Help writing a thesis statement for a research paper
Now on the material hypothesis there might ob- viously be a reason and a consistency in insisting on these differences between a hotter or colder, a moister or a drier planet, regarded as the parent soil of mind and spirit. But this connexion is entirely wanting when that hypothesis is so strenu- ously denied, and the essential discontinuity and absence of all relation and dependence between the development of man and the physical evolution of the material world so strongly asserted. If the highest aspirations of man, help writing a thesis statement for a research paper the relations of his spiritual existence, be of a kind wholly inde- pendent of all physical evolution, and the very ESSAY II. He glances at the different races of inferior beings who in past epochs have tenanted the earth, and infers by parity of reason that other races superior to man in his present condition, may at future 250 UNITY OF WORLDS. Would it not be a strange assertion that neither the older planets at the most remote distance from the sun, nor the younger and nearer ones, had help writing a thesis statement for a research paper any of them attained to such a degree of development as is ex- hibited on our earth? Though a slight colour of support might be given to the assertion, it could never bear a close investigation. Our system is but a small part of a far higher system, with which it has been developed under similar laws. But even were it possible to maintain that self-conscious rea- son alone existed on earth, it still remains true, and is proved by the remains that have reached us of an earlier stage of development, that there was an im- measurably long period of time before the creation of man.
Is it possible, then, that during the whole 252 UNITY OF WORLDS. At the same time, without professing to admit the entire force of such reasoning, I am disposed to concur in the general conclusion as at least a far more consistent and worthy belief than that which would narrow and restrict all intellectual and moral existence to the confined limits of our little planet. Final causes But apart from these speculations, other con- appealed to in this ar- siderations of a more distinctly theological kind have gument. In the first place, then, the whole discussion has been closely con- nected with the argument from final causes. The reference to the archetype is simply one of the highest forms of conjecture from analogy, and supplies the same kind of antecedent presumption, which the existence of a theoretical mathematical formula would do in guiding us to a physical truth.
That other modifications of the primeval type not carried out into actual being on our planet, may ESSA? So far, then, the reasoning is simply and strictly of an inductive character. But the further remark such beings " must exist," is, with equally just and philosophic caution, quali- fied by the help writing a thesis statement for a research paper condition, IP the purpose " is to be ful- filled. On the general admissibility of such a reference improper introduc- to final causes, we must recur to the observations tion of final causes in made in the former essay. The argument from final causes is, in one sense, wholly distinct from any of a purely philosophical or 256 UNITY OF WORLDS. Thus, for example: Kepler argued from final causes to his first conjectures of the laws of the planetary motions. With more special reference to the question now before us, we find in numerous instances a purpose answered : we infer it probable that in others, or in all, it may be so likewise. In our earth there is a certain provision of light, and there are beings with write my thesis paper eyes adapted to enjoy it. In Jupiter there is a certain, but different, provision of light : by analogy, there may be beings with eyes equally capable of enjoying it, though in a different degree.
Final causes The argument from final causes is largely appealed urged in support of to by Sir D. Brewster, and is closely connected inhabited planets. The belief that the planets and even the stars are inhabited, is upheld by him on the express ground of the probable end or purpose of their existence being no other than the support of organised life and intellectual and moral creatures : and that to reject such a belief is to involve the irreligious idea of denying the final cause of their creation. Such an argument, in the first instance, neces- sarily presupposes the fact that the conditions of the planetary bodies are adapted to be inhabited: the very point in question.
But supposing the fact of such adaptation admitted, the next step in the ar- gument is the assertion, " that no other end or pur- pose of the existence of planets can be conceived. How can we undertake to affirm, amid all the pos- sibilities of things of which we confessedly know so little, that a thousand ends and purposes may not be answered, because we can trace none, or even imagine none, which seem to our short-sighted faculties to be answered in these particular arrange- ments? Supposing, however, that all this were conceded, it still remains to connect it with the conclusion because no other end can be assigned, therefore, this one end of sustaining life not only must be the sole real end which the Creator had in view, but must be actually accomplished in all the planetary ESSAY II.
The earth certainly was for myriads of ages destitute of human beings : it existed, therefore, in vain for man. Hence, it is an undeniable parallel, if the planets are now uninhabited, and therefore useless, so was the earth for an unlimited number of ages in past epochs. If the one be a contradiction to final causes, and to be rejected as inconsistent with the Divine beneficence, so must the other be : yet this other paraphrasing sentence we know to be the fact. On the other hand, it is truly satisfactory to find opposite.... I have learnt from him, in many most striking cases, to admire purpose in organic arrangements, when purpose is apparent. Yet, notwithstanding these admitted considera- tions, the argument of the " Essay," in fact, rests much on final causes.
The earth was for myriads of help writing a thesis statement for a research paper ages a void, and for equally long periods tenanted only by inferior crea- tures, solely to the end that man might at length come in solemn pomp at the close of the long proces- sion, and take possession of his throne!
Thus, then, we find, in point of fact, the argu- ment from final causes applied with equal force to support diametrically opposite conclusions.
If in a more wide and worthy sense we come to Bearing of the argu- consider the religious application of the argument, ment on natural whether for or against other inhabited worlds, it theology, will be easily seen that, under any point of view, it amounts to little. If the existence of inhabitants in the planets were as much demon- strated as on the earth, it would undoubtedly enhance the great argument by the extension of its evidence which would be furnished by the ex- istence of organised structures, or of intellectual and spiritual beings, from one member of the system to many others : and if universally proved, it would 266 UNITY OF WORLDS.