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STANDPOINT. This harmonizes with the divine law in so far as the latter addresses itself primarily to the spirit and requires from it the surrender, which would not be sincere without good disposition. Nevertheless, if good disposition alone were laid down as the all-decisive element, a wrong conception would again be the result. If good meaning or intention per se and generally is supposed to give action the character of goodness, then the end might sanctify the means, and it need not be considered whether the objective end is good in itself, but only whether the subject regards it as good. But in this case the objective world of ends becomes a matter of chance and indifference; for if everything depends on subjective goodness of intention, it is indifferent what is willed, whether right or wrong, provided only it be willed with good intention. But in this way the entire objective moral world might be inverted by the so-called good intention or meaning of the subject. For this reason it must be maintained, that subjective good disposition must also be directed to what is objectively good; and only when the right is willed and done in the right way can goodness be spoken of. Form and contents are absolutely inseparable, because moral wisdom also is a virtue. Hence, more closely considered, it is part of the goodness of volition to know and aim at right contents. But again, even in relation to the formal side-disposition-there may be defect in this respect, that while conscious, free volition of the good is indeed insisted on, with Kant only reverence for the law of the practical reason, and therefore reverence for human dignity, is required as the soul of disposition, while the connection of morality with religion is overlooked. Kant knows only of evil, not of sin. But in this case an entire aspect of evil remains disregarded, nay sanctioned, if it is not even regarded as good, namely deficiency in humility, the maintenance of absolute autonomy. And with this centring of man in himself, this divorcing of morality from religion, another fault is conjoined in making reverence sufficient and this case Egohood and Egoism are to be distinguished, and that definition does not indicate by what the two are to be known. Moreover, its scientific value all the less as it takes no account of the relation to God, who comes into account partly as lawgiver even in respect to social relations, partly indirectly as the object of a moral course of conduct; for piety also is a part of the moral sphere. For more details on this point, see below, $ 77.


regarding love as pathological in character. Then, deficiency in love were no sin, not even imperfection.

5. We have seen the necessity of forming not merely a moral conception of the nature of evil, i.e. as contradiction in man to himself, but also a RELIGIOUS CONCEPTION as contrariety to God, and thus it is sin. But even this true and highest standpoint may be maintained in a one-sided way. Thus, the Mystics frequently find goodness in the absorption of consciousness of the world and of self in consciousness of God, and therefore find it in exclusive God - consciousness. Then consciousness of self and of the world must necessarily be regarded as estrangement from God and as evil. Then religion would come into collision with morality, as if God did not will relatively self-dependent likenesses of Himself, endowed with moral powers, whose free exercise in well-doing constitutes goodness. Were spiritually concrete being and its individual activity regarded as ungodly, the result would be retrogression to the physical standpoint first considered. But it is wrong to suppose that God requires absorption in Him, which would be self-annihilation (ie, creation is said to be revoked, that God may be all in all). This would be in opposition to God's love, which proposes to itself man as an end. And even such love of man to God as would involve man's self-destruction would be no true love, but a violation of justice as well as a neglect of those duties of love which the relations of life impose, but which would be ignored in quietistic fashion, so that here also an entire aspect of evil in concrete relations is disregarded.—But an erroneous religious conception of evil may attach itself even to the Evangelical standpoint — justification by faith alone. This is the case when faith, in false self-assertion and in an abstract religious way, would convert its joyous certainty of salvation, which implies no immediately positive relation to the entire moral world, but primarily only to God, into the sole virtue, and would treat unbelief not merely as the root-sin, but also as the sole sin. Then an egoistic anxiety merely for one's own enjoyment of fellowship with God and for one's own salvation, and an antinomian indifference to that form of sin which is related to the world and to ourselves, would have crept in. Whereas the Mystics make God alone their end, while not even wishing to find the permanence of their own moral personality secured in God, here the believing subject knows himself, it is true, as an end and object of divine love, but abuses this knowledge to purposes of spiritual selfishness, is eudæmonistic, and refuses to notice moral evil in finite relations, if only faith exists. But such faith is illusive. It has to do, not with the true, holy, and righteous God, but with a self-invented conception of God as unethical goodness. Truly religious contemplation rejects the severance of religion from morality, both in the Mystic form, which thinks God egoistic, and in the second form, where man egoistically makes God a mere instrument for his own good, nay, makes Him a minister of sin. While a Christian man is “ a Lord of all things through faith,” he is also “a Servant of all through love." As, therefore, the previous conceptions of evil urge forward to the religious, so the religious conception has no desire to hold its ground in disparagement of the moral. The truly religious conception leads to the acknowledgment of what is true in the previous standpoints, and these true elements must be united if an exhaustive definition of evil is to be obtained. God and the world come into consideration in order to form the correct idea of evil, and they do so because this is required by the idea of God.

1 Whether in the form of act or even evil inherency, see below, $ 78.

§ 77.Thetic Exposition of the Nature of Evil.

In order to include the true elements in the standpoints con

sidered, the right conception, leaving the unity of evil intact, must distinguish its formal and material side, and that in such a way as to bring into view also its different stages. Formally considered, evil is an abnormity, disturbing the right relation of the spirit as well to the natural and human world as to God Himself. But materially its unity or self-uniformity consists in this, that it is false love of the creature, or love averted from God. Thus, on one side it is turning away from God or 11 John iv. 20.

2 Gal. ii. 17.

sin, but on the other, and at the same time, false turning to the creature. And for this reason it consists in selfishness of one kind or another. That is, at the first stage, false creature-love is selfishness in passive formdeification of the world; while at the second, where the factor of personality co-operates with more energy, it produces spiritual selfishness or deification of self. In both there is a false centring of the creature in itself, but at the one stage in a partially unconscious and disguised way, at the other with more and more of consciousness and volition. From the unity of evil in a formal and material respect, issue its different positive forms according to the blessings to which its destructive and perversive effects relate. But the destruction, which it initiates, shows it to be folly, nay falsehood, which it

is intrinsically from the beginning (John viii. 44). Melanchthon, Loci, 1521. Fieri nequit quin sese maxime amet creatura, quam non absorpsit amor Dei.

1. The problem, how rightly to combine the possible onesided standpoints, described in $ 76, is narrowed and made easier by observing that they reduce themselves to two principal classes. The first start from Nature. Such are the Physical definitions ($ 76, 1), to which we may here add the Intellectual ($ 76, 2). The second, namely the Juridical and Subjectively Moral, start from Freedom ($ 76, 3, 4). But both classes are compelled to refer in some way to the idea of God, and therefore to the religious mode of view, inasmuch as God is the principle both of nature and spirit, and His will is the norm for both. The first find evil in the power of the finite over the spirit, and the concentration of this finitude may then be discovered in matter or the body, with which development is bound up. According to this view, evil consists in passivity of the spirit in presence of restrictive or tempting powers which are not spirit. The second find evil in an abuse of freedom in evil act and disposition, in religious phraseology in rebellion against God's government. The one find evil in sensuousness, at least in more refined forms of the

same, in à culpable weakness of the spirit, while the others discern a false strength therein. The first rather accentuate the abnormal weakness, the second the guilt in the idea of evil. Still there is agreement among the more important teachers so far as to perceive that neither of the two modes of view alone exhausts the nature of evil. They endeavour, therefore, to combine the two, apprehending evil as sensuousness and as selfishness. But then seeing that, as formerly shown, wherever existing and whatever its composition, evil must have an essential uniformity, the task arises of again tracing back sensuousness and selfishness to a unity. Thereupon, if no higher, i.e. broader generic conception, embracing both, can be found, a twofold possibility presents itself, either to derive selfishness from sensuousness, or sensuousness from selfishness. This forms the opposition between Rothe and Julius Müller. Both would have the conception of evil religious in kind, both seek to leave a place to freedom, and would place evil in relation to the body, without limiting it thereto. But the fundamental sin, according to Rothe, is sensuousness, which originates in the predominance of matter, and matter to him is the pre-existent cause of evil, which attains to victory or is overpowered through freedom. Thus, he would only derive selfishness from this fundamental sin of sensuousness. On the other hand, Julius Müller starts from the selfishness of the spirit as the fundamental sin, and seeks from it to reach the sensuous form of sin. We shall examine both these theories, which are scientifically elaborated, and at present, perhaps, the most influential. If neither of the two prove satisfactory, it will be necessary, instead of deriving either sensuousness or spiritual selfishness from the other, to seek a unity combining the two in another way. First let us consider Rothe.

2. Rothe had previously conceived matter as an involuntary, necessary origination (Setzung) of God. In thinking and willing Himself, God must absolutely distinguish Himself from everything which is not God, and thus the thought of the notGod is a necessary thought for His self-consciousness. But thought and origination are one in God; and accordingly even the non-divine, the contradictory counterpart of God, comes necessarily into existence as God's shadow, which Rothe even calls a counter-god, thus certainly limiting God's absoluteness.

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