The Reasons for Devatma’s belief in the non-existence of God , we will proceed to consider what his philosophy of nature is.
“Universe is Nature- one unlimited, uncreated, self-existent, eternal whole of embodied existences, in ceaseless change for better or worse”. The basic tenet of his conception of Nature is that all entities of Nature can be divided into ‘Matter’ & ‘Force’. Further Matter & force are inseparable. He refutes the theory that there is only matter and no force. The presence of Force cannot be denied, as all matter is subject to change ,& change implies Force. Even bodies at rest imply Force, says Devatma, because they are “characterized by impenetrability and inertia” which can be understood in terms of force itself.
Devatma defines ‘perception ‘ as the process to see objects in space & time. To him, knowledge of the external world is true only if it is scientific. All scientific knowledge is based on matter, force, space and time. All living bodies are governed by laws of physics & chemistry. But they are also under the biological laws. Devatma is not reductionist and does not reduce biological laws to physics & chemical laws.
Devatma repeatedly asserts that while we can trace the evolution from the inanimate to the animate, there is absolute no evidence to prove the existence of disembodied beings. Hence , this leads to the conclusion that there is no God . He denies the existence of the disembodied soul. He holds that ‘Nature is one. On the basis of this tenet he argues that since Nature is one, it is independent and there is no existence beyond it, either supernatural or transcendental. If Nature alone is real then it is a source of all knowledge, and all mystic experience are false. Since Devatma totally rejects the existence of God, there is no need for a dual approach to the study of ethics. the scientific approach that he follows denies Brahman and requires the study of Nature only.
1. NATURE . “Nature is a self -sufficient and autonomous…” ”Nature and nature alone is real…There can be no existents outside Nature”
“The universe is natural. It acts in accordance with its own nature and is not influenced by anything outside it. The universe includes everything, so there can be nothing outside it to influence it. It is self-contained, self-sufficient, self-caused…..”
2. RELATIONS. “To be is to be related”.
“Nothing exists without being related”.
3.CAUSATION. “To be is to causally”. “The hypothesis that nothing happens without being caused to happen does not seem to be unreasonable as a continuingly reliable working hypothesis in metaphysics”
4. CAUSATION OF NOVELTY. “Causation…can…be emergent… The effect can be very different from its cause”.
“There is some novelty and thus some creation in every cause-effect relation”.
5. CHANGE. “To be is to change”. “to exist is to change and to change is to exist”.
“We propose the thesis that to ‘exist is to change’ and of course, ‘to change is to exist”’.
6. PERMANENCE. “There is no evidence of permanence in our experience”.
We Share Devatma’s antipathy toward “a nominal world of changeless being” but since “To remain the same is to be permanent”, find permanencies omnipresent also. Devatma recognizes that “there is some experience of stability…”, that change itself “is characterized by regularity, immutability and variability”, and that “the same set of conditions produce the same effect”
7.DIFFERENCE. “To be is to be different’.. “Every existing thing…is different from every other existing thing in at least one way”.
We share Devatma’s antipathy for the idea of “unchanging substance” which “is ceaseless change”, if that implies that man cannot remain the same in any respect, then I must disagree. Perhaps I misunderstand him here since he also says that man “has continued existence under certain conditions”, and he is very much concerned about ‘Value as a necessary condition for persistence in existence”.
9.VALUE AND EXISTENCE . “Good and evil both exist”.
“He holds to a casual relation between value and existence. Value is a necessary condition which further existence and disvalue is a necessary condition which reduces further existence”. “As new existents emerge, new goods emerge, but as new existents bring new conflicts, they also bring evils”.
Human nature “is an evolute from the biological life”. “As an evolute, it shares certain common characteristics with the lowest life forces”. But also “It has capacity for language…ideals…abstraction and generalization. It can develop social life. It can plan and execute things”. “Human personality is from body and society”.
” BIOLOGY, by giving us insight into heredity and evolution, reveals other questions about the nature of our selves”. “We are not born human, except as members of a biological species, but we become human after birth through the socializing influences of others upon us.”
Human species, like other animals species, has biological origin. But human species has its own psychology different in some respects from animal psychology, e.g., we have capacity for verbal language, abstraction & generalization which are not possessed by animals. we are born human & the human in us is not matter of social conditioning though it develops through social intercourse.
Is the human soul a doer?” Yes, Of-course.
” Not only do you function as an agent, but because you act in many different kinds”.
12. INTELLIGENCE :-
“Man’s doing shows an operation of intelligence which extends the scope & quality of his doings.”
In its broadest & deepest meaning, ‘intelligent’ is something all-pervasive and is essentially equivalent with ethical living in the broadest and deepest meaning of the term ‘ethics’
That nature was, is and will ever remain real; & it never was , nor can be an illusion. That man is evolved from and ” lives , moves , and has his being” in Nature, and cannot know anything supposed to be above or beyond or outside Nature. That the fact and immutable laws of Nature are the only sure foundation of man’s knowledge. That no knowledge about any objective existence can be called true, unless it is verified by scientific methods,
1 Accurate observation.
2 Accurate reasoning.
3 Accurate experiment or test, where possible.
4. Accurate reconciliation with other known facts & Laws of Nature.
1. That Nature is One indivisible Whole, consisting of all kinds of existences whether ” inorganic ” or “organic” , which are all its inter- related parts.
2. That all existences in Nature are composed of Two things only, namely one or other kind of matter and one or other kind of force- living or non-living.
3. That both Matter and force that compose Nature are inseperably connected and are indestructible in their sum-total, hence Nature is Eternal and Self-existing.
4. That force in Nature by their own motion, change matter into different forms and themselves under change or transformation of various kind according to their own inherent properties or immutable Laws.
Hence, infinite number of forms of non-living and living beings, composed of different kind of matter and force, appear and disappear in Nature.
1. That every living organism, lives and grows only under certain in Nature.
2.That every living organism is bound to decay and die, if necessary conditions of life are not fulfilled in Nature.
3. That every living organism in Nature changes by its own motions and by the influences of other beings surrounding it.
4.That the unceasing change going on in Nature, affects every living organism in two ways i.e. either it makes its organism better or higher, or it worse or lower than before, as regards,
(a) its physical form.
(b) its inner power or functions.
5.That the change for the worse or deterioration in living organism, if not checked in time, gradually leads or ends in the extinction, of that particular entity.
6. That the change for the better in a living organism leads towards completeness and perfection of its organism and its right adjustment in relation to other parts of Nature.
7. That the higher change in living organism depends upon:-
(a) its own capacity to resist the destructive influences of its unfavourable Environment on the one hand and to adapt itself to the constructive influences of its Favorable Environment on the other.
(b) its getting an Environment of such forces as are favorable to its growth.
8. That a lower change in a living organism depends upon either,
(a) its own incapacity to resist the destructive influences of adapt itself to the constructive influences of its Favourable Environment on the other, or
(b) its not being able to get an Environment That is favourable to its growth.