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The phrases in their context!


With this purpose, we reason from an actual existence--an experience in general, to an absolutely necessary condition of that existence.
It is in this case unnecessary to demonstrate its possibility.
For after having proved that it exists, the question regarding its possibility is superfluous.
Now, when we wish to define more strictly the nature of this necessary being, we do not look out for some being the conception of which would enable us to comprehend the necessity of its being--for if we could do this, an empirical presupposition would be unnecessary; no, we try to discover merely the negative condition (conditio sine qua non), without which a being would not be absolutely necessary.
Now this would be perfectly admissible in every sort of reasoning, from a consequence to its principle; but in the present case it unfortunately happens that the condition of absolute necessity can be discovered in but a single being, the conception of which must consequently contain all that is requisite for demonstrating the presence of absolute necessity, and thus entitle me to infer this absolute necessity a priorI. That is, it must be possible to reason conversely, and say; The thing, to which the conception of the highest reality belongs, is absolutely necessary.
But if I cannot reason thus--and I cannot, unless I believe in the sufficiency of the ontological argument--I find insurmountable obstacles in my new path, and am really no farther than the point from which I set out.
The conception of a Supreme Being satisfies all questions a priori regarding the internal determinations of a thing, and is for this reason an ideal without equal or parallel, the general conception of it indicating it as at the same time an ens individuum among all possible things.
But the conception does not satisfy the question regarding its existence--which was the purpose of all our inquiries; and, although the existence of a necessary being were admitted, we should find it impossible to answer the question; What of all things in the world must be regarded as such?
It is certainly allowable to admit the existence of an all-sufficient being--a cause of all possible effects--for the purpose of enabling reason to introduce unity into its mode and grounds of explanation with regard to phenomena.
But to assert that such a being necessarily exists, is no longer the modest enunciation of an admissible hypothesis, but the boldest declaration of an apodeictic certainty; for the cognition of that which is absolutely necessary must itself possess that character.
The aim of the transcendental ideal formed by the mind is either to discover a conception which shall harmonize with the idea of absolute necessity, or a conception which shall contain that idea.
If the one is possible, so is the other; for reason recognizes that alone as absolutely necessary which is necessary from its conception.
But both attempts are equally beyond our power--we find it impossible to satisfy the understanding upon this point, and as impossible to induce it to remain at rest in relation to this incapacity.
Unconditioned necessity, which, as the ultimate support and stay of all existing things, is an indispensable requirement of the mind, is an abyss on the verge of which human reason trembles in dismay.
Even the idea of eternity, terrible and sublime as it is, as depicted by Haller, does not produce upon the mental vision such a feeling of awe and terror; for, although it measures the duration of things, it does not support them.
We cannot bear, nor can we rid ourselves of the thought that a being, which we regard as the greatest of all possible existences, should say to himself; I am from eternity to eternity; beside me there is nothing, except that which exists by my will; whence then am I?
Here all sinks away from under us; and the greatest, as the smallest, perfection, hovers without stay or footing in presence of the speculative reason, which finds it as easy to part with the one as with the other.
Many physical powers, which evidence their existence by their effects, are perfectly inscrutable in their nature; they elude all our powers of observation.
The transcendental object which forms the basis of phenomena, and, in connection with it, the reason why our sensibility possesses this rather than that particular kind of conditions, are and must ever remain hidden from our mental vision; the fact is there, the reason of the fact we cannot see.
But an ideal of pure reason cannot be termed mysterious or inscrutable, because the only credential of its reality is the need of it felt by reason, for the purpose of giving completeness to the world of synthetical unity.
An ideal is not even given as a cogitable object, and therefore cannot be inscrutable; on the contrary, it must, as a mere idea, be based on the constitution of reason itself, and on this account must be capable of explanation and solution.