Closely connected with Moral Philosophy there stands a group of problems that forms the nucleus of what may be called Philosophy of Religion. Suppose that a provisional answer has been obtained to the questions of Ethics. The good has been defined, and the duty of man made clear. What hope, then, is there of the realization of the good? May we be sure that it lies within the power of man to perform what duty prescribes? Thus there arises, first of all, the question of the status of man. Is he a creature, merely—a link in the chain of natural causes, able at most to contemplate his own helplessness? Or is he endowed with a power corresponding to his ideals, a power to control his destinies and promote the causes which he serves? This is the old and well-known problem of freedom. If you want to know what can be said for the prerogatives of man, read Kant; if you want to know what is made of man when he is assigned the status of creature merely, read Hobbes.〖H. C., xxxiv, 311.〗 And what shall be said of the chance of man’s surviving the dissolution of his body, and entering upon another life in which he is not affected by the play of natural forces? The immortality of man is most elaborately and eloquently argued in Plato’s “Phædo,”〖H. C., ii, 45.〗 and again in Kant’s “Critique of Practical Reason.” But the crucial question in this whole range of problems is the question, not of man, but of God. What, in the last analysis, controls the affairs of this world? Is it a blind, mechanical force, or is it a moral force, which guarantees the triumph of the good, and the salvation of him who performs his duty? This is the most far-reaching and momentous question that can be asked, and it takes us over to that branch of philosophy that has acquired the name of “Metaphysics.”

All Directories