“Yes,” I said....
He said nothing—he seemed to be looking out of the window.
“Then the scientific point of view in your opinion hasn’t done away with religion?” I asked presently.
“The scientific point of view is the religious point of view,” he said earnestly, “because it’s the only self-respecting point of view. I can’t believe that God intended to make a creature who would not ultimately weigh his beliefs with his reason instead of accepting them blindly. That’s immoral, if you like—especially in these days.”
“And are there, then, no ’over-beliefs’?” I said, remembering the expression in something I had read.
“That seems to me a relic of the method of ancient science, which was upside down,—a mere confusion with faith. Faith and belief are two different things; faith is the emotion, the steam, if you like, that drives us on in our search for truth. Theories, at a stretch, might be identified with ‘over-beliefs’ but when it comes to confusing our theories with facts, instead of recognizing them as theories, when it comes to living by ‘over-beliefs’ that have no basis in reason and observed facts,—that is fatal. It’s just the trouble with so much of our electorate to-day—unreasoning acceptance without thought.”
“Then,” I said, “you admit of no other faculty than reason?”
“I confess that I don’t. A great many insights that we seem to get from what we call intuition I think are due to the reason, which is unconsciously at work. If there were another faculty that equalled or transcended reason, it seems to me it would be a very dangerous thing for the world’s progress. We’d come to rely on it rather than on ourselves the trouble with the world is that it has been relying on it. Reason is the mind—it leaps to the stars without realizing always how it gets there. It is through reason we get the self-reliance that redeems us.”
“But you!” I exclaimed. “You rely on something else besides reason?”
“Yes, it is true,” he explained gently, “but that Thing Other-than-Ourselves we feel stirring in us is power, and that power, or the Source of it, seems to have given us our reason for guidance—if it were not so we shouldn’t have a semblance of freedom. For there is neither virtue nor development in finding the path if we are guided. We do rely on that power for movement—and in the moments when it is withdrawn we are helpless. Both the power and the reason are God’s.”
“But the Church,” I was moved by some untraced thought to ask, “you believe there is a future for the Church?”
“A church of all those who disseminate truth, foster open-mindedness, serve humanity and radiate faith,” he replied—but as though he were speaking to himself, not to me....
A few moments later there was a knock at the door, and the woman of the house entered to say that Dr. Hepburn had arrived. I rose and shook Krebs’s hand: sheer inability to express my emotion drove me to commonplaces.