Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.
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ON PROVIDENCE (1).
1. To make the existence and coherent structure of this Universe depend upon automatic activity and upon chance is against all good sense.
Such a notion could be entertained only where there is neither intelligence nor even ordinary perception; and reason enough has been urged against it, though none is really necessary.
But there is still the question as to the process by which the individual things of this sphere have come into being, how they were made.
Some of them seem so undesirable as to cast doubts upon a Universal Providence; and we find, on the one hand, the denial of any controlling power, on the other the belief that the Kosmos is the work of an evil creator.
This matter must be examined through and through from the very first principles. We may, however, omit for the present any consideration of the particular providence, that beforehand decision which accomplishes or holds things in abeyance to some good purpose and gives or withholds in our own regard: when we have established the Universal Providence which we affirm, we can link the secondary with it.
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