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Is There a Life Beyond the Grave?


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Author Topic: Is There a Life Beyond the Grave?  (Read 255 times)
Chameleon
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« on: February 10, 2009, 10:55:42 pm »

Matter may be defined as "that which occupies space and is recognized by the senses." But what is spirit? If it can be recognized it must be material, and if it cannot be recognized it is to us as nothing. We are aware that spirit that spirit has been defined as "refined matter," but in that case it would be material. We can, therefore, only act consistently when we accept the decision of the human intellect as applied to every proposition submitted to us. We Cannot, if we act wisely, repudiate its authority in judging of the highest conception of things. This is our standard of appeal upon all matters material, or so-called spiritual. We accept what appears true, after the most rigorous criticism, and we reject every error immediately it is discovered. For instance, we regard two truths as being established so far as our present knowledge extends -- the indestructibility of matter, and the invariable order of nature. By nature we mean all that is, because, so far as is known, it has no limit in space or time. The term spirit is not included in this definition, for the reason that we have no conception of what it is. If it exist, its claims to belief can only be established by one method, that of observation and experiment. Should its claims be thus successfully proved, Spiritualism will then cease to be distinguished from Materialism, inasmuch as it will then be within our conception of the established order of things. We fail to see how there can be two different kinds of truth in the sense of there being one that we can apprehend by our understanding, and another that we cannot. We are aware that theologians assert that there are two kind of truth, one within the reach of reason, and the other above it but we cannot believe this theory, as no sufficient reason has been given to justify us in accepting such a proposition. In reference to such preposterous claims, we ask the following pertitient questions -- If there is a truth above or beyond the reason of man to comprehend, how can it become known? Of course our inability to understand such a truth does not prove its non-existence, but it disposes of our relation to it; and consequently it is no truth to us.

In science it is the practice to explain things in materialistic terms and to adopt spiritualistic phrases is in our opinion not only of no advantage, but it tends to the confusion of ideas and leads many minds into the region of obscurity. We see no justification for ceasing to speak of matter as a form of thought and of thought as a property of matter, so ling as our object is to indicate what we think and feel. The main point that we are anxious to insist upon is that no unknown power or powers should be appealed to for the purpose of explaining the facts of existence when we are cognizant of forces that are sufficient to achieve the object. Moreover, an unknown power can only be of practical service to us if its manifestations admit of verification, which those of spiritualism do not. We therefore rely upon truths that are demonstrated by material processes, for they give potency and dignity to nature; that nature, be it observed, that may be termed the mother of all. From her bosom we derive the sustenance of life, the panacea for woes and wrongs, and the solace for misery and despair that too frequently crush the hopes of man and rob humanity of its highest glory and its noblest service.


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http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/charles_watts/life_beyond_the_grave.html
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