11.19.2010

A Science Indeed

Philosophy concerns itself with everything, but some things are more important than others. The nature of reality, the existence of God, the nature of humanity, justice, these are all subjects that can be considered philosophically, which is how we should consider them if we wish to both know truth and do good. Everybody who is alive or has ever lived has either explicitly, implicitly, practically or theoretically answered these questions for themselves, but this does nothing to diminish the superiority of the philosophical approach, which is as scientific and even more scientific than anything else we call by that name. This means that the approach is difficult and not able to be understood by everyone. Just because you care greatly about God or you simply take pleasure in discussing His existence or non-existence does not mean that you actually know anything worthy of being passed on. Imagine if people ignorant of quantum physics began writing books and internet weblogs about the ridiculousness of string theory or some other matter. Most people would immediately realize that these opinions were worthless, so why can I not say the same thing when I read pop atheists or comments on the internet which state that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God? If your response is "Well, there isn't any scientific evidence for God!" then you should pay special attention because you are on of the people about whom I am speaking.

One Division of Being

That act is within the idea of being is assumed since to actually be is to actually be. Potency, though, is also contained within the concept of being. The possible as possible is contrary to the impossible. That which cannot come to be or become is impossible to be. Non-being is that which cannot come to be or become. and so is impossible to be, therefore being, since it is contrary to non-being, is also contrary to impossibility to be. Therefore being includes within itself the concept of the possible. To distinguish what is and what is possible is nothing other than to distinguish act from potency.

11.18.2010

The Most Fundamental...

The most fundamental axiom of Aristotle’s metaphysics is the principle of non-contradiction. It can be stated in several ways, but they all convey the same essential idea, namely, that something cannot both be and not be in the same way. A number cannot be both odd and not odd, a man cannot be both alive and not alive, and something cannot both exist and not exist. In a way, this principle gives us an absolute knowledge of all things, for within it is the concept of being simply along with its distinction from non-being, which is being’s negation. Any knowledge of being simply, though, must necessarily be a knowledge of all that is since being is, by definition, what is.

11.08.2010

The Tyranny of Freedom

Socrates says that because democracy is free and the lives within it appear to be varied, it will seem to be the most beautiful of arrangements. The truth, however, is not so appealing. Democracy breeds indifference, a city of people that will neither embrace a man for his beliefs and virtues nor burn him at the stake because of them. According to Socrates, a man must be taught and trained in excellence from his birth. This will never happen within a democracy, though, because the people care not for the pursuits with which men concern themselves. It is a society where nobody is right or wrong, the truth is dead, and demagoguery is king.

The real ugliness of democracy does not yet cease with this because it must now devolve into tyranny, the worst of them all. The hallmark of democracy, for both Socrates and perhaps modern America, is egalitarianism of both people and preferences. The people of a democracy spend both their time and money feeding their unnecessary, or evil, pleasures. They refuse to evaluate their desires and grant an awful equality to their personal preferences. This causes a spiritual instability and unreliability. The democratic man rejects virtue on principle. He will stop at nothing to satiate his unsound passions and he believes not in the truth because the truth is that all of man’s desires should not be equally pursued. Democracy grants equality where it should not exist, such as between the sexes. This rampant freedom and egalitarianism spreads to every social context. Even the family is seen as an obstruction to true freedom.

Finally, the people will abhor the law because it imposes limitations upon them as well. Every institution becomes oppressive, every man of authority is seen as the cruelest of slave masters. The rulers are monsters, the mob says, and the people require an advocate to advance their cause of liberty. In response, the rulers assume the form of oligarchs and do indeed resemble the monsters that the people always thought them to be. The advocate must become stronger in order to deliver his people, he must be given the power to rule. He will give the people what they have always wanted by any means necessary. A tyrant has been born.