DEDUCTIONS FROM ATTRIBUTES OF THE SOUL. 407
conception have proved that an outside universe is possible or existent?1
Again, the existence of a Supreme Being is thought to have been demonstrated by the argument of Socrates wherein he confuted Aristodemus the atheist, and used the statues of Polycletus and the pictures of Zeuxis to illustrate the idea that, as the structure of the universe shows evidence of design, therefore there must have been a designer. Theology has never improved upon this argument, and Paley makes the same use of the watch for an illustration as Socrates did of the statues and pictures. It is a strong argument, but it does not reach the point which the human heart desires to have demonstrated. Nor does it add force to, but rather weakens, the argument which is found by all reflecting minds in every tree, leaf, bud, or flower. It simply proves the existence of a force, which all admit. '
What the human heart desires, and what the human mind seeks, are proofs of the existence of a God, not of mere intelligence and potentiality, but such a God as Jesus characterized, a God of love and benevolence, a God who sustains the relation of Father to all humanity.
It seems to me that in seeking within the realm of human desire for an argument in proof either of immortality or the existence of a Supreme Being, theologians have failed to make a necessary distinction between desires which may or may not be universal and inherent, and desires which have their source in the affectional emotions. It is upon the latter only that an argument can be logically predicated.
1 One of the most eminent and fair-minded theologians in the United States, who has kindly read the manuscript of this work and indulgently criticised its contents, suggests that I have not treated the standard theological argument quite fairly, in that I should have stated the second proposition less broadly: that the desire referred to is instinctive desire, and should have been so limited. I freely admit that as careful and candid a reasoner as he would naturally so limit the statement of the proposition. But not all theologians are as candid and logical. However, I provisionally accept his limitation, and reply that the answer to the amended second proposition is embraced in the answer to the first.