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and the second watchmaker. The next time that we shall see a watchmaker addressing himself to his specific and professional object, there is little probability that we shall see in him the very same assemblage of circumstantials that we ever witnessed before in any other individual of his order. And yet how absurd to say that we are now looking to a different antecedent from any that we ever before had the observation of_that, just as Hume calls the world a singular effect, we are now beholding in this new watchmaker the operation of a singular cause—and that therefore it is impossible to predict what sort of consequent it may be, that will come out of his hands. It is true that there are many circumstantial things in and about the man which, if we admit as parts of the antecedent, will make up altogether a singular antecedent. But in the strict essential antecedent there is no singularity. There is a purposing mind resolved on the manufacture of a watch, and endowed with a sufficient capacity for the achievement of its object. This is what we behold now, and what we have beheld formerly—and so, in spite of the alleged, and indeed the actual singularity of the whole compound assemblage, we look for the very same consequent as before.
22. What is true of the antecedent is true also of the consequent. There may be an indefinite number of accessary and accidental things, associated with that which is strictly and properly the posterior term of the sequence. In a watch it is the adaptation of rightly shapen parts to a distinctly noticeable end, the indication of time
which forms the true consequent to the thought and agency of a purposing mind in the watchmaker. But in this said watch there are a thousand collateral things which, rightly speaking, form no part of the essential consequent—though altogether they go to a composition different perhaps, in some respects, from any that was ever exemplified before; and therefore go to the construction of a singular watch. There is the colour of the materials, there is their precise weight and magnitude, there is the species of metal-each of these and of many other things apart from that one thing of form and arrangement, which indicates the work and contrivance of an artist. Were the things with their existing properties, presented before me in a confused mass, the inference of a designing cause would instantly vanish. It is the arrangement of things, obviously fashioned and arranged for the measurement of time, that forms the sole consequent-a consequent which does not comprise all the other circumstantial peculiarities that we have now specified, but which rather lies enveloped in the midst of them. These circumstantial things, it is very possible, were never precisely so blended, as they are in the specimen before me. There never, it is most likely, was just such a colour, united with just such a weight, and with just such a magnitude, and with just such an exact order of parts in the machinery, as altogether obtain in the individual watch upon which I am now reasoning. When looked to, therefore, in this general and aggregate view, it may be denominated a singular effect. Yet who does not see that the inference of a designing cause is in no way spoiled by this ? As a whole it may be singular - but there is that in it which is not singular. There is the collocation of parts which has been exemplified in all other watches; and on which alone the inference is founded, of an artist with skill to devise and power to execute, having been the producer of it. , It is this which the observer separately looks to, and singles out, as it were, from all the collateral things which enter into the assemblage that is before his eyes. In the effect, the strict and proper consequent is the adjustment and adaptation of parts for an obvious end. In the cause, the strict and proper antecedent is a designing intelligence, wherewith there may at the same time be associated a thousand peculiarities of person, and voice, and manner, to him unknown -but to him of no importance to be known, for the purpose of establishing the sequence between a purposing mind which is not seen, and the piece of mechanism which is seen.
23. But ere we can bring this reasoning to bear on the Atheism of Hume—there is still a farther : abstraction to be made. Hitherto'we separated the essential consequent from the accessaries in a watch—so that though each watch may be singular in respect of all its accessaries taken togetheryet all the watches have in common that essential consequent from which we infer the agency of design in the construction of them. That consequent is adaptation of parts for the specific end which the mechanism serves—that is, the measurement of time. But it should be further understood
that, for the purpose of inferring design, it is not necessary that the end of the arrangement in question should be some certain and specific end. It is enough to substantiate the inference that the arrangement should be obviously conducive to some end—to any end. From what the end particularly is, we learn what the particular object was which the artist had in view--but for the purpose of warranting the general inference that there was an artist who had a something in view, it matters not what the end particularly is. It is enough that it be some end or other--and that, an end which the structure or working of the machine itself obviously announces. In the case of a watch the following are the counterpart terms of the sequence. The consequent is a mechanism adapted for the measurement of time. And its counterpart antecedent is an intelligent adaptation, putting forth his ability and skill on the production of a mechanism for the measurement of time. But though we should lop off, as it were, the measurement of time or this specific end from each of these terms; and substitute in its stead an end generally, or a whatever end, the inference of an intelligent adaptation would still hold good. The consequent then would be a mechanism adapted for a whatever end (and that an end to be learned from the examination of the mechanism itself); and its counterpart antecedent would be an intelligent adaptation for that whatever end. For either the more special or the more general inference, we equally arrive at an intelligent adaptation. When we in the consequent restrict our attention to what the end particularly is, then we proportionally restrict the antecedent to an intelligent mind bent on the accomplishment of that specific end. But when in the argument we make but a general recognition in the consequent of some end or other, the conclusion is equally general of an intelligent mind bent on the accomplishment of that some end or other. All this might be provided for in the reasoning, by laying proper stress on the distinction between the adaptation of parts for the end, and the adaptation of parts for an end. The latter, in fact, is the only essential consequent to the antecedent of a purposing mind—and from the appearance of the latter we are entitled to infer this antecedent. By taking this distinction along with us, we come to perceive how far the argument of final causes may be legitimately extended,
24. We already understand then how on having seen one watch made, we are entitled to infer a maker for the second watch—though in many of its accessaries it may differ most widely, and therefore differ most widely on the whole or as a compound assemblage from the first. With all these contingent variations in the two machines, there is one thing which they have in common—adaptation of parts for the end of measuring and indicating time;, and this justifies the inference of a common antecedent-even a purposing mind that had this specific object in view. But we contend that, in all sound logic, we are warranted to extend the inference farther—not merely to a second watch but to a second machine of any sort, though its use or the end of its construction was wholly different