Philosophy

Articles

Religion without God

Principal A. E. Garvie M.A., D.D.

(I) The poet’s words: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp” are not merely a command of what ought to be, they are a description of what is. (a) Man has always been stretching himself beyond his own measure. He has a sense of the Infinite: Eternity has been set in his heart: he has not been content to look only on the things seen, his gaze has ever been towards the Unseen. Whatever stage of development he may have reached, he seeks for, and strives after, what is above and beyond himself and his world. In science he tries to get behind the phenomenal reality as his senses apprehend it, to the noumenal, mind. In philosophy he endeavours to bring the multiplicity of his experience, outer and inner, into a unity that will evidence itself to his reason as coherent, and not contradictory. In morality he is not content with the customs and standards of the society of which he is a member; but conscious of their inadequacy, he conceives and aspires to realize an ideal adequate to his nature; his ought to be is always challenging his is. The impulse or motive (the élan vital) of progress in all spheres of human interest and activity is “the best is yet to be.”