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Leibniz and Spinoza as Applied to Baseball
First we will consider the assigned baseball scenario under Leibnizs system of metaphysics. In the baseball scenario, the aggregate of the player, bat, pitch, swing and all the other substances in the universe are one and all contingent. There are other possible things, to be sure; but there are also other possible universes that could have existed but did not. The totality of contingent things, the bat, the player, etc., themselves do not explain themselves. Here Leibniz involves the principle of reason; there can be found no fact that is true or existent, or any true proposition, without there being a sufficient reason for its being so and not otherwise. There must be, Leibniz insists, something outside the totality of contingent things (baseball games) which explains them, something which is itself necessary and therefore requires no explanation other than itself.
This forms Leibnizs proof for the existence of God; a version of Aquinass cosmological arguments. God, then, is the necessary being which constitutes the explanation of contingent being, why the universe is this way rather than any other. Not only is God the explanation of the baseball scenario but he is also the source of the intelligibility of such concepts as bat, swing and pitch. Leibniz goes further to prove the omniscience of God. If God is the explanation of the intelligibility of the universe, then God must have access to that intelligibility, such that God could be said to know what it is that being allowed to exist---that is, God must have the ability to grasp complete concepts. Not only does God constitute the contingent baseball game but he also knows what will take place before it happens. The pitch, swing and hit all take place not because God creates them but because he allows them. There is only one constraint on what God allows to happen, it must not violate Leibnizs other basic principle---non-contradiction. God could not allow it to happen that the batter hit the ball and the pitcher got a strike. God chooses the universe that is most perfect, therefore the hitter hitting the ball out of he park was the most perfect of all possibilities.
Leibniz uses the word Monad to mean that which is one, has no parts and is therefore indivisible. These are the fundamental existing things. A monad contains within itself all the predicates that are true of the subject of which it is the concept, and these predicates are related by sufficient reason into a vast single network of explanation. So the monad must not only exhibit properties, but contain within itself virtually or potentially all the properties it will exhibit in the future, and also contain the trace of all properties it did exhibit in the past. Take for example the ball in the baseball game scenario. The ball monad contains all the properties of the ball, roundness, hardness, whiteness, etc. It also contains a trace of the balls past, pop-ups, inside a glove and ground balls. In addition to this it contains the potential to be hit out, have the leather knocked off or be thrown away. All these properties are folded- up within the Monad and they unfold when they have sufficient reason to do so (at the most perfect moment).
Not only does the Monad contain all of its own properties but it also contains all of it relational properties to all the other Monads in the universe. Each and every Monad is self-sufficient. They do not need to be related to other Monads and neither are they influenced by other Monads. All of what appears to be cause and effect is a mere illusion. The relation of cause and effect is, according to Leibniz, merely a cognitive tool that human beings use to understand Monads and their relational properties. In the baseball scenario it appears that the hitter causes the ball to leave the park but in actuality he did not cause it per se. What really causes the ball to leave the park is the pre-established harmony On Leibnizs view, every Monad is like a clock, behaving spontaneously in the way that it does, independently of other Monads, but nevertheless ... more
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Christianity Vs Islam
On the surface, Islam and Christianity appear to have very little in common, however, as you get deeper into areas such as rituals, beliefs, ethics, founders, and sacred objects, the two show strong mutual similarities, particularly in the fundamental areas. In this essay I will compare and contrast the doctrines that make up the worlds largest and most recognized religions, Christianity and Islam.
The word Islam means "surrender" or "submission," submission to the will of Allah, the one God. Muslims are those who have submitted themselves. The basic creed of Islam is brief: Both Muslims and Christians are monotheists, believing in the same god, referred to as "Allah" by the Muslims and "God" by Catholics. Islam teaches that there is one God, the creator and sustainer of the universe. This God, Allah, is compassionate and honorable. Because he is compassionate, he calls all people to believe in him and worship him. Because he is also lawful, on the Last Day He will judge every person according to his deeds. On the Last Day, all the dead will be resurrected and either rewarded in heaven or punished in hell.
Christianity parallels the singular view of God. In the Christian Bible one of the Ten Commandments states that "I am the Lord thy God.....thou shalt have no other gods before me". Also, identical to Islam, God is considered the creator of the universe, and he is also just. On the last day, or judgment day, the same holds true within Islam and Christian beliefs, the dead will be resurrected and either rewarded with heaven or punished with hell.
In Islam, God sent prophets to communicate his will. These prophets, all mortal men, were elected messengers to whom God spoke through an angel or by inspiration, this is identical to Christianity. Another example of the use of prophets was God sending Moses to free his people out of Egypt. Both Islam and Christianity have practices or duties that are central to the life of there religious community. Catholics are expected to take part in as many of the Seven Sacraments as possible, while Muslims are expected to practice all of the Five Pillars Of Islam.. In this sense Islam and Christianity are considerably intertwined, appearing to come from the same beginning. Both Islam and Christianity are based primarily on the lives and teachings of men sent by God. In Christianity, Jesus was the son of God, sent down to earth to spread the word of the Lord to the people, and ultimately die a brutal death so that this people may reach eternal peace in heaven. Christians praise Jesus' suffering for them as well as for his teachings and for the miracles he performed to assist the needy. Despite the fact that Islam and Christianity share a mutual God, Muslims do not believe that Jesus was his son; instead they identify Jesus as a prophet.
Islamics also believe in forgiveness, another basic Christian principle, Islam teaches that God is always ready to pardon the individual and restore him to the sinless state in which he started life. In Christianity this is called being "born again".
This greatly distinguishes the two religions, as Jesus' relation to God is one of the fundamental beliefs in Christianity. The Islamic religion is almost based solely on the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, who like Jesus, was a shepherd boy.
Christianity is a religion in which events are claimed to have occurred but which can never be proved. Those who practice it live by different morals than are preached by the holy texts. It is an institution in which holy scripture is contradictory, and wherein the supreme being, by the very definition, cannot exist. Christianity is, therefore, a fundamentally flawed religion. According to the Bible, events have occurred which are even more miraculous than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Events such as the stopping of the sun by Joshua (Joshua 10:12-14), the reversal of the sun's course by Isaiah (Isaiah 38:7-8). The stopping and reversal of the sun would have been visible worldwide. The idea that people could have witnessed these events without having been amazed by them is, quite simply, ludicrous. Other cultures having witnessed this would ... more
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