By Herbert Spencer
In 1862, the British thinker Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) released this preamble to a deliberate sequence of courses on biology, psychology, sociology and morality. In it, he states that faith and technological know-how may be reconciled via their shared trust in an Absolute, and that final ideas might be discerned in all manifestations of absolutely the, relatively the final legislation of nature being came upon by means of technology. Spencer divides his textual content into components. half I, 'The Unknowable', discusses early philosophical rules that human wisdom is restricted and can't meaningfully conceive of God; religion needs to be the bridge among human adventure and supreme fact. Spencer refutes this as he examines faith and technological know-how intimately. partly II, 'Laws of the Knowable', Spencer argues that faith and technology will be reconciled within the underlying harmony from which the obvious complexity of the universe has advanced.
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Extra info for First Principles
By the second we are practically involved in the same predicament ; since, as already shown, self-creation implies an infinite series of potential existences. "We are obliged therefore to faK back upon the first, which is the one commonly accepted and commonly supposed to be satisfactory. Those who cannot conceive a self-existent universe; and who therefore assume a creator as the source of the universe ; take for granted that they can conceive a self-existent creator. The mystery which they recognize in this great fact surrounding them on every side, they transfer to an alleged source of this great fact; and then suppose that they have solved the mystery.
When we speak of a man as self-supporting, of an apparatus as self-acting, or of a tree as self-developed, our expressions, however inexact, stand for things that can be realized in thought with tolerable completeness. Our conception of the self-development of a tree is doubtless symbolic. But though we cannot really represent in consciousness the entire series of complex changes through which the tree passes, yet we can thus represent the leading features of the series ; and general experience teaches us that by long continued observation we could gain the power to realize in thought a series of changes more fully representing the actual ULTIMATE RELIGIOUS IDEAS.
Be it a fragment of matter, or some fancied potential form of matter, or some more remote and still less imaginable cause, our conception of its self-existence can be formed only by joining with it the notion of unlimited duration through past time. And as unlimited duration is inconceivable, all those formal ideas into which it enters are inconceivable ; and indeed, if such an expression is allowable, are the more inconceivable in proportion as the other elements of the ideas are indefinite. So that in fact, impossible as it is to think of the actual universe as self-existing, we do but multiply impossibilities of thought by every attempt we make to explain its existence.