The Unseen World, and Other Essays

Overview

"What are you, where did you come from, and whither are you bound?"-the question which from Homer's days has been put to the wayfarer in strange lands-is likewise the all-absorbing question which man is ever asking of the universe of which he is himself so tiny yet so wondrous a part. From the earliest times the ultimate purpose of all scientific research has been to elicit fragmentary or partial responses to this question, and philosophy has ever busied itself in piecing together these several bits of information according to the best methods at ...
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The Unseen World and Other Essays

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Overview

"What are you, where did you come from, and whither are you bound?"-the question which from Homer's days has been put to the wayfarer in strange lands-is likewise the all-absorbing question which man is ever asking of the universe of which he is himself so tiny yet so wondrous a part. From the earliest times the ultimate purpose of all scientific research has been to elicit fragmentary or partial responses to this question, and philosophy has ever busied itself in piecing together these several bits of information according to the best methods at its disposal, in order to make up something like a satisfactory answer. In old times the best methods which philosophy had at its disposal for this purpose were such as now seem very crude, and accordingly ancient philosophers bungled considerably in their task, though now and then they came surprisingly near what would to-day be called the truth. It was natural that their methods should be crude, for scientific inquiry had as yet supplied but scanty materials for them to work with, and it was only after a very long course of speculation and criticism that men could find out what ways of going to work are likely to prove successful and what are not. The earliest thinkers, indeed, were further hindered from accomplishing much by the imperfections of the language by the aid of which their thinking was done; for science and philosophy have had to make a serviceable terminology by dint of long and arduous trial and practice, and linguistic processes fit for expressing general or abstract notions accurately grew up only through numberless failures and at the expense of much inaccurate thinking and loose talking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781313630108
  • Publisher: HardPress Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2013
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.77 (d)

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III. THE JESUS OF HISTORY OF all the great founders of religions, Jesus is at once the best known and the least known to the modern scholar. From the dogmatic point of view he is the best known, from the historic point of view he is the least known. The Christ of dogma ia in every lineament familiar to us from early childhood; but concerning the Jesus of history we possess but few facts resting upon trustworthy evidence, and in order to form a picture of him at once consistent, probable, and distinct in its outlines, it is necessary to enter upon a long and difficult investigation, in the course of which someof the most delicate apparatus of modern criticism is required. This circumstance is sufficiently singular to require especial explanation. The case of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, which may perhaps be cited as parallel, is in reality wholly different. Not only did Sakyamuni live five centuries earlier than Jesus, among a people that have at no time possessed the art of insuring authenticity in their records of events, and at an era which is at best but dimly discerned through the mists of fable and legend, but the work which he achieved lies wholly out of the course of European history, and it is only in recent times that his career has presented itself to us as a problem needing to be solved. Jesus, on the other hand, appeared in an age which is familiarly and in many respects minutely known to us, and among a people whose fortunes we can trace with historic certainty for at least seven centuries previous to his birth; while his life and achievements have probably had a larger share in directing the entire subsequent intellectual and moral development of Europethanthose of any other man who has ever lived. Nevertheless, the details of his personal career are sh...
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