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speculation needs always to be controlled by despair of getting any extensive footing in a pervading instinct of truth, in order that the world for his doctrine. Perhaps he it may not pass the line which separates sub- would consider the present line of argument tilty from extravagance. This controlling an unfair attempt to create a sentimental instinct, which in its lowest manifestation is prejudice against the conclusions of reason. called “plain common sense,” is a natural But it cannot be unfair to speak the truth; gift, not to be acquired by the use of the and it is the truth that, in spite of cogent

In its highest manifestation arguments, the common sense of mankind at it is what an illustrious living thinker has large has rejected, does reject, and probably styled a large view of truth.” The ab- will continue to reject, Determinism. Now sence of it leads to different results in dif- there must be “ some reason” for this fact; ferent minds. Paltry understandings fall and it cannot be unfair to recommend it to into a puling sentimentalism : the acute and the consideration of Determinists, by way of subtile are liable to metaphysical lunacy. enabling them to arrive at some better And the disease, though not incurable, can understanding than they now have of the not be cured by appeals to the mere reason. position of the Libertarians. Hence the force of the common remark If anything more be needed to show the that, though the final judgment of delicate extreme tenacity of the vulgar notion, the questions must be left to the competent few, following fact may suffice, which I consider the attention of the ordinary public is a to be one of the most remarkable in the hisvaluable check upon the judges

. And so tory of philosophy. So deeply are the the obstinate refusal of the public to acqui- minds of the Libertarians impressed by the esce in the practical deduction from a specu- reality of the vulgar notion of moral desert, lative conclusion is, by itself, enough to that they never fairly grasp the fact that the throw grave suspicion upon the premisses reality of this notion is the very point in disfrom which the conclusion is drawn. And

pute. Hence we find them assuming the therefore it may plausibly be maintained, reality of the vulgar notion, merely in order that the utmost unanimous refusal of man- that they may deduce from it such a theory kind to give up their belief in the reality of of the facts of volition as that quoted above the vulgar notion of moral desert is, by itself, from Hartley and Dean Mansel

. The comenough to suggest a doubt whether speculative mon form of this proceeding is well given by Determinism may not be in error. This result Cudworth, in a posthumous work not pubwill seem absurd enough to those who hold lished till the year 1838.

He argues as folby the famous brocard of Malebranche; but lows:-A bad clock is blamed in a different Malebranche has been weighed and found sense to that in which a bad man is blamed, wanting. He had metaphysical genius with and so also is a bad horse or dog; thus out common sense, and fell into extrava- there are three separate kinds of blame, acgance. The practical impotence of reason cording as the object of blame is (1.) autowill be sufficiently shown by surveying the matic, (2.) conscious, but not responsible, progress of the present controversy. The (3.) morally responsible. Now it is evident Determinists have always remained in pos- that so soon as this third notion of Moral session of the field of battle: the Liber- Responsibility is allowed to differ in kind tarians have always reaped the fruits of the from the motives for beating a horse or dog, victory.

we shall also have allowed that the merely 1. The importance of the vulgar notion of retributive view of the function of punishmoral desert, as a practical influence in the ment is a sound and true view ; that is, in world, cannot be estimated at too high a other words, that the vulgar notion of moral rate; and it is abundantly evident that the desert is a real notion. Thus Cudworth beDeterminists do not know the size of the ad- gins by assuming the reality of the vulgar versary which they treat with such contemp- notion of moral desert; and he then protuous coolness. When we consider what ceeds to use it as an argument in favour of the vulgar notion has done for mankind, we Freewill as a statement of the facts of voliseem to find it bound up since the beginning tion—an illustrious example of petitio prinof the world with all that is noblest in word cipii, which was repeated by Copleston and deed. Let us ask ourselves, what would under a much more elaborate disguise. have been the difference if that notion had Now this is a fallacy ; but the strength of never prevailed. Let us ask, what would the feeling upon which it rests is an impresnow be the result if for the vulgar notion of sive argument. We know that the conclumoral desert there should universally be sub- sion of a syllogism is inadequate to deal stituted that notion which is allowed by De- with a strong feeling; and here is a feeling terminism. I believe that any Determinist which has so long defied attack that we may who fairly considers these questions would well doubt whether any analysis of the facts

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of volition will ever root it up.

But this tarians are evidence of the cogency of the analysis is the most trenchant weapon in the Determinist analysis, we find also, on the whole armoury; and no other will succeed other hand, evidence of the deep hold which if that should fail. Even though the force the vulgar notion of moral desert has upon of the arguments in favour of Determinism the minds of men, in the excesses to which were fully brought home to the minds of all Determinism has been hastily carried by men, it might well be that the Determinists those who have been forced unwillingly to would remain then as now a scattered few embrace it. Unable to rest in the mere among the many. So much stronger, a doctrine of the Mechanism of Human AcLibertarian may be permitted to say, are tions, their perturbed minds ran on into vafacts than reasonings.

rious conclusions which were not entailed II. The analysis of the facts of volition to upon them by strict logic.

Hence is exwhich the Determinist appeals has been as- plained the proceeding of the Modified certained with great exactness, and is well Fatalists. And by similar considerations we known. The result is briefly as follows. It may account for the indignant exclamations is contended that whenever we review the of others, who, while refusing to embrace actual operation of the will, we are com- Determinism, saw that it got rid of the vulpelled to pronounce the following judg- gar notion of moral desert

. They charged ment:—that in each case our action is de- it with all sorts of horrible consequences to termined by a balance of the motives actu- which it is not justly liable; as, for example, ally present; that it is impossible to imagine that it delivers us over to a blind fate, and the will acting without a motive; and that, so forth. But, not to cavil at their choice when we have decided upon a certain of words, it is plain that they had forgotten course, we do not swerve from it unless some the part which, in the scheme of Determinew motive is presented, or, which is the nism, a man's own desires contribute towards same thing, unless an old motive is present- what is certain to befall him. There is all ed in a new light. Hence it is concluded, in the difference in the world between somethe language of Hartley, that “ each action thing which is made sure to befall a man by results from the previous circumstances of the fact that he wishes it, and something the body and mind, in the same manner, which is sure to befall him whether he and with the same certainty, as other effects wishes it or no. But such is often the redo from their mechanical causes.

sult of disturbing a deeply-seated convicThis appeal to the facts of volition is the tion—the effect of the disturbing cause is strength of Determinism, just as the tena- not limited by logic. Such is the position city of the vulgar notion of moral desert is held in the minds of most men by the conthe strength of Freewill; and the difficulty viction of the reality of the vulgar notion of of meeting it is shown by the struggles of moral desert, that, if it be shaken by an apthe Libertarians. “By the Liberty of a peal to other fixed beliefs, their minds are Moral Agent,” says Reid, “ I understand a unable to take up and keep to any consis power over the determinations of his own

tent position.

Fundamental beliefs like this will."* " That is to say," observes his editor are the only barrier between a man and Uniin a note, “moral liberty does not merely versal Scepticism; and any process of siftconsist in the power of doing what we will, ing and purifying them from error, though but, though Reid elsewhere“ seems to not an impossible undertaking to the man of deny it, in the power of willing what we exact and candid mind, requires gifts which will."

There is no evading this criticism; are possessed by few. Hence the common and the other side accordingly replies that, remark, that it is dangerous to undermine if the phrase power of willing what we will settled convictions, because the process canhas any meaning, it means that a second not be regulated with certainty when it is will is needed to secure the freedom of the begun. We often see the master vainly first, and of course a third to secure the striving to keep his disciples within those freedom of the second, and so on for ever- limits which he has marked out for himwhich hardly needs to be seriously discussed. self. This argument, it should be observed, is a That the Determinist is obliged to deny reductio ad absurdum drawn from the terms the reality of the vulgar notion of moral deof the Libertarian statement of the analysis sert, is almost too obvious to need proof; of the facts of volition, which the Liber- and this is expressly admitted by the most tarians were compelled to bring forward in eminent Determinists, both old and new. order to meet the Determinist statement. Under the scheme of Determinism, it is imBut if the painful straits of the Liber- possible, without inconsistency, to blame a

bad man in any sense in which we may not * Works, ed. by Hamilton, p. 599.

blame a bad dog. This is among the un

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he says,

pleasant consequences which the Determi- we are often spared much that is objectionnist has to face; for it cannot, I think, be able—flippancy or frigid attempts at decodoubted that, in the eyes of the vulgar, guilt rum on the one hand, and unctuous feeblehas lost all its moral terrors so soon as the ness on the other. But in a case like the reality of the vulgar notion of moral desert present it embarrasses the discussion by is denied. This is well illustrated by the throwing an air of constraint and unreality talk of the knaves and fops of the court of over the statement of arguments which have Charles 11., who adopted a sort of Deter- exercised so great an influence in the world minist cant and fancied that they were that it is impossible to pass them by withHobbists.

out notice. As to the admission by the Determinists In taking account of the antagonism bethat their doctrine bas no place for the vul- tween Prescience and Liberty, I am not gar notion of moral desert, it will be enough touching upon the theological aspect of the to quote Mr. Mill.

“There are two ends," question. The Prescience of God has al" which, on the Necessitarian

ways been considered a part of Natural Retheory, are sufficient to justify punishment: ligion; and Natural Religion professes to the benefit of the offender himself, and the appeal for its proofs to reason and fact

. protection of others.

If, indeed,” Therefore Prescience, so far as it bears upon he afterwards continues, “punishment is in the question of volition, properly comes unflicted for

any other reason than in order to der the philosophical treatment of the quesoperate on the will; if its purpose be other tion, not under the theological

. The correthan that of improving the culprit himself, sponding antagonism which appears in the or securing the just rights of others against theological treatment is the antagonism, not unjust violation, then, I admit, the case is between Prescience and Liberty, but betotally altered. If any one thinks that there tween Omnipotence and Liberty; nor is is justice in the infliction of purposeless this latter antagonism introduced directly, suffering; that there is a natural affinity be- but mediately, as concerned with the action tween the two ideas of guilt and punish- of Divine Grace. Indeed, it is evident ment, which makes it intrinsically fitting that the Omnipotence of God is no less an that wherever there has been guilt, pain idea of Natural Religion than the Prescience should be inflicted by way of retribution; I of God; and therefore the two antagonisms acknowledge that I can find no argument to should be placed together under the philojustify punishment inflicted on this princi- sophical heading. Ånd we accordingly find ple.”* But there is no doubt at all that that the difficulty implied in the coexistence nearly everybody thinks these very things. of Omnipotence with Liberty has not been Who will say that he desires the punish- entirely neglected by philosophers; though, ment of Colonel Kirke only in the hope of being less obvious than the antagonism beeffecting a reformation in his character, or tween Prescience and Liberty, it has attractby way of a salutary example to future ill-ed less attention. Both the antagonisms are doers? Perhaps not even Mr. Mill himself; only different aspects of the same masterthough he would be quite ready, of course, problem, the coexistence of the Infinite with to explain the origin of the illusion in ac- the Finite. The common argument runs cordance with his own principles.

somewhat to the following purpose :- If it III. The treatment of the third point, the can be certainly foreseen that a man will antagonism between Prescience and Liberty, do a particular thing, in what sense can it be is embarrassed by the fact that the philo- said that he is free not to do it? According to sophical world has no longer any common the common sentiment, freedom not to do a dogmatic ground. Not that the philoso- thing implies in its terms some chance or phers do, as a body, exactly disbelieve the other that the thing may not be done; but existence of God; but theological belief has this is plainly incompatible with perfect become so manifold in its forms, and so foresight, which implies in its terms that vague in its significance, that men shrink there is no chance that the thing may not from recognising in speculation the fact be done. that there is such a thing as religion left in This statement of the argument precludes the world. It has come to be agreed some by anticipation the common attempts to how that good taste requires such subjects meet it; for these turn upon the proposition to be avoided, or, if that is impossible, to be that foresight does not coerce, which is introduced on the understanding that the re- nothing to the point. What is wanted is ligious opinions of one man are not shared something quite different, namely, that foreby anybody else. By this general exclusion, sight should not oblige us to look upon the

action foreseen as being coerced. The atti* Examination, etc., pp. 510, 512. tude which the inind seems to take up is

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not the assertion that foresight coerces; and bad action. Therefore, though it would
therefore it is useless to deny that foresight co- sound absurd to speak of the bridegroom as
erces. But we seem to be able to figure to our being in any way coerced, yet it is impossi-
selves foresight as being possible only as ble to hold him up as an illustrious example
the result of coercion, though we need not of that sort of free will which is to the
regard the person who foresees as being the present purpose. But unless this may be
person
who coerces.

In short, the foresight done the author's argument goes for nothis looked upon as the result of the coercion; ing. He has only proved that a very high and therefore it is useless to deny that it is degree of certainty in a prediction is comits cause.

Whether or no this is the true patible with a very low degree of that sort analysis of the feeling, it at all events is the of free will about which we are speaking. common and prompt judgment of men in To deny this is to confuse will in the sense general, that they cannot help regarding apposite to this inquiry with some other the will as being somehow coerced, when sense of the word, to obliterate, in short, they regard its action as being forescen. that distinction between Freewill and DeEven in the case of ordinary human fore- terminism which is the very point in dissight, or guessing at future actions, although pute. men know for certain that their prediction So far we have been considering only the has no tendency to coerce, yet they cannot argument from Prescience. But it is sushelp looking upon what they foresee as be- ceptible of additional complication by introing somehow coerced; and this is proved ducing the further idea of Omnipotence, by the disposition which they often show to which is contemplated in God along with excuse the malice of a bad action in propor- Prescience. For our foresight does not at tion as they have been able before the event all oblige us to regard ourselves as in any to predict with confidence that it will be sense the sources of coercion; but the Omdone. And, in general, it is felt that any nipotence of God is the very link needed in great and cruel temptation, though it is not order to enable us to infer that He who foreenough to justify, does yet go some way sees is also He who coerces. And Hobbes towards excusing a bad action.

accordingly decided that God is the cause I have seen a very ingenious attempt to of all human actions.* Priestley made the grapple more closely with this difficulty, same doctrine the foundation of his Optimade by an anonymous author in a con- mism. “Also,” he says, “ the persuasion that temporary periodical publication, which de- nothing can come to pass without the knowserves notice, because it seems to prove that ledge and express appointment of the greatall such attempts are hopeless. The author est and best of beings, must tend to diffuse a imagines the case of a man about to be joyful serenity over the mind, producing a married to one whom he passionately loves; conviction that, notwithstanding all present they are before the altar, and the marriage unfavourable appearances, whatever is, is ceremony is begun; the man is asked right; and that even all evils respecting inwhether he will take the woman for his dividuals or societies, any part, or the whole wife; thereupon the author demands to be of the human race, will terminate in good ; told whether we cannot be certain that he and that the greatest sum of good could not, will assent, and also whether we must not in the nature of things, be attained by any allow that he is acting by his free will in so other means."| Hartley had spoken to the doing. The author here thinks that he has like purpose; but, as his manner is, in more produced a palmary example of certain pre- guarded language. diction, and also a palmary example of the Here, then, we have before us the insoluexertion of free will; but he is mistaken as ble problem of the co-existence of the Infito the latter point. The sort of will which the nite with the Finite, in its bearings on the bridegroom is supposed to exert is by no means question of volition, as manifested in (1.) a palmary example of the sort of will required, the Prescience, (2.) the Omnipotence, of God. viz. that sort of will which is commonly It would not be difficult to lay down a view reckoned indispensable to the reality of the of the matter both more extended and more vulgar notion of moral desert. On the con- systematic; but enough has been said to trary, it is a very bad example indeed; and serve the present purpose. A new and this only escapes notice because the action highly ingenious turn was given to the sesupposed to be done is innocent. Let us cond topic, the bearing of Omnipotence upon imagine a man tempted to sin by induce- Freewill, by Mr. J. S. Mill, which deserves ments as strong as those which incline the to be noticed. bridegroom to receive his bride; and we shall at once become aware of our disposi- * Works, ed. by Molesworth, vol. v. p. 115. tion to excuse and palliate the malice of the + The Doctrine, etc., p. 121.

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Hamilton had urged that the analytical | causation, and so the argument is made to conditions both of Freewill and Determi- hold good. nism-on the one hand, an uncaused com- However, the reader should not omit to mencement of action, and, on the other hand, notice the following conditions which limit an infinite regression of causes-equally its application. The argument is pointless transcend our powers of conception; and if urged against the Atheist, because “God" from this he sought to infer that no state is not to him a positive idea. And it canment of difficulties in conception could be not be urged by the Atheist, without becomin itself conclusive against Freewill, because ing a mere argumentum ad hominem. It an equal balance of difficulty lies against the follows, therefore, that it can only be fairly opposite doctrine.

“But," replies Mr. Mill, urged by the Determinist Theist against the “ this choice of inconceivabilities is not of- Libertarian Theist. But the man who urges fered to us in the case of volitions only. it must also be prepared to affirm that God We are held, as he not only admits but con- is the cause, and the efficient cause, of all tends, to the same alternative in all cases of things—evil, of course, included. This has causation whatsoever. But we find our way been done, as we have seen, by some Theists

, out of the difficulty in other cases in quite a on the ground that evil is properly to be redifferent manner. In the case of every

other garded as a phenomenal form of good. kind of fact, we do not elect the hypothesis Priestley,indeed, with characteristic hasty obthat the event took place without a cause : tuseness, confuses together the two positions, we accept the supposition, that of a regress, (1.) that evil is a phenomenal form of good, not indeed to infinity, but either generally into (2.) that evil, though really evil, cannot be the region of the unknowable, or back to an helped; which latter proposition, though he Universal Cause, regarding which, as we are seems to regard it as an evidence of Theism, only concerned with it in relation to what really makes for Atheism so far as it goes. it preceded, and not as in itself preceded by As regards the general question, I agree anything, we can afford to make a plain with Hamilton that it is impossible to effect avowal of our ignorance.

any direct reconciliation between Liberty The aim, or at least the force, of this and Prescience. 6. The conviction of this retort, is to lower the difficulty of conception impossibility," he goes on to say, "has led alleged against Determinism, by showing men (1.) to give up the prescience of God that it is only one aspect of a common diffi- in respect of future contingents; or (2.) to culty which crops up under many other bring down the impossibility to a lower forms, and which, by common consent, is to [stage), and this by one of two meansbe put aside as insoluble. But it will not either, 1st, to annihilate the futurity in reat all suffice for Mr. Mill to carry his regress spect of God, or, 2d, to annihilate the congenerally into the region of the unknowable. tingency.” * But he is evidently wrong That would not be to find a way out of the speaking of the annihilation of the contindifficulty in the case of volitions by the gency as a means of bringing the difficulty same method as in all other cases. It would down to a lower stage, since it is a getting rid be, on the contrary, to deny that there is one of the difficulty altogether. The difficulty method out of the difficulty common to all lies in reconciling the contingency implied cases; for to refer a thing generally to the in Liberty with the absence of contingency region of the unknowable, is only another implied in Prescience; and if the contingenphrase for having nowhere whither to refer cy be annihilated there is no longer anyit. Therefore a general reference to the thing needing reconciliation. In fact, this region of the unknowable only serves to put is the natural proceeding of the DetermiDeterminism, in point of preliminary diffi- nist; and it is to this that he owes the cogenculty, on a level with Freewill; which is the cy of the present argument against his anvery thing that Hamilton desired. Mr. Mill tagonist, who is obliged by his notion of must adopt the other branch of his alterna- liberty to maintain that future acts are in tive, if he wishes to touch Hamiltou's posi- some sense contingent. tion; that is, he must refer the commence- The second course proposed by Hamilment of the train of action to a postulated ton, the annihilation of the futurity of events universal cause, called “God” by Theists. in respect of God, is the common doctrine Then, since it is an express article in the of theologians. They teach that the Being creed of all Theists, that“God” is a positive and (so to speak) the Consciousness of God idea, and not, like the general region of the are in some sense out of all relation to unknowable, merely negative, there will be a time, so that there is no succession of events common bond between this reference of the in them, and neither a past nor a future. regress and all other references of original Thus God foresees as He sees; and so fore* Examination, etc., p. 499.

* Dissertations on Reid, p. 976.

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