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ducel; secondly, his own mind, which produced the volition. But why did he not choose the honest course ? Because the mind has not power to choose both ways, and so in choosing one, it has not power to choose the other. The answer, then, is this: “because he chose one way, and had not at the same time power to choose the other.”
The writer would now refer to some other points of Dr. Woods' criticism. On p. 178, he maintains that “strongest motives” are not“ a particular kind of motives.” He says that desires for food, desires for property, desires for honor and the like are “particular kinds of motives," and sometimes one kind is the strongest desire, and sometimes another kind.
It seems to have escaped Dr. Woods, that the same things are often placed in different classes, according to their different relations. For example, weights are classed as heavier, heaviest; lighter, lightest, in reference to their power; and they are also classed as lead weights and iron weights, in reference to the materials of which they are made. And sometimes lead weights may be the heaviest, and sometimes iron. So of motives or desires. They are classed as stronger or weaker, in reference to their vividness; and they are also classed with reference to the objects that excite them. It must be apparent to Dr. Woods, on reflection, that the writer was correct in saying, that placing the strongest desires as invariable antecedents to the volition to secure, was making “a particular kind of motive" an invariable antecedent.
The writer would here remark, that there are sentences in the article on “Cause and Effect," where the writer uses the term " invariable antecedent,” without specifying which kind is meant; but inasmuch as the writer had previously pointed out the distinction between such as were producing and such as were occasional causes, fair interpretation requires, that where the term is ambiguous, that sense is the true one that makes the writer consistent with himself.
On p. 182, Dr. Woods employs the term “strongest motive” with some adroitness. The plausibility of his position is made
to gain the other thing ?” he will answer, “yes.” Thus, he seems to assert that he felt the strongest desire for both, which is an apparent contradiction; but is made consistent by the fact that the term is used in two senses. In one case, it refers to the strongest specific desire ; in the other, to the dictates of the understanding.
But in which sense does Dr. Woods use the term, when he asks if all men do not choose to gratify the strongest desire, or yield to the strongest motive? The following seems to decide his use of the term. On p. 182, he says: “I would inquire whether the writer is certain that it is not a law of our rational nature, that we should choose and act in accordance with that which appears to us as the highest reason, or strongest motive? If it should at last become evident that this is the law of our rational nature, then a power to act contrary to it would be a power to subvert the very constitution of mind, and divest ourselves of rationality. This seems to teach, not only that we always do choose and act according to that which appears to us as the highest reason, but that we have no power to choose otherwise. Would Dr. Woods wish to have men not choose in accordance with what seems to them the highest reason ? And if they always do choose as reason dictates, how could they do better, and where is the doctrine of depravity?
In regard to Dr. Woods' disclaimer, repelling the charge of fatalism, the writer would inquire if the doctrine of fate, as taught in all ages, is not simply this—that mind (including Creator and creatures) has no power of any kind to choose otherwise than as it does in the circumstances where it does choose? And as all changes in matter depend on mind, it is absolutely impossible for any event to be otherwise. Now, does not Dr. Woods teach that, in the circumstances which actually exist, mind has no power of any kind to choose differently from what it does ? And is there any possible theory, except that mind has this power, or that it has not? And does not every man either agree with the writer, agree
with Dr. Woods, in holding fatalism as it is taught by the Hindoos, Mohammedans, Stoics, Collins, Priestley and Hobbes ?
Dr. Woods' disclaimer does not alter the position of things, for this reason that there are two senses to every term he uses, of directly opposite meanings, as based on the two opposing theories. With Dr. Woods' sense to these terms, this disclaimer is a direct assertion of fatalism, as will appear by what follows. The columns below give the two opposing uses of each term.
Definitions in Dr. Woods'
Definitions in the opposing
Free agent ---An intelligent, Free agent-An intelligent, sensitive mind, that has power sensitive mind, that, when deto decide to secure that which sires exist, has power to deeide excites the strongest desire, either to gratify or not to gratiand no power to deeide other- fy each desire. wise.
Volition-A change or de Volition-A change or decision of the mind, produced cision of the mind, when it has by the strongest motives, which power to refrain from one kind the mind has no power to pre- of choice and to make another. vent or to make otherwise.
Moral agent-A mind gov Moral agent A mind gov. erned by motives, as necessary, erned by motives, so that in all producing causes.
cases of choice, it has power to choose differently from what it does, without change of cir
cumstances. Accountable being—A being Accountable being-A being placed under law with penal- placed under law, with penalties, and required in all cases ties, having power in all cirto choose right, even when it cumstances either to obey or has no power (i. e. when the disobey. strongest desire is to do wrong).
Proper subjects of law-Be Proper subjects of lawings who have power to choose Those who have power to as they do, and no power to choose either to obey or dischoose otherwise.
obey, and a knowledge of ob
ligation Blame and praiseworthy ac Praise and blameworthy actions-Actions that are right tions Actions where the agent or wrong, compared with a had a knowledge of law and rule of duty, without reference penalty, and power in the givto the power of the actor to circumstances to choose
he uses these terms according to his theory; and secondly, whether his disclaimer, with his sense to each term, is not as direct an affirmation of fatalism as can be made ? His disclaimer is as follows: “Fatalism is the opposite of the doctrine that teaches, that we are free moral agents, the proper subjects of law, under the government of a wise, righteous and benevolent God, and blameworthy and praiseworthy according to our conduct.”
Of course, in claiming not to be a fatalist, Dr. Woods holds the affirmative of the above in his sense of the terms, viz.; we are “free moral agents,”—that is, we are under law and governed by motives as producing causes, so that we have no power of any kind to choose differently from what we do. We “ are under the government of a wise, righteous and benevolent God,” and yet he requires us to choose what we have no power to choose, i. e., the course of holiness, when we do not feel the strongest desire for it. We" are blame and praiseworthy according to our conduct"—that is, we deserve praise and blame for our actions when we have no power to choose to act otherwise. Let the reader decide if this is not a correct exposition of Dr. Woods' disclaimer, and if so, is not this fatalism? On p. 222, Dr. Woods seems to claim that his theory of free agency is an intuitive truth. If it is so, then Dr. W. can prove it such, by showing that the words and actions of mankind, in all
ages, indicate that they believe that, whenever they make a choice, they have no power, in those circumstances, to choose otherwise. If he cannot show this, has he any right to claim this as an intuitive truth?
Dr. Woods claims that Calvin, the two Edwardses, West, Smalley, Bellamy, Dwight, Day and Beecher, and almost all the presidents and professors of our colleges and theological seminaries, and most of the ministers and Christians of all the orthodox denominations hold his theory, and are opposed to that presented in the “Essay on Cause and Effect.” The writer is not acquainted with all these worthies, but is inclined to doubt the entire correctness of this claim. Is it not more probable that the greater part of these persons really hold the writer's theory of free agency, and, owing to great confidence in the investigations of great and good men, have not studied the subject de novo, for themselves, and, in consequence, have never supposed Dr. Woods, or any of the above writers, to differ from themselves?
On p. 241, Dr. Woods seems to consider self-denial as referring to the conflict that takes place whenever incompatible desires coexist, and the mind chooses that which is “most agreeable.” His opponents consider real and virtuous selfdenial to consist in that act of mind which decides to give up what excites the strongest specific desire, and to take that which, though it excites a weaker specific desire, appears to reason as the greatest good on the whole.
The writer is indebted to Dr. Woods for suggesting a defect in the definition of motives in the original essay. The writer gives the following as a substitute. “Motives are either excited desires, or those things that excite desires, or those susceptibilities which can be excited by objects of desire.” In the former piece the writer omitted one of these senses in the definition.
In Dr. Woods' articles he quotes Edwards, Day and Whately, as sustaining his views of free agency. The writer supposes this presents three topics for future discussion.
1. Is teaching the invariableness of antecedence and sequence, between strongest desire and a volition to secure, teaching what proves fatalism-i. e., is the maxim assumed by fatalists as their major proposition really an intuitive truth?
2. Do Edwards, Day and Whately teach the invariableness of antecedence and sequence between strongest desire and volition to secure?
3. If it is a fact that the major proposition of the fatalist is an intuitive truth, does it not account for the perplexing mazes, apparent contradictions, and profound depths, which have been supposed to belong to this subject? Has it not been the fact, that the defenders of free agency have conceded that invariableness of antecedence and sequence between the strongest desire and a volition to secure, which (if the major proposition of the fatalist is a truth) proves fatalism, and then have vainly struggled to prevent the inevitable conclusion?
The writer would put what is involved in the above queries in another form.
May not the following proposition be affirmed as true ? Whoever teaches that a particular class of desires are the inva