s the wor d o f conviction ; the whol e worl d i s the n fashione d accordingly . I f w e prob e dee p enough, w e find a t th e bas e o f ever y metaphysica l syste m eithe r a n intuition o r a generalization. We propos e therefor e t o tak e a s ou r startin g poin t th e mos t funda mental principles of thought, a s these have been formulated i n our time. Our conceptio n wil l admittedl y b e dated , bu t fo r thi s ver y reaso n perhaps most meaningful i n terms o f our contemporar y culture . The highwa y t o the heavenl y heights o f metaphysics is bifurcated a t th e very beginnin g int o th e shor t roa d o f intuitio n an d th e lon g roa d o f reasoned analysis . This crossroads is never left behind ; i t looms ahead so long a s w e persis t...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814763551
Related ISBN
9780814746929
MARC Record
OCLC
859686344
Pages
232
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-31
Language
English
Open Access
No
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