[This series is part of Section Four, Ethics and the Third Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/sword-to-the-heart-ethics-and-the-third-person/1335/1]here.]
[This series constitutes Chapter 31, “An Introduction to the Question of Ethics”; and also begins Section Four.]
In the previous Section of chapters, I inferred characteristics of God’s relationship to Nature, and of Nature to myself in terms of its necessary properties, to account for some of the situations I find myself in. And I took as the chief example of this, the Golden Presumption itself: I can act, and thus can think; and you my reader can do these things also, and thus we can reason together. But now that I have examined the concept of causal relations, I have progressed by necessity toward the concept of personal relations.
There is a personal relation involved in this very book: I am presenting to you an ‘argument’ for you to judge–not merely for you to react to (either arbitrarily or determinately), but for you to actively analyze and discern, and even for you to refute if you judge with your active searching that my abstract link of principles does not in fact ‘link’. I am asking–I am expecting, I am requiring–for you to be a person when you judge my argument, for otherwise I would not bother presenting an ‘argument’ (as such) to you.
My own active estimation of possibilities and impossibilities might still take place–indeed, I must be active in that fashion or else I would be implicitly denying any claim to even possibly being correct; although that denial would itself be an implicit assertion that I can act! But if you could not act, then I could not be arguing to you, per se.
I am willing to believe that you can act. It is a raw charity on my part. It is, perhaps, the most basic of personal relationships: I am willing to allow that you are a person, too.