The First Solution Of The Cosmic Problem Dualism

The first attempted solution of the cosmic problem is best expressed in

the concept "co-existence." God and the world co-exist. God is, and

the world is; their relation is expressed by an "and." "God and the

world" is the truth, all that man can and need know. This solution is

verbal. It leaves the problem more or less as it finds it. The two

principles remain ultimates; neither is reduced to the other. God

stands outside the world and the world outside God. Neither can

explain the other. This dualism is the lowest stage of ontological

thought. The thinker sees the problem, only to turn away from it. He

surmises that there is some relation between the two; but he cannot

define it, and it remains ineffectual. This was Plato's early

standpoint. He established the idea as the truth of the thing, but he

failed to find expression for the relation between idea and ideate. He

took refuge in symbolical language, and spoke of the thing as a "copy"

of the idea or as a "participant" in it. But as there was no causation

on the one side or dependence on the other side, all that the earlier

Platonic philosophy achieved was in its ideal world to duplicate the

real. Plato's heaven simply co-exists with the world, and the relation

between them is merely verbal.

This metaphysical idea survived Plato and Plato's system, and passed

into common currency. It found and still finds expression in numerous

speculative and practical systems. In religious ontology we find it in

deism. According to the deist there was once at a definite point of

time a relation between God and the world, the relation of creation.

But, creation finished, the relation ceased. In other words, God

created the world, and then withdrew into Himself, leaving the world to

work out its own salvation. The deist believes in God; but his is a

self-contained God, who does not interfere in the course of things or

continue creating. Such a conception of God is useless for religious

purposes, because it represents Him as out of all relation with the