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sitions express things which there is no power, anywhere, to make otherwise. The last is called a contradiction. The following is another example of an absolute impossibility. Salt is that which has power to produce a given sensation, so that, without this power, it is not salt. It is, therefore, an absolute impossibility for salt not to produce the given sensation, for that is a contradiction. It is saying that a thing has, and has not a given power at the same time, and in the same sense. Impossible, relatively :
-That is, impossible without a previous change, but possible with it. Thus it is relatively impossible for salt to produce a given sensation, when it is not in certain circumstances, though, in relation to the possible existence of these circumstances, it is possible.
Certain, absolutely :-A thing is absolutely certain, when there is no power any where to make it otherwise.
Certain, relatively :-A thing is relatively certain, when there is no power, anywhere, to make it different, without a previous change.
Producing cause :—That peculiar power possessed by each individual existence, which enables it, in given circumstances, to produce a change.
Occasional causes : Those circumstances which are indispensable antecedents, in order to enable a producing cause to act.
Producing causes are of two kinds : first, those which in given circumstances have power to produce either of two kinds of change (i. e. mind), and those which, in given circumstances, have power to produce a particular kind of change, and no power to refrain from producing this kind, or to produce any other kind (i. e. matter). These last are called necessary producing causes.
Changes are of two kinds: first, those changes where the thing changed had power to refrain from this particular kind of change, and to produce another instead ; secondly, those changes, where the thing changed had no power to refrain from this particular kind of change, and no power to produce any other instead. The first are called actions of mind; the last are called necessary changes or effects. If these distinctions are correct, then the maxim: “every effect has a cause,” would be more properly expressed thus: “every change has a cause."
Volitions : -Changes in mind, which take place when desires are excited, and the mind decides either to gratify or not to gratify these desires.
Mind is the producing cause of volition—that is, mind is that which has power, in given circumstances, to produce the changes called volitions.
The question now in discussion :-Has mind, when desires exist, the power to decide in either of two directions, without a change of circumstances? The fatalist says, “no ;" his opponent says, “yes.” Both are required to prove their positions.
Proof is that which produces belief. It is divided into two kinds, intuitive, or that which results from the constitution of mind, and rational, that which results from a course of reasoning.
The opponent of fatalism establishes his position thus: That the mind has this power, called free agency, is an intuitive truth; and this position is established by the words and actions of all mankind, which prove that they believe it, from the very constitution of mind.
The fatalist attempts to prove his position thus: He first assumes the following as an intuitive truth :-“Wherever there is a particular kind of thing as an invariable antecedent of a particular kind of change, which is an invariable sequent, the antecedent is a necessary producing cause, and the sequent is a necessary effect.” This is the major proposition. He then assumes, without proof, the following as his minor proposition: “Volition to gratify is the invariable sequent of the strongest desire, as the invariable antecedent.” Then follows his conclusion: Therefore the thing changed, i.e., mind, has no power to refrain from this particular kind of change, and no power to produce any other. When, therefore, his opponent claims that free agency is established by one intuitive truth, the fatalist claims that it is demolished by another, and may say that his intuitive truth is as good as the one that opposes it. The writer of the “Essay on Cause and Effect” endeavored to meet the fatalist, not by questioning the intuitive maxim, which is the major proposition, but by denying the minor, and showing that the fatalist has no way to establish this proposition but by begging the question and reasoning in a circle. The writer did indeed concede the truth of the major proposition, in order to meet the argument where it could most readily be destroyed ; but it was a species of hypothetical reasoning, amounting to
sition as true. What the writer actually asserted was this :That there is no method of proving (by a course of reasoning) that any thing is a producing cause, except by establishing an invariableness of antecedence and sequence. For, according to the writer, mind is established as a producing cause, not by reasoning, but by intuition. The writer might assert this, and yet not necessarily assert that every thing which is established as the invariable antecedent of an invariable sequent is, in all cases, proved to be a producing cause. Yet the writer does not wish to throw off the responsibility of advocating that maxim, as an intuitive truth; for it is believed by the writer that it can be established as such, as thoroughly as any other. Men never find such invariableness of antecedence and sequence, without believing that the antecedent is the necessary producing cause, and the sequent the necessary effect, and proving their belief by words and actions.
But Dr. Woods turns upon the writer and says, ding to this, the writer teaches fatalism, and brings the following cases as examples.
1. Where the writer allows, that motives, of some sort, are invariable antecedents of volition. But the writer made a distinction between those invariable antecedents that are occasional causes, and do not have invariable sequents, and those invariable antecedents that have invariable sequents, and are thus proved to be producing causes. Every volition has a desire, of some sort, as antecedent. But to make motive the producing cause of volition, there must be a particular kind of desire that has a volition to gratify, as the invariable sequent. For, if some desires sometimes have a volition to gratify, as a sequent, and the same desires have a volition not to gratify, sometimes, as a sequent, there is no particular kind of thing, as an invariable sequent to some particular kind of thing, as the invariable antecedent.
2. The other case is, where the writer concedes that, in all those cases, where the strongest specific desire coincides with the dictates of the understanding, the mind always chooses to gratify it. But to make this prove motives to be producing causes, every volition to gratify must have such a coincidence,
to the writer, this is a case of fatalism. But to establish any such invariableness as the writer concedes to be a proof of fatalism, Dr. Woods must prove, that a perfectly holy mind never chooses to gratify desires that relate to matters where reason cannot decide what is for the greatest general good, inasmuch as they have no bearing at all on such a question, being simply the question whether the agent shall take one kind of specific enjoyment or another different kind, either of which may be equally for the general good. This cannot be done. In reference to God, it must be borne in mind, that his differs from all other minds, in seeing all things and changes in one view, so that he cannot have those successive, new desires which pertain to finite minds. No finite mind is capable of educing a system of psychology from that eternal, infinite mind, whose great plan has existed from eternity, and who therefore is, in this respect, not the pattern of created minds.' The writer, therefore, feels warranted in still claiming, that no man can establish that invariableness of antecedence and sequence between motive and volition, which fatalists claim, as proof that mind has no power to choose otherwise than as it does.
The writer now would present answers to some inquiries that have been urged in connection with this subject.
1. What is the foundation of certainty that God will not change, or do wrong?
Ans. On the writer's theory, not the fact that he has not power to decide in either of two directions, when desires exist, but the fact that it is an absolute impossibility to change the nature of things. There is no power, anywhere, that can change God's constitutional nature, so that he can either desire pain or choose without a desire. Nor is there
that can make his choosing wrong appear to him any thing but what it would be, pure evil, and what he therefore has no power to desire. It is not the want of constitutional power, but the want of an occasional cause, which there is no power to produce, that makes it an absolute impossibility for God to do wrong.
2. Has God power to put free agents into such temptation that they have no power to choose, except in one direction ? No; for this is a contradiction. A free agent is one that has power to choose in either of two directions, and he cannot have this power
yet be destitute of it, in the same sense and in the same circumstances. It is a contradiction, and therefore an absolute impossibility.
3. How then can God govern free agents so as to prevent their interference in his plans? Ans. By his control of occasional causes, so that at any time he can prevent a given volition, either by change of susceptibilities or change of circumstances.
4. But if volitions are not the necessary effects of motives, as producing causes, how can God foresee future volitions ? Ans. This, God has not revealed, but he has revealed the fact, that he does foresee every volition of every one of his creatures.
5. What is the kind of inability which is asserted when it is said that a perfectly honest man cannot steal—that perfectly holy minds cannot lie that the carnal mind cannot obey the law of God ?
Ans. The phenomena described in the essay referred to, on the power of the will over the other faculties of mind, furnish the data for explaining this language.
A governing volition is one that, while it exists, makes it an absolute impossibility to have a contrary volition. It is perfect or not perfect, just in proportion as it controls and prevents all conflicting volitions.
A perfectly honest man is one who has a perfect governing volition to be honest, and while this exists, it is an absolute impossibility for him to steal; for it implies a contradiction. So a perfectly holy mind is one that has its governing volition to do right, perfect; and while this remains, it is impossible to choose to do wrong.
A carnal mind is one that is destitute of a governing purpose to obey the law of benevolence, and while thus destitute, it is impossible for all its specific volitions to be conformed to this law. But in all these cases, as the mind has power to form a new governing volition, it has indirect power to do what in the other sense it has not power to do.
On this theory man has power to do all that God requires, inasmuch as he has power to produce both the generic volitions directly, and the specific volitions, indirectly, that God requires. But so long as his generic volitions are not in conformity to God's law, it is absolutely impossible for his specific ones to
6. But what is the “cause, ground, and reason,” why a volition is in one direction and not in another? Why, for example, did a man choose an estate and give up the path of honesty? The cause for his choosing the estate is twofold; first, the motive, or occasional cause, which God's providence pro