Like Nature Exists It


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like nature exists it Absolute

An elephant was brought to a group of blind
men who had never encountered such an animal before.
One felt a leg and reported that an elephant is a great living
pillar. Another felt the trunk and reported that an elephant
is a great snake. Another felt a tusk and reported that an
elephant is like a sharp ploughshare. And so on. And then
they all quarreled together, each claiming that his own
account was the truth and therefore all the others false
(traditional parable). None of the accounts that the blind
men made about the nature of the elephant are absolute
truths, nor are the accounts false. An absolute truth, or one
that is true for all, can not be achieved because of the
constant motion of circumstances of who said it, to whom,
when, where, why, and how it was said. Instead of
absolute truths, the concepts or beliefs that the blind men
claim are viewpoints that each one clarifies the nature of the
elephant. Everybody has learned to see things from his or
her own sense of reason and logic. The many things that
people experience throughout their lifetimes, help to
determine the judgments toward the different issues and
objects that they encounter. Because individuals has his or
her own sense of reason and logic, the perceptions that
people encounter are ultimately true, and not false. Life
does not contain one truth for any idea or object, but truths
can be found in one's perception. It is difficult to determine
that anything is the absolute truth. One should not prove
that any object contains a true meaning, but should develop
conceptions surrounding the object. Attempting to prove
anything then would be difficult, if not impossible. Our
senses from smell to values to reality may differ from
person to person. What may be true to one person may be
different for another. Because everybody has different
perceptions about life, it is difficult to weigh the content of
any concept. Every account, of its own, is formed to be the
truth of the one individual who assumes it. The variety of
concepts may have the virtue of being considered. This is
how people develop a deeper sense of understanding for
all objects. Truth is achieved through the concept and not
the object itself. Because many individuals hold different
perceptions, they have many truths to consider, or not to
consider. For example, it would be impossible to
determine, whether or not, the cutting of trees is either
"good" or "bad." One might have the conception that
cutting trees destroys homes for birds and other animals.
Another person might have the conception that cutting trees
is necessary to satisfy the need to provide homes for
humans. Whatever concept is understood from the object,
may be the truth. Just because there may be other
viewpoints to this situation, does not mean that there has to
be false statements. The tree can be used for many uses
from medicine to paper to boats and none of these views
would be wrong. The tree remains to be a tree, but the
values of the tree can differentiate, depending on who is
using it. The conception of God, or the non-conception of
God, is another issue that many people make the mistake
of trying to prove. A well recognized philosopher, Soren
Kierkegaard states, "For if God does not exist it would of
course be impossible to prove it; and if he [or she] does
exist it would be folly to attempt it." Demonstrating the
existence or non- existence of God only produces reasons
for belief, not the actual proof that God exists. Kierkegaard
also claims, "...between God and his works there exists an
absolute relationship: God is not a name but a concept"(
Kierkegaard 72). The relationship between man and God
is a concept. A person with belief in God, cannot prove its
existence through his or her own relationship with God.
Kierkegaard adds again, "The works of God are such that
only God can perform them" We have no basis of proving
God's works, nor do we know what kind of works God
uses on different individuals. Yet, some religious groups
have made the mistake to try to enforce their own religion
upon different individuals. Some religious groups claim that
their religion is the only "true" religion, which is very untrue.
This may be a reason why religion has been a major factor
in previous wars and movements. The attempt to follow
one truth, instead of freely allowing individuals and societies
to follow their own truth, has led many people into
frustration and hostility. All concepts are so dynamic that
the truth that ... more

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Leibniz and Spinoza as Applied to Baseball

Essay 2

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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