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THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALUES 
OF RELIGION 



EDGAR S. BRIGHTMAN 
Boston University- 



Today civilization itself is in the melting-pot; nothing 
escapes, religion least of all. Yet underneath the current 
discontent with the forms, the beliefs, and the institutions 
of traditional religion, there is substantially universal agree- 
ment that there is something in religion that must survive. 
Human life needs religion, or an adequate moral equivalent 
for it. On another point, too, there is agreement: namely, 
that the historical religions, whether true or false, have 
contributed elements of profound value to the faithful. 
Religions which every modern man would regard as almost 
wholly made up of false beliefs have inspired and strengthened 
life, have made men happy, and have given them something 
to live for. Christian Science and Roman Catholicism can- 
not be true; but both heal the sick. A religion does not need 
to be true in order to be valuable; it needs only to be believed. 

But at this point there arises a question. Can religion 
survive unless it is believed to be true? This question 
answers itself in the negative. Faith and unfaith can ne'er 
be equal powers. Now the faith of religion has in the past 
usually expressed itself as a belief in a relation of man's life 
to superhuman reality, generally conceived of as personal. 
That is to say, the human values of religion (as it has existed) 
depend on faith in a more-than-human value, a God or gods 
above and beyond me and us. Now as soon as one begins 
to talk about the reality of God, or mentions more-than-human 
objects of religious faith, one has launched on the sea of meta- 
physical theology. Religion is a blessing to life, it appears; 

362 



THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALUES OF RELIGION 363 

but theology and metaphysics are abstract, difficult, never 
ending, and sometimes in their outcome destructive of religious 
belief: they seem to be a curse. Is it possible to retain the 
blessing and escape the curse? If we hold that religion 
is merely human, we have been bravely freed of the puzzles 
of metaphysics and the dogmas of theology. But have we 
thrown the child out with the bath ? Would it be better for 
religion to keep her faith in the objective and real values which 
she has prized, and accept her ancient task of negotiating peace 
with the intriguing diplomats of science and philosophy ? 

Stating the problem in the terms of current thought, 
it would read: Is the objective reference of religious faith 
important and fundamental to religion, or is it a makeshift 
which biological and social forces have devised in order to 
protect the sensitive life of the merely human values ? The 
aim of the present discussion is to call attention to the impor- 
tance of this problem and to discuss certain of its aspects. 

The issue raised by this problem is not that between the 
friends and the foes of religion, but represents a radical divi- 
sion among its friends. On the one hand a positivistic, 1 and 
on the other a metaphysical, theory of religious values; accom- 
panying this division, radically different conceptions of religious 
life. The positivistic attitude regards God and all objects of re- 
ligious faith as wholly immanent in human life here and now, and 
as having no other existence than as guiding principles of human 
life; the metaphysical attitude regards the religious objects 
and values as pointing to a reality that has cosmic, transcendent, 
and eternal existence. For positivism, the God idea is only 
a symbol for certain facts of human experience; for religious 
metaphysics, God is the real power controlling the universe 
and conserving its values. The opposition between these 
two points of view is the central problem of philosophy of 
religion at the present time. 

1 The term positivism is used in this paper to describe a general tendency in 
current thought. It refers to no one "school." 



364 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

The positivistic tradition, founded by Comte, has 
exerted far-reaching influence. In the form given to it by 
Durkheim, it has acquired great prestige and influence not 
only in France, but also in England and America. By this 
school, religion is regarded as a phenomenon of group life. 
God is a name for tribal or racial or world-wide human 
consciousness; immortality means that the group and its 
values survive when the individual perishes. Worship, 
ritual, prayer, mysticism, all that religion means, is but the 
symbol of the authority of the group over the individual, 
or of the devotion of the individual to the group. Similar 
ideas come to expression in Professor Roy Wood Sellars' book, 
The Next Step in Religion, which advocates restricting religion 
to "loyalty to the values of life," and the elimination of all 
supernaturalism, such as is involved in belief in God and perso- 
nal immortality. Professor G. Stanley Hall in his recent 
Morale, the Supreme Standard of Life and Conduct, takes a like 
position. Professor John Dewey's lectures on Reconstruction 
in Philosophy bring out most clearly the essentially positi- 
vistic character of his instrumentalism, which treats religion 
as a means of social control, not a relation to superhuman 
values. Many voices today join in the positivistic chorus, 
"Glory to man in the highest," and religion is regarded as 
a purely human undertaking, humanly initiated and humanly 
consummated. Thus religion avoids scholastic theology; 
joins hands with empirical science; and also (not the least of 
blessings) becomes quite democratic. For God the King is 
overthrown; and positivism does not dally long with the fancy 
of God as president. Presidents and candidates are so numerous 
and so incalculable in their behavior that a presidential deity 
might be even more arbitrary and embarrassing than a regal 
one. The truly democratic residuum is the apotheosis of 
society, the deification of the general will. 

Positivism, however, is not the only vocal tendency of the 
present. The belief that religion is essentially metaphysical, 



THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALUES OF RELIGION 365 

and its values more than human, is held by many of its philo- 
sophical interpreters. Windelband found the very essence of 
religion in its reference to a transcendent reality; so that he 
regards Comte's "religion of humanity" as a mere caricature 
of religion. W. E. Hocking holds that ' ' religion would vanish 
if the whole tale of its value were shifted to the sphere of human 
affairs." G. P. Adams pleads for a Platonism which makes 
the values of our human world depend on our apprehension of 
superhuman values. Pratt in his Religious Consciousness 
points out that it is bad psychology to confine ourselves to the 
merely pragmatic factors in the God idea, because "it neglects 
altogether certain real elements in the religious consciousness 
whether found in philosopher, priest, or humble worshipper 
— men who through all the ages have truly meant by 'God' 
something more than the idea of God, something genuinely 
'transcendent.'" Fitch's recent Lyman Beecher Lectures at 
Yale on "Preaching and Paganism" argue, as against natural- 
ism and humanism, for supernatural and superhuman sources 
of religious life. The objectivity of religious values is also in 
the forefront of the important contributions made by Pringle- 
Pattison and Sorley. 

It is not our purpose to discuss the views held by these 
opposing groups, but rather to examine religion itself with 
reference to some of the issues involved in the problem under 
consideration. Now, on the face of it, religious life is objective. 
It holds, as James has said, to the reality of the unseen; "it is 
as if there were in the human consciousness a sense of reality, 
a feeling of objective presence, a perception of what we may 
call something there more deep and more general than any of 
the special and particular senses." The positivist, however, 
would argue that this objectivity is but a symbol for certain 
social needs and interests. The critic of positivism would 
have to show, then, that religion has a meaning and performs 
a function that cannot be exhaustively described in merely 
human terms, whether individual or social. Accordingly, we 



366 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

shall try to show that objective reference in religion is only one 
manifestation of a deep-lying and universal need for objectiv- 
ity; we shall then consider the relation of the more-than- 
human values to the human desire for certainty; we shall then 
seek to show how a few specific religious experiences find 
satisfaction in a more-than-human; and finally we shall 
consider objections that a positivist might urge against the 
metaphysical interpretation of religion. 

The need for objectivity is one of the most universal needs 
of man's rational nature. Solipsism cannot be refuted with- 
out surreptitiously assuming that there are other persons and 
an objective order. All proof, we find, presupposes and im- 
plies something real other than ourselves. Solipsism is refuted, 
not by argument, but by life's demand for rationality, otherness, 
reality, objectivity. This need for objectivity is at the basis 
of science, philosophy, and religion. "Some passion for 
objectivity," says W. E. Hocking, "quite prior to other pas- 
sions, there is at the bottom of all idea; a passion not wholly 
of an unreligious nature, not wholly unakin to the love of 
God." Man always finds himself by finding something else. 
The most normal life is the life that is forgetting itself in noble 
causes. Now it appears that the center of gravity of the 
positivistic account of religion is subjective, even though social; 
and a social solipsism leaves humanity in the same abhorrent 
and satisfied state as individualistic solipsism leaves the human 
unit. The center of gravity of the metaphysical account lies 
beyond the self; one who conceives religion thus will reach 
out through social relationships toward God. 

Another profound need of our life is that for certainty. 
To mention this need appears at first like a mockery. Of 
what element in human life, save perhaps the empty forms of 
logical thinking, can we say, it is beyond all need of revision, 
incapable of being altered by time and circumstance ? There 
are indeed many beliefs of which we are, as we say, morally 
certain, to which we have committed our fives. But can we 



THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALUES OF RELIGION 367 

attribute an absolute logical certainty to the beliefs we live 
by ? To assert that religion meets the need for certainty does 
not mean that it is logically proved. It means rather that 
religion intends to be a committing of the life to the absolutely 
real, to a cause that cannot fail, to the eternal God. The 
legitimate certainty which religion affords to the believer is 
the consciousness that though my creed may not perfectly 
apprehend infinity, yet that which my faith is seeking, and in 
relation to which my religious life is lived, is the actual Rock 
of Ages. It is the real God, and not flawless formularies or 
even social programs that men need as the firm foundation of 
their assurance in life. The formularies and programs are an 
essential part of the human task; but faith in them is no 
substitute religiously for faith in God. 

So much for the more general considerations. We turn 
now to inquire how specific aspects of religious experience 
actually seek to attain these more-than-human values. Take, 
for example, the case of communion with the divine, the sense 
of intimate personal relationship between the soul and God. 
In this experience, the essential meaning is that the whole 
human enterprise, be it regarded as individual or as social, 
is subordinate to, and derives its meaning from, the Eternal 
Source of Existence and Value. It is not merely that man 
needs a Great Socius; his companion must also be good and 
almighty if man's needs are to be met. The positivistic 
account is not an interpretation but a denial of the signifi- 
cance of communion with God. 

In our day religious experience very commonly takes the 
form of social service. Men find God by serving their neigh- 
bors. Positivists find God nowhere else than in human relations ; 
humanity or human aspiration is God. And yet it is precisely 
in social experiences that the significance of the more-than- 
human values is most clear. Religion in its genuine historical 
forms has always regarded the social problem as in part a 
metaphysical one. The dependence of all men on God makes 



368 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

human relations not less but more intimate. The faith that 
the ideals of the moral and religious order are more real 
and objective than the rocks and the lightnings imparts a 
sanction to morality that a purely empirical ethics can never 
claim. In discussing the need of such religious sanctions it 
is often forgotten that the mores of civilization have developed 
under the influence of such sanctions; and that the attempts to 
build up a morality without them overlooks "man's need of 
metaphysics. ' ' Religion has manifestly abused her metaphysi- 
cal prerogative, and has driven many to choose a non- 
religious wholesome regard for the affairs of this world rather 
than ascetic otherworldliness. But religion at her best has 
always prayed, "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth." 
The religious attitude toward service thus contains every 
factor that enters into the humanitarian, and adds to it the 
vision of a supernatural goal. The cup of cold water "in my 
name" is different from a mere cup of cold water; if the mean- 
ing of "in my name" be appreciated, the act of generosity 
is more likely to happen again, gives a more permanent benefit 
to the recipient, and unites the two persons concerned more 
closely by an invisible and holy tie. In a human relationship 
the spiritual life that is expressed is the most significant fact 
in it. True it is that economic and social conditions are such 
for the majority of mankind that this spiritually significant 
part of life is utterly unable to come to expression. All the 
more reason that the higher spiritual values should be cherished 
as a sacred trust by those that can appreciate them against 
the day when all can. Otherwise, with all improvement of 
environmental conditions, there is no small danger that the 
emancipated worker in the industrial democracy of the future 
may be really no better off than the wage-slave of the present 
order. Where there is no vision the people perish as certainly 
as when they must make bricks without straw. 

Religion also seeks to assert its contact with the more- 
than-human through its faith in human immortality. Now 



THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALUES OF RELIGION 369 

this belief is a peculiarly rich field for the positivist. To him 
it means that the social influence of the individual is endless 
(immortality of influence), or that the group or the group mind 
is thought of as never dying (immortality of the social mind), 
or that social values are permanent. Religion does, in some 
sense, affirm all this. Immortality is religion's reply to the 
apparent destruction of all value by death; for religion can- 
not admit that what is truly worthful can perish. But the 
positivistic account of immortality can refer only to the pres- 
ervation of values by succeeding generations of men on this 
earth. As astronomical time goes, there appears little reason 
for regarding such permanence as more than a few cosmic 
seconds in the day's work. The positivist may reply that the 
average man's watch is in the bondage of relativity, and that 
cosmic time does not enter into his calculations. But is not 
the answer of Koheleth truer to the depths of man's nature, 
that "he hath set eternity in his heart"? If so, the true 
religious function of the idea of immortality is metaphysical. 
Religion needs an objective conservation of objective values; 
values (it is generally agreed) are dependent on personality; 
and personality will certainly not be conserved forever in 
the world of space and time that positivism knows. Hence 
only actual personal immortality will satisfy unsophisticated 
religion. If it be argued that values might perchance be 
somehow conserved, we know not how, even after all human 
life is forever dumb, religion would indeed in her heart of hearts 
murmur, "Thy will be done." But to accept such a position 
makes more demands on faith than does the belief that persons, 
our highest values, will survive — by surviving! 

Everywhere, then, religion asserts itself to be more than 
a useful set of beliefs that will help the individual and society 
to function more efficiently in the world of space and time. 
All creeds and faiths that have taken root in history point to 
some revelation of truth, of eternal values, of a more-than- 
human by which the human is saved and glorified. If the 



370 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

benefits of religion are to accrue to a human soul, that soul 
must have its face set toward the heavenly Jerusalem. 

The assertion of the metaphysical position does not mean 
to imply that positivism is wholly wrong. There remains 
the truth that even false religious beliefs have been of great 
value to believers; and that there is doubtless more error than 
truth in every human credo. It is also true that all religious 
beliefs have a social function, and that many positivists are 
veritable prophets of the higher social values. Furthermore 
an examination of almost any positivistic argument will show 
that it is concerned with some genuine item of religious life. 

A familiar attack on the objectivity of value will illustrate 
this statement. Values must be subjective (so positivists 
contend) because to be of value means to be desired; the value 
of anything consists in its relation to our consciousness. 
Nothing in the universe is of value except as it is an object of 
interest to human beings. If this means all that positivism 
interprets it to mean, it is fatal to the metaphysical preten- 
sions of religious values. But at the same time positivism is 
here emphasizing one of the dearest truths of religion — namely, 
that all value is personal, and apart from personality there is 
no value. Yet there remains the opposition; positivism says: 
no value apart from human consciousness; religion says: no 
value, in my domain, that is not more than human. Now, 
theistic personalism may be regarded as a synthetic view. 
All values, it would say to positivism, are indeed satisfactions 
of consciousness, but they are more than satisfactions, they 
are laws, standards, ideals, norms which prescribe to conscious- 
ness how .it ought to experience, what ought to satisfy it; 
when I seek truth, I do not merely seek satisfaction, I seek 
logical coherence; when I seek goodness or beauty I am trying to 
obey their laws. To religion theism would say, Yes, it is true 
that your values point to and presuppose an order of reality 
other than mere subjective states of satisfaction. But what is 
that other ? Theism answers, It, too, is a person : only for per- 



THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALVES OF RELIGION 371 

sons can obligations, ideals, values be real: in the conscious life 
of God is the objective reality of those values which truly ought 
to satisfy human life. Those values are subjective, because they 
would not be experienced as values unless they did satisfy 
human life; but they are also objective because they are 
experienced in relation to a reality that has supreme value in 
itself, namely, a personal God. Thus the positivistic argument 
for the subjectivity of value may be seen to play into the 
hands of a metaphysical personalism that does fuller justice 
to the facts of religious life. 

The positivist might temporarily admit for the sake of 
argument that there may perhaps be a divine order of value, 
divine purposes for life to attain, divine standards for men to 
obey. But he might go on to insist that it profits little to 
grant the existence of such an order if we are incapable of 
knowing its nature and laws. Dogmas collide, revelations 
contradict, and philosophy is a "strife of systems." Religion 
stands looking into heaven; but it sees such an amazing array 
of conflicting data in the skies that the positivist almost 
appears to be justified when he asserts that the metaphysical 
reference of religion is a mere gesture, an empty form; and 
that all metaphysical content is patently self-refuting. But 
is the positivist 's case here conclusive against the objectivity 
of religious values ? If so, it is equally conclusive against all 
objective truth whatever; and we fall back into solipsism. 
In what realm is there not difference of opinion, more or less 
contradictory apprehension of truth, development and change 
in our grasp of it? In what realm is it not true that our 
rational ideals rescue us from chaos ? Only by an ideal of a 
cosmos, a world of law and order, are we able to distinguish 
our fancies and imaginations from the perceptions of real 
objects. Yet this ideal of a perfectly orderly world in which 
all relations and causes are perfectly clear and rational has 
not yet been realized by science; it remains precisely an ideal 
by which we test our fragmentary knowledge, recognize 



372 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

unsolved problems, and gradually build up an increasingly clear 
grasp on the real world of nature. So (as Sorley has pointed out) 
may it also be with our knowledge of moral values, and of the 
values revealed in religious experience. The ideal of a co- 
herent system of objective religious values is the principle by 
which the mind tests, seeks to interpret and organize its reli- 
gious experiences. It may be that it is better, both religiously 
and logically, for the human race to believe metaphysical 
errors regarding God than for it to commit the more serious 
error of denying the metaphysical interest which is essential to 
real religion and logic. At any rate, we may reply to the 
positivist that, so far as imperfection, contradiction, and change 
are concerned, knowledge of religious values is in the same 
sort of logical situation as our knowledge of nature. No 
human knowledge is perfect; but our imperfect knowledge 
presupposes and is judged by an ideal perfection. 

Still another objection may be urged by positivists. It 
may be argued that the belief in the objectivity of value is 
plainly inconsistent with the fact that some values, at least, 
are products of the creative imagination. Mr. C. C. J. Webb 
has recently pointed out that the artist is apt to regard an 
objective order of values in a Divine Personality "as suggest- 
ive of a tyrannical Power, cruelly or fiendishly denying its 
rights to that impulse of self-expression which is his very life 
and holier to him than any repressive law can possibly be" 
(Divine Personality and Human Life, p. 91). Thus, if art is 
a value, then value experience is no mere reading off of 
given objective order, but the creation of a realm of beauty 
in human life. Indeed, the whole life of value may be regarded 
as a work of art; and it is hard to conceive of any values from 
which this element of creativity would be entirely absent. 
Where this creative task of intelligence is not fully recognized, 
the objectivity of values is in danger of being practically the 
same as a belief that the given standards and beliefs of one's 
group are to be identified with the eternal will of God and the 



THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALUES OF RELIGION 373 

structure of the universe; Dewey's call for reconstruction 
makes us acutely aware of this peril. Hypostatization of 
the status quo inevitably results in spiritual stagnation. 
If one already has the eternal values, what more is there to 
learn? It is psychologically explicable if this sort of thing 
calls forth the socialistic battle-cry, Drive the gods from 
heaven and capitalism from the earth! 

Thus the metaphysical theory appears to have the twofold 
disadvantage of excluding creativity and of dooming life to 
stagnation. The illiberal dogmatism that sometimes accom- 
panies religious life is an illustration of the concrete outcome. 
Yet when this is said, it is by no means admitted that the 
main charge is true. If the theistic account of values be 
correct, the objectivity of a value does not reside in some static 
impersonal entity which our evaluations are merely trying to 
know, but rather in a set of obligations which the Eternal 
Person imposes on himself, and which ought to be the law and 
the satisfaction of every finite person. If the more-than- 
human values are of such a sort, may it not be that the prin- 
ciple of free creativity belongs to the eternally valid realm, as 
one of the really worthful aspects of the world ? Only a static 
or impersonal conception would exclude such creativity from 
being part of the order of what is truly worthful. Indeed, 
if the universe is morally constructed (as religion supposes), 
freedom in some sense must be a supremely precious fact, 
but precious because it points to an objective law of the struc- 
ture of the universe — the law that persons ought to create. 
If the real laws of being are imperatives challenging the infinite 
person to a perpetual exploration of the infinite, based on 
imperishable faith in its goodness, it is clear that stagnation 
or petrifaction of any cross-section of the temporal order 
can occur only when the real nature of things is misunder- 
stood. Thus may a metaphysical account of religious life do 
justice to the facts of experience and reply to positivistic 
attacks. 



374 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

The most ancient and most pressing objection to objective 
religious faith remains to be considered — namely, the fact of 
evil in life. It is all well enough to dream of a real world of 
eternal good as an explanation of our experiences of value; 
but our experiences of value are not the whole of life. Among 
great masses of the human race, instead of eternal values 
there is struggle for bare existence; trivial desires and petty 
interests; torturing agonies of flesh and spirit; sins of the evil 
will. If anything is objective, the instruction of experience 
would drive us to say that evil is. Demons, spirits of ill omen, 
satans, and devils — these are nearly as universal objects of 
religious belief as is God himself. Whether we confront life 
as a whole, or its distinctly religious part, we seem to find rea- 
sons for regarding the bad as just as universal, real, and 
objective as the good. 

Such dualism is intolerable to religion. But is it not based 
on a fatal oversight? Does it not neglect that fact that, 
after all, good is the basic and normative, while evil is a devia- 
tion from the good? The nature of good or value may be 
defined without any reference to evil; witness all definitions 
of the summum bonum. On the other hand, it is impossible to 
define what you mean by evil without reference to the good. 
Evil is in-consistency, dis-harmony with the good. Evil 
implies good as a prior concept; good does not presuppose 
evil. Thus there is not the same reason for asserting the 
objectivity of evil as of good. 

The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound; 

What was good shall be good, with for evil so much good more; 
On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round. 

This consideration does not go far toward solving the 
problem of evil. Indeed, whatever has been said on that 
subject has always left irreducible mysteries. Is this a fatal 
barrier against religious faith in the objectivity of values? 
It does not seem to religion itself like such a barrier. Nor 



THE MORE-TEAN-HUMAN VALUES OF RELIGION 375 

does logic require that it be so regarded. What theory about 
ultimate questions completely solves every problem? The 
presence of a surd does not invalidate the objectivity of a 
system. Evil is a problem not satisfactorily solved: so is the 
relation between mind and body, so is freedom, so is error, so 
is the value of 71- . But is it not more reasonable to regard the 
existence of evil as an incompletely solved problem in a uni- 
verse in which the deepest reality is good and wholly worthful 
than either to adopt a dualism, or to abandon, with the positi- 
vists, the objectivity of good and thus evade the whole problem 
of evil as a cosmic problem? It behooves us to remember 
that the last word of religion is faith and hope in God; and 
that it points to a reality that is infinite and therefore must 
transcend our powers of interpretation. 

Religion, we have found, meets a wide range of the deepest 
needs of life by its faith that the values which it experiences 
have an origin and meaning which are more-than-human. 
The positivistic account denies or abridges some of the most 
characteristic features of religion. Religion, then, is meta- 
physical; it is a relation to the supernatural. It is super- 
naturalism, not as belief in arbitrariness, lawlessness and 
capricious interventions, but in the more sober sense which 
holds, negatively, that the realm of nature visible to the senses 
is not all that is real or all that needs to be explained, and, 
positively, that the realm of values, especially of those values 
revealed in religious experience, is objectively and eternally real. 
Religious thought finds most adequate expression when this 
realm is interpreted as the life of one Supreme Person. 

The foregoing discussion has been an artificial simplifica- 
tion of the problem, with the purpose of centering attention 
on some implications of religious experience. It is, however, 
not intended to convey the impression that the whole problem 
of religious values is solved by pronouncing the shibboleth 
"objective and metaphysical." On the contrary, it is clear 



376 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

that objectivity is the problem, not its solution. Positivists 
and metaphysicians have alike been concerned to interpret 
objectivity. Positivists have dwelt on the truth that the only 
world we have is the experienced world; that all objectivity 
must be found in the interpretation of that world; that the 
unexperienceable belongs in the outer darkness with all Binge 
an sich. The transcendent is unthinkable; and if the objectiv- 
ity of religious values means this, away with it! Thus current 
pragmatism and new realism, with all their differences, 
join in a common empiricism. The metaphysicians, while 
willing to admit that our only business as thinkers is to make 
the world of experience intelligible, have frequently replied that 
there is an ineradicable dualism in the cognitive relation. The 
object to which perception or thought refers is never identical 
with my act of perceiving or thinking. Even in a world 
wholly made up of experience stuff there would be a transcend- 
ent reference in every cognitive act. When now I refer to 
my own past or future, I transcend my present psychical state 
by what Professor Lovejoy calls intertemporal cognition. 
When 1 assert that another person is suffering the pangs of 
despised love, I mean that there is a fact in the universe that 
transcends my psychical state, and that can never be as it is 
in itself (namely, for the forlorn one) a fact in my experience. 
The metaphysician (if he be an ontological personalist, 
and a theist) might therefore say to the positivist: I grant 
that everything to which my thought refers is of the nature 
of experience (provided the term be allowed to mean all that 
personal consciousness includes), but at the same time I assert 
that my object is other than my experience. I assert that 
knowledge implies transcendence, and also that life forces 
on us the assumption that my thought can successfully 
describe that to which it refers. But it does not merely refer 
to its own past or future or to other persons; it also refers to 
the world of nature and to God. If other persons have an 
existence (however psychical) that is not identical with my 



THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN VALUES OF RELIGION 377 

"experience of" them, and if nature is not my or our experience 
of it, may not the Supreme Object of religious valuation 
likewise have an existence that is other than "our" experi- 
ences, however noble, social, and morally useful our experiences 
may be ? 

If philosophy of religion is to advance, there must be a 
clearer definition of such terms as experience, verifiability 
(and what crimes have been committed in thy name!), objec- 
tive reference, objectivity, and the like. The present writer 
desires to call attention to the recent co-operative volume of 
Essays on Critical Realism, edited by Professor Durant Drake. 
In this volume current epistemological doctrines, pragmatic 
and neo-realistic alike, are challenged, and the problems stated 
in a fashion that may turn out to be of significance for philoso- 
phy of religion, and in particular for the problem presented in 
the present paper.