The strength of Janet's position is his perception that the argument from final causes is in favour of an omnipresent rational will making matter a means to ends, and not in favour of an immanent mind of Nature working out her own ends.
The Saadia are famous for charming and eating live serpents, &c., and the Ilwania for eating fire, glass, &c. The Egyptians firmly believe in the efficacy of charms, a belief associated with that in an omnipresent and over-ruling providence.
The propositions maintained in the argument are - "(1) That something has existed from eternity; (2) that there has existed from eternity some one immutable and independent being; (3) that that immutable and independent being, which has existed from eternity, without any external cause of its existence, must be self-existent, that is, necessarily existing; (4) what the substance or essence of that being is, which is self-existent or necessarily existing, we have no idea, neither is it at all possible for us to comprehend it; (5) that though the substance or essence of the self-existent being is itself absolutely incomprehensible to us, yet many of the essential attributes of his nature are strictly demonstrable as well as his existence, and, in the first place, that he must be of necessity eternal; (6) that the self-existent being must of necessity be infinite and omnipresent; (7) must be but one; (8) must be an intelligent being; (9) must be not a necessary agent, but a being endued with liberty and choice; (to) must of necessity have infinite power; (I I) must be infinitely wise, and (12) must of necessity be a being of infinite goodness, justice, and truth, and all other moral perfections, such as become the supreme governor and judge of the world."
For the masses can make little of abstractions and an omnipotent, omnipresent deity; they need concrete divine powers, standing nearer to themselves and their lot.
In the Lower Sonoran belt, soapweed, acacias (Palo Verde or Parkinsonia torreyana), agaves, yuccas and dasylirions, the creosote bush and mesquite tree, candle wood, and about seventy-five species of cactuses - among them omnipresent opuntiae and great columnar " Chayas " - make up a striking vegetation, which in its colours of dull grey and olive harmonizes well with the rigidity and forbidding barrenness of the plains.