Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

MATERIALISM CONTRADICTS ITSELF. 
197 
“ Philosophically neither proved, nor capable of being proved, 
and perfectly unable to account for the most common pheno¬ 
mena, modern materialism has sought its main support in 
natural science. The materialist reasons thus : ~ 
“ ‘The most minute and thorough examination and observa¬ 
tion of nature has not yet been able to discover a spirit,* and 
there is consequently no spirits 
“ But with the same right a man may say, I have never seen 
music with my eyes ; and there is, therefore, no music. All that 
natural science can do is to confine itself to a relative negation, 
and to say, ‘ With the means at my command, I camiot discover a 
spirit? As soon as it oversteps this limit, and makes its nega¬ 
tion absolute, it is pretentious : it has left its own legitimate 
sphere, and enters another of which it knows nothing, and of 
which it has, therefore, nothing to say. 
“Materialism is atomistic: it accounts for the universe and all 
the phenomena taking place therein, by assuming the existence 
of eternal infinitesimal bodies that are endued with force. But 
as these atoms cannot be perceived by the senses, materialism, 
to be consistent, has nothing, can have nothing, to do with them. 
Again the forces of cohesion and expansion, supposed to inhere 
m the atoms, cannot possibly produce any connection conform¬ 
able to design ; and the materialistic philosopher must, therefore, 
deny the existence of any thing of the kind in organisms. 
uAs these atoms are entirely destitute of intelligence, the ori¬ 
gin of a self-conscious intelligence and the identity of this self- 
consciousness during the whole life, amid the constant changes 
of matter, cannot be accounted for on materialistic principles ; 
and the materialist has to doubt his own self-consciousness in 
order to be consistent. 
“ But as thinking, so is volition, a purely physical mechanism ; 
and there is, therefore, no freedom of will, but every apparently 
free act is the necessary result of a chain of mechanically act- 
* As far as the faculties of man are capable of discovering a spirit, by sight, touch, 
froeech, and the joint efforts of the reason and the senses, modern Spiritualism claims 
tfm this has been done, although no chemical test may yet have been found.
        

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