The Apologetics of the Christian Faith by William Maxwell Hetherington 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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by William Maxwell Hetherington
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The Apologetics of the Christian Faith by William Maxwell Hetherington
William Maxwell Hetherington
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1867 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. THE AEGUMENT A POSTERIORI. FEW preliminary sentences may be of advantage for enabling us distinctly to apprehend the position into which we have advanced, and the nature of the argument into the consideration of which we are now about to enter. The first position which we can possibly occupy, or even conceive ourselves to occupy, is that given by self-consciousness. In this position a man may be rationally conceived of as saying to himself, or as thinking, "I am, I exist, and know that I exist," but nothing more. This would of itself be merely the consciousness of existence, but would indicate nothing as to the mode of existence. Considered in its most abstract form, it would give nothing more than thinking being. There is frequently a metaphysical fallacy admitted into this very early position; it is admitted or assumed that thought may be conceived of without being. I do not mean without material being, but without being at all, even immaterial being; and from this follows the objection, that thought does not prove being. I answer, Try to imagine thought without a thinker--thought detached from all being, and in an illimitable void in which no being, not even spirit, exists. We cannot; for if we try, we find ourselves conceiving of thought as some invisible essence floating in the otherwise universal vacuum, and therefore actual being even there, and rendering its own position not absolute vacuity. Thought, then, asserts thinking existence; and this is primary and abstract consciousness. But this primary self-consciousness is essentially activity. From its position it can move in either of two directions, or manifest or exert its activity in either of two directions. It can employ its activity in inquiring into its own...

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