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A Mixed Philosophy
a word for the journey of truth. Whoever indulges into these possible theories
about the mysteries of life, will find a world of complexity, a world of
curiosity, and a world aching for truth. Even one-self might become entranced
by philosophy’s mysterious writings to where his or her heart will even start
aching for the truth of all truths. That was the case with me when I took my
philosophy class and even now, my own ideas on philosophy have begun to form.
Of many of the famous philosophy writers were the early Ancient Greeks: Socrates,
Plato, and Aristotle. Amongst many subjects, these three most of the time had
similar ideas with a few tweaks here and there for their own theories. One of
these many subjects was the idea of morality/ethics. Based upon my readings
found in my class book,
Introduction to Philosophy by John Perry (and various other authors), and of course our
in-class notes, I found a common theme among these Ancient Greek philosophers
on morality. They all seemed to agree that morality must be governed by reason,
that those who do not limit their ‘drives’ (such as hunger, thirst, sexual urge,
greed, and all other types of human desire) are very low in intellectual
reasoning and are more susceptible to committing acts based on human desires.
I mostly agree with this idea of morality. Though what is good and what is bad is
different in perception around the world, I believe that everyone has the
capacity to control their human desires by reason. For what helps us out of
temptation? Some would say God, which is a whole different issue, but I also
agree that we can resist our tempting desires within our hearts by reason.
The logic of our minds, if exercised daily, can be a strong defense against our burning desires
within. For is it God who is being tested? No. We are. We have the choice to
limit our desires or give into them, which of course is what comes with our
free will (choice). Now, where does this choice take place? Well, of course the
mind. Though Satan has his logical tools as well, I believe the only way to
truly fight within our minds is to know of logic, to know reason. For if Satan
throws logically sound arguments in our faces, we also must be prepared to
fight back with logically sound arguments as well. For choice is governed by
reason. Even how silly a reason can be, we still grab onto a certain reason (or
reasons) to commit certain acts, whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
For example, even desires can be put down to simple logic. I am hungry. If I am
hungry, I would want to eat. Since I am hungry, I will eat. See the reason even
how simple it is? You might have eaten the food because the reason in your mind
you grab onto is that ‘I am hungry’. But let us look at the loopholes of this
reason. How do you know if you are hungry? Could hunger be an illusion? And
what about the levels of hunger? Though you say you are hungry, truly you might
not be, truly your stomach might just be grumbling because of burning
carbohydrates and fat. So how can you know if you are hungry when really you
cannot see your stomach or hear its voice? This ‘hunger’ you feel might even be
a sensory illusion, so how do you know that your reason is truly justifiable
and not an illusion itself?
See, how acting on desires can be derived from a single reason, even how simplistic
it can be? Now, of course I am not saying that every time we are hungry we should
go through a whole, logical scenario like this. I am just showing how simple
acts come from the reasoning of one’s
mind. And if reason is what truly governs and limits our desires, should we not
continue to learn about reason and exercise its logical processes? For whether
a Christian or not, if you build your reasoning, you might find that your life
will be lived more morally virtuous by your standards than ever before.
Now to the concept of God’s existence. I do not know if my ideas will be proof of
Him or not, but I will ask some possibilities that may help others to form a
better or actual theory for the world to hear in the future. Let us start with
Plato’s Theory of Forms.
One part of Plato’s theory is belief of ‘eternal, unchanging Forms’ that reflect their
existence through the imperfect objects we see everyday, such as a ball who has
the eternal form of circularity. Now, to this part of Plato’s theory, I ask
this possibility. What if these eternal Forms are the blueprints or one
blueprint of God’s creation? What if God created His objects of the universe by
these Forms of circularity, triangularity, squares, rectangles, etc? Again, I
am not saying this question as an argument, but as a brainstorming possibility
of maybe a future theory.
For all philosophies started with either a curiosity or ‘what if’. Aren’t we all
allowed to follow the Socratic method of questioning everything, even the
theories of no God or there is a God? So, whether one rejects or is intrigued
by my possible idea, I am justifiable within my intellectual rights to question
as much as possible like all humans who have the capacity to reason. For only
the questions or ideas of alternatives/loopholes can bring the philosophies, or
better revisions of one.
Now, to Aristotle, the pupil of Plato. Aristotle had quite a different view of metaphysics
(reality). He believed each object we see through our senses are made of two
substances: matter and form. He believed that an object’s physical substance
was made of matter and the essence of the object (ex: shape) comes from form.
He also believed that matter and form were always able to go together with the
exception of God. He believed ‘God’ to be the pure essence/actuality, the
‘unchanged changer’/the ‘unmoved mover’.
Along with many other Christian philosophers such as Augustine, I believe in the
possibility of this ‘pure essence’ to be God. That somewhere out there in
either a different cosmos or in invisibility, I believe there to be the Creator
who forms the objects we see and limits the changes in nature. In science
today, Aristotle’s theory on matter correlates with the fact of substances
being made of atoms. But to this, I give this possibility. What if the atoms
are also a part of the blueprint of God’s creation? That atoms were the clay to
make the pottery of the earth? For who placed the atom from the beginning of
the Big Bang theory? Who started the universe into motion? That is all I ask to
this and again as only as a curious question than an actual, philosophical theory.
Now, of course, I must now come to the theory of Existentialism and this is my
argument against it as I find an interesting loophole/contradiction.
Existentialists believe that humanity precedes reality, that human existence
‘just came to be’. They give the notion of a possible idea of maybe
‘non-Creation’. Now to this, I argue on a more personal, advisory basis.
Most Existentialists believe in science, which created the thinking of cause and
effect. In order to believe in this Existentialist theory of metaphysics, one
must reject the ideas of science as well as religion.
For even science would ask: “who or what threw us into existence?” For no
matter how many times one tries to get rid of the thinking of cause and effect,
cause and effect still stands in scientific logic and therefore, the problem of
first causation still resides. If one wants to believe in the notion of
‘non-Creation’ or Existentialism, one must reject the ideas of science. If one
remains a believer in science as well as Existentialism, one only remains as a
For whom are they to say no cause and effect thinking when they, themselves, believe in science
as well, which so greatly advocates cycles/cause and effect? Can you not see
the contradiction? If the Existentialists want to prove their theory as the
best possible answer in metaphysic philosophy, they must stand for
Existentialism alone without science and prove the logic of science to be
wrong. For if the Existentialists stand for both, they only contradict themselves
in their reasoning, which can be proven as a logical fallacy.
Now, we move onto Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas believed in Five Ways
to prove the existence of God. One of these ways was the idea of first
causation, that there must be a first cause to everything, even the creation of
the universe. He believed God to be that permanent and eternal first cause. I
agree with this.
For example, let us start with the wind cycle. Science would say that one wind pushes another.
But where did this first wind come from? What put that first wind in motion to
start the cycle? It could not possibly be the last wind for that wind did not
exist until the first wind began to set in motion at the beginning of time. So
who started this first wind? I say God, for even the Word speaks of where these
winds come from in
Psalm 135, verse 7: “He makes
clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lighting with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”
(emphasis added, New International Version).
For who planted
the first atom at the beginning of the universe? Who started the universe in
motion? Of course, science would ask to Creationists: Based on scientific
logic, would it make sense for things to be created out of nothingness? But I
ask the same question to the scientists as well: Based on scientific logic,
would an atom coming out from nowhere, or even nothingness, make sense as well?
Can you not see? Neither theory can be proven as a 100% fact; there is still a
possibility, a maybe .01%, a small chance of the theory being wrong. For both
science and religion must involve some faith. No matter atheist or not, one
must have faith and trust in what they believe in, whether it be Evolution or
Creation, no God or there is a God.
And now, I must
come to the argument of the problem of evil. Now, I do not know if my view is
more philosophical, theological, or both. But this is what I say to this
problem, bear with me.
From the beginning
of time, when God created the Earth and the first two humans, everything was at
peace. The animals were in harmony with the humans, the humans were in harmony
with God, and the Earth was in harmony with the heavens. When Adam and Eve
fell, when sin’s corruption entered both the veins of life and of the Earth,
this harmony was broken.
Some say: why does
God create natural disasters? But can’t you see that it is not God who creates
the disasters, but the darkness, the Devil, our sin? God does not create chaos, He limits the chaos; He only
gives chaos and temptation as much as we can bear: “No temptation has seized
you except what is common to man. And God is faithful he will not let you be
tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also
provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10: 13,
New International Version).
Do you not see
that the Earth is trying to shake us off with its earthquakes? That we,
including me (the writer), are causing this pain with our corruption? That the
Earth wishes to shake our pollution and the Devil’s pollution off its surface?
That the Devil and his evil is what makes the water turn sour and bitter? That
the Earth is a living thing, crying and screaming to the Lord to make
everything new and in harmony once again?
The tornadoes, the
tsunamis, the earthquakes, the volcanoes, the hurricanes, and many other
disasters are not God’s wrath, but the tears of the Earth, aching for the
Lord’s return. For even the Earth cried at the death of Jesus, the only pure
love and healer who brought healing to the Earth by healing the sinners and the
corruption around him, by paying the price of the Devil that the Devil gave as
a ransom for our sins: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he
gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two
from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open
and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came
out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city
and appeared to many people.” (Matthew 27: 50-53, New International Version).
Now, people would
ask: if God created the world, why did He allow evil to enter the world, why
did He allow Eve and Adam to eat of the apple? But don’t you see?! It was our ancestors, the first humans, choice to let evil enter the
world, not God’s. We, Homo sapiens,
began the reign of evil on Earth. Eve could not have eaten the apple, but her
desire to be all-knowing and wise like God overcame her and she gave into the
temptation (yet another example of morality governed by a reason).
But then people
would ask: why did God allow Eve to be tempted by the snake/Satan? Well, let me
give you this scenario. Suppose you are a master of a household with many
servants. Would you not want to test your servants to know if they were
trustworthy? That is what happened when God tested Eve and Adam. He, and
probably the angels with Him in Heaven, wanted to make sure that humans could
be trustworthy with the secrets of God/the heavens, to make sure that the humans’
hearts were loyal to God, the Creator and Master of all.
Well, we failed
that test. But instead of destroying His creations, our kind, He gave us a
second chance through Christ…not because angels told him to or just because ‘He
felt like it’, not because he wanted to keep His prized possessions in greed or
keep His power….no, He gave us a second chance because He loves us, He made us
with His own hands. We are His precious masterpieces, even how flawed we can
be. He desired mercy and love, more than sacrifice or justice (which during Old
Testament times, justification and atonement of sins was received through burnt
offerings): “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God
rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6: 6, New International Version). But of
course, before Christ, in order to fulfill all true justice, He had to punish
us for our sins, according to His Law, by banishing us from the
Garden of Eden and giving us
hardships through work/childbearing (and many other sufferings).
One would ask:
then what was the purpose of Christ? When Christ came, like I said before, God
gave us a second chance. Knowing that we could never fulfill the Law (which is
the commandments of God, not just necessarily found in the Old Testament), He
decided to pay a ransom giving by the Devil, for God views His masterpieces
(us, flawed humans) too precious to lose to the darkness. In order to save
those who were sinners (like me and you), God had to pay the price with His own
life, tears, blood, and body. That was what the Devil demanded for the enslaved
humans of sin: God’s life and blood. So, God sent His One and Only Son, Jesus
Christ, to pay that price so that through Christ, all may know the true nature
of God and can be reconciled back to God through Christ’s blood. Christ’s blood
released the Devil’s chains from us, the chains of slavery to sin. God gave His
life for the wicked so that the wicked could be free and saved through Him. That
was true mercy and love for: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates
his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
(Romans 6: 7-8, New International Version)
However, not all
suffering comes from our sins; sometimes God puts suffering in our lives to
build character in us. I cannot say it is true all the time and I cannot say I
know the mind of God, for I am merely only a saved sinner with a Bible in my
hands. But I can speak of what I have learned of God through what He reveals of
Himself through Scripture. For if we knew all the knowledge of God, do you
think, knowing our human nature and our politicians, we
would trust and love God? Most likely not. God wants us to trust and love Him
so sometimes, at least what I believe, I think He cuts our knowledge off in
order to give us the capacity to trust/love Him, to have faith without sight.
Again, I am not sure if that is the exact reason, but I believe it could be one
Now back to
suffering, let us read Romans 5: 3-5: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (emphasis added, New International Version)
Sound familiar? Did not atheist Friedrich Nietzsche speak of similar things?
Did he not so greatly advocate using suffering and pain for our own benefit, to
overcome it and turn the tables around? Can you not see that this wisdom was
made before the secular teaching? That even Nietzsche, an atheist, spoke of
wisdom that was already known to God? I think ‘tis ironic that most upheld
wisdom in this world was already known and made from God in Scripture, if one
truly looks for it deeply in Scripture. Truly, God is Knower of all knowers (if
that is a word, add a laugh here).
For what changes a man more: a rod of
discipline or a rod of motivation? Does not discipline create motivation and
character? Does not a true father (or parent) discipline his own son/daughter
so that he/she might grow up to be successful and wise citizens? And does not
no discipline create a lack of motivation and a simple laziness? I know when
discipline is not in my life. I lose my motivation, I put things off until the
last minute, sometimes my lack of motivation puts me further into my medical
depression, and my willingness to overcome
fades. Without discipline, I lose my life, energy, success, strength, and
sometimes even my character.
Sometimes in my life, God gives me hard sufferings, but I know I need it. For to get through my bitter pride, I need a
hard hit within myself, no matter how painful it is, to reach some parts of my
heart and build character. Some people just need that. Some of them think the
pain is unfair, but really only that pain can break through their walls of
bitterness or over-protection. It’s sadly simple. Some people need a harder
‘rod’ than others (including me) to reach the ‘soul’ of their heart.
But no matter how hard the suffering is, I always manage to get out of it with the comfort and
wisdom of God. There were times were I tried to take matters in my own hands,
stopped praying, and barely looked into the Scriptures. Those times ended up
getting worse and my depression always quickened. It wasn’t until I started
feeding my Spirit through the Word again and started praying again that I
started to overcome my trials.
Truly, I would have not gotten through those times without the help of God and His love for
me. For my foundation is shaky sand, but His foundation, on which I always try
to rest upon, is solid rock. Once I leave the Rock, I jump into sinking
sand…but once I come back, I am lifted high on the Rock of His love. And the
wonderful thing is…though my sinking sand can disappear, His Rock never will.
That glorious, comforting Rock will always be there, waiting for me. Calling me
home with open arms and a bright, comforting smile. Now, is that not a
wonderful and beautiful philosophy?
Perry, John; Bratman, Micheal; Fischer, John
Introduction to Philosophy:
Classical and Contemporary Readings. Fifth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2010.
Called To Be God’s
People: An Introduction to the Old Testament. Andrew E. Steinmann (Editor).
2006. Wipf & Stock Publishers (Eugene, Oregon
A New International Version Bible