For any one who is pervaded with the sense of causal law in all that happens, who accepts in real earnest the assumption of causality, the idea of a Being who interferes with the sequence of events in the world is absolutely impossible. Neither the religion of fear nor the social-moral religion can have any hold on him.
Still there are moments when one feels free from one’s own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only being.
We are completely perplexed, then, and you must clear up the question for us, of what you intend to signify when you use the word “being”. Obviously you must be quite familiar with what you mean, whereas we, who formerly imagined we knew, are now at a loss.
Pooh, he said. “Much alike, aren’t they, this case and that!” “There is nothing to hinder their being so,” said I, “but even if they are not alike and if the man thinks they are, do you believe he will any the less answer what appears to him, whether we forbid him or not?
Being cannot be one in form, though it may be in what it is made of. (Even some of the physicists hold it to be one in the latter way, though not in the former.) Man obviously differs from horse in form, and contraries from each other.
It is, then, clearly impossible for Being to be one in this sense.
For if Being is just one, and one in the way mentioned, there is a principle no longer, since a principle must be the principle of some thing or things.
Now to investigate whether Being is one and motionless is not a contribution to the science of Nature.
Being will not have magnitude, if it is substance. For each of the two parts must be in a different sense.
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.