§8. Science and Continuity


61. One of the worst effects of the influence of moral and religious reasonings upon science lies in this, that the distinctions upon which both insist as fundamental are dual distinctions, and that their tendency is toward an ignoring of all distinctions that are not dual and especially of the conception of continuity. Religion recognizes the saints and the damned. It will not readily admit any third fate. Morality insists that a motive is either good or bad. That the gulf between them is bridged over and that most motives are somewhere near the middle of the bridge, is quite contrary to the teachings of any moral system which ever lived in the hearts and consciences of a people.

62. It is not necessary to read far in almost any work of philosophy written by a man whose training is that of a theologian, in order to see how helpless such minds are in attempting to deal with continuity. Now continuity, it is not too much to say, is the leading conception of science. The complexity of the conception of continuity is so great as to render it important wherever it occurs. Now it enters into every fundamental and exact law of physics or of psychics that is known. The few laws of chemistry which do not involve continuity seem for the most part to be very roughly true. It seems not unlikely that if the veritable laws were known continuity would be found to be involved in them. . . .1)


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