Anti-Duhring by Engels Friedrich

By Engels Friedrich

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Once again, therefore, he puts into the argument, as a premise, the thing that he has to prove. ] contains within itself a contradiction, and in fact an absurd contradiction. It is clear that an infinity which has an end but no beginning is neither more nor less infinite than that which has a beginning but no end. The slightest dialectical insight should have told Herr Dühring that beginning and end necessarily belong together, like the north pole and the south pole, and that if the end is left out, the beginning just becomes the end -- the one end which the series has; and vice versa.

We will overlook the fact that, in so far as this is correct, Descartes already knew and said it in philosophy nearly three hundred years ago; that in natural science the theory of the conservation of energy has held sway for the last twenty years; and that Herr Dühring, in limiting it to mechanical force, does not in any way improve on it. But where was the mechanical force at the time of the unchanging state? Herr Dühring obstinately refuses to give us any answer to this question. Where, Herr Dühring, was the eternally self-equal mechanical force at that time, and what did it put in motion?

This runs: when we think of God, we conceive him as the sum total of all perfections. But the sum total of all perfections includes above all existence, since. a non-existent being is necessarily imperfect. We must therefore include existence among the perfections of God. Hence God must exist. Herr Dühring reasons in exactly the same way: when we think of being, we conceive it as one idea. Whatever is comprised in one idea is a unity. Being would not correspond to the idea of being if it were not a unity.

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