He Is There and He Is Not Silent Part II: Philosophy’s Moral Problem as Answered in the Existence of the Infinite-Personal, Triune God -- By: Francis A. Schaeffer
Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 128:511 (Jul 1971)
Article: He Is There and He Is Not Silent Part II: Philosophy’s Moral Problem as Answered in the Existence of the Infinite-Personal, Triune God
Author: Francis A. Schaeffer
BSac 128:511 (Jul 71) p. 195
He Is There and He Is Not Silent
Philosophy’s Moral Problem as Answered in the Existence of the Infinite-Personal, Triune God
[Francis A. Schaeffer, Director, L’Abri Fellowship, Huemoz, Switzerland.]
In this series of articles with the theme “He Is There and He Is Not Silent,” the first two articles deal with the philosophical necessity of the Christian position. In the first article1 the area of metaphysics was discussed dealing with the basic problem that all philosophies must deal with—the question of Being or of existence. This article deals with a second major area of philosophical thought—man and the dilemma of man.
There are two problems concerning man and the dilemma of man. The first of the problems is the fact that man is personal, he is different from non-man, and yet he is finite. He is finite, and therefore he has no sufficient integration point in himself. Jean-Paul Sartre has said that if a finite point does not have an infinite reference point, it is meaningless and absurd. In this he is correct.
Man is finite and does not have a sufficient integration point in himself. Yet he is different from non-man, that which I call in my books personal, or that which is the mannishness of man. This is the first problem: man with his mannishness is different from non-man, and yet he is finite, he does not have a sufficient integration point within himself.
The second problem concerning man and the dilemma of man
BSac 128:511 (Jul 71) p. 196
is what I call the nobility of man. We might not like this term because of the romantic ties into the past of the use of this word. But still there is the wonder of man, and yet the cruelty of man. So you have man who stands with all his wonder and with his nobility, and yet with his horrible, horrible cruelty that you find throughout the warp and woof of man’s history.
Or you can express it in yet another way—man’s estrangement from himself and other men in the area of morals. Now we have come to the word “morals.” In my previous article, the discussion was involved with the problem of metaphysics. This article deals with the problems of morals.
As we consider man’s finiteness and his cruelty, it would seem certainly that these things are not one thing but two things. Mankind always has thought of these things as not being the same. Man’s finiteness is his smallness, he is too small, he is not a sufficient reference point to himself, but yet his cruelty would seem to be an entirely different thing. This cruelty has always been considered as distinct from his finitene...
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