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Term Paper and Essay on "SOUL ON ICE" BY ELDRIDGE CLEAVER.
I would crave leave to ask your lordship, were there ever in the world any atheists or no? If there were not, what need is there of raising a question about the being of a God, when nobody questions it? What need of provisional arguments against a fault, from which mankind are so wholly free, and which, by an universal consent, they may be presumed to be secure from? If you say (as I doubt not but you will) that there have been atheists in the world, then your lordship’s universal consent reduces itself to only a great majority; and then make that majority as great as you will, what I have said in the place quoted by your lordship, leaves it in its full force; and I have not said one word that does in the least invalidate this argument for a God. The argument I was upon there, was to show, that the idea of God was not innate; and to my purpose it was sufficient, if there were but a less number found in the world, who had no idea of God, than your lordship will allow there have been of professed atheists; for whatsoever is innate, must be universal in the strictest sense. One exception is a sufficient proof against it. So that all that I said, and which was quite to another purpose, did not at all tend, nor can be made use of, to invalidate the argument for a Deity, grounded on such an universal consent, as your lordship, and all that build on it, must own; which is only a very disproportioned majority; such an universal consent my argument there neither affirms nor requires to be less than you will be pleased to allow it. Your lordship therefore might, without any prejudice to those declarations of good will and favour you have for the author of the “Essay of Human Understanding,” have spared the mentioning his quoting authors that are in print, for matters of fact to quite another purpose, “as going about to invalidate the argument for a Deity, from the universal consent of mankind;” since he leaves that universal consent as entire and as large as you yourself do, or can own, or suppose it. But here I have no reason to be sorry that your lordship has given me this occasion for the vindication of this passage of my book; if there should be any one besides your lordship, who should so far mistake it, as to think it in the least invalidates the argument for a God, from the universal consent of mankind.
"SOUL ON ICE" BY ELDRIDGE CLEAVER
Your first argument to prove, that it must be the same body in this sense of the same body, is taken from these words of our Saviour, All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. From whence your lordship argues, That these words, all that are in their graves, relate to no other substance than what was united to the soul in life; because a different substance cannot be said to be in the graves, and to come out of them. Which words of your lordship’s, if they prove any thing, prove that the soul too is lodged in the grave, and raised out of it at the last day. For your lordship says, Can a different substance be said to be in the graves, and come out of them? So that, according to this interpretation of these words of our Saviour, No other substance being raised, but what hears his voice; and no other substance hearing his voice, but what being called, comes out of the grave; and no other substance coming out of the grave, but what was in the grave; any one must conclude, that the soul, unless it be in the grave, will make no part of the person that is raised; unless, as your lordship argues against me, You can make it out, that a substance which never was in the grave may come out of it, or that the soul is no substance.