Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/45

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plicable. Here the process, taken in the gross, does not, even by mechanical necessity, support the value which is supposed to guide it. That value is realised for a moment only; so that if we impute to Cronos any intent to beget his children we must also impute to him an intent to devour them.

Of course the various states of the world, when we survey them retrospectively, constitute another and now static order called historic truth. To this absolute and impotent order every detail is essential. If we wished to abuse language so much as to speak of will in an “Absolute” where change is excluded, so that nothing can be or be conceived beyond it, we might say that the Absolute willed everything that ever exists, and that the eternal order terminated in every fact indiscriminately; but such language involves an after-image of motion and life, of preparation, risk, and subsequent accomplishment, adventures all pre-supposing refractory materials and excluded from eternal truth by its very essence. The only function those traditional metaphors have is to shield confusion and sentimentality. Because Jehovah once fought for the Jews, we need not continue to say that the truth is solicitous about us, when it is only we that are fighting to attain it. The universe can wish particular things only in so far as particular beings wish them; only in its relative capacity can it find things good, and only in its relative capacity can it be good for anything.