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Necessity of Being

  1. Aug 23, 2003 #1
    Necessity of Being

    The world exists, and I witness it.

    So far can be stated without doubt. This truth is a truth that can be stated is a truth for any I.

    But is it a necessity that the "I" and/or the "World" exists?

    One way of reasoning is that for the "I" to be able to say that the world which "I" witness exist, is because the "I" necessarily exists.

    And another way of reasoning is that for "I" to exist it is necessary for the world to exist.

    And yet another form of reasoning is that for "I" to be able to say that "I" witness the world it is both necessary that "I" and the world exist.

    Our first inquiry into this problem would be to state at first that the statement "I witness the world" necessarily means that both I and the world exist. Since that is what the statement, in first instance expresses. Note also that in first instance we assume nothing in specific about the world itself, not even that it would have to exist outside of my imagination or projection of it in my mind.

    So I could ask myself then, does the world outside of my imagination or projection of it, realy exist?

    Let us explore that somewhat deeper.

    A phantasy thought

    I could for instance question the thought if a world, outside of my imagination and/or projection of it in my mind, exists. I would have to imagine in my mind then the situation in which every thing I know of that exists, or that in principle could exist, would not exist.

    I don't know if anyone ever tried this, but this doing this is not particularly easy at it seems, since our mind definately wants to hold grip on the existence of a world.

    The way we proceed in this, is to at first form a thought about the things that exist and/or that could in principle exist. Then we form in our mind the idea that that something, which we think that exists, would not exist. And thereafter, if we have successfully removed the idea of the existence of that something, we go on with the things that are still left as existing in our imagination, and then one by one remove that from thought either.

    Depending on the way we proceed, this will cost some time. It depends how we proceed. If we think for instance about the existence of a specific horse, we know about, then we must not only remove that specific horse from our imagination, but also all other horses. And not only all existing horses, but also horses that could in principle exist, wether on earth or anywhere in the universe or even another universe. Could a horse with two tails, or with wings exist? In principle, why not? So we also remove them from thought. And so on.

    Since there are so many things that exist or could in principle exist, this could take a long time before we have removed everything from thought. So to speed it up, we might want to form larger categories of things to remove. So instead of horse, we could for instance take all animals that exist or could exist in any place at any time. Or all living things that exist or could exist at any place or at any time. The larger category we form, the faster we can proceed of course. But please consider to include anything in your categories, not only the things or categories you think exist, but also that could in principle exist. So if you are about to remove all animals, then don't forget the frogs or the insects, not even the frogs that have 10 legs, or have wings, or the very intelligent frog species that inhabit a planet in another solar system of another galaxy, since you would end up still left with them.

    After each step of succesfull removal of a specific or category of things that exist or in principle could exist, we inspect what is left of things that exist or in principle could exist, and we go on with the next. Again and again, untill there are no more things we can think of.

    Take your time and remove all those things that exist, or could in principle exist from your mind.


    time to think


    Ok. So is your mind completely empty now? Having nothing more in thought that exists or could in principle exist? Let's see where we are now. Is anything realy removed? There is no more earth and everything that exists or could exist on earth, no more moon, sun and other planets, no more solar system. There are no more galaxies, stars, planets, other cosmological things. No more universes. No more particles, no more light, no more fields. Not even space and time?

    If not, then please go on proceeding, and remove anything from thought that exists or could exist.

    So what are we left with?

    Well we are left with one thing:

    You are left with the <<"I" thinking that thought>>!

    But we need to remove anything that exists, or could in principle exist from thought.

    So even that we need to remove.

    So please remove the <<"I" thinking that thought>> from your thought.


    time to think


    Ehm.... What?

    You say you can't do that?

    You can not remove the <<"I" thinking that thought>> from your thought?

    Why can't you remove the <<"I" thinking that thought>> from your thought?

    Because I simply can't!

    I can exclude the thought about anything that exists or can exist from my thought, but I possibly can't exclude my own thoughts from my thoughts.

    So the progression of thoughts to remove anything from thought that exists or possible can exist, would in last instance mean to exclude one's own thought from thoughts, which one can't possible do.

    And not only I can not do that, neither I would want that.

    Because the idea that there would not exist anything in the world would in last instance mean that neither I would exist. And I could not possibly want that, because for all I am worth I know that:

    I care about myself

    Me thinks that is already Sufficient Reason for the world to exist!

    Back to the normal world

    This was an interesting phantasy thought, and which shows us that we can not possibly think that the world itself would not exist, since that would in last instance also mean that we ourselves would not exist. And not only can't we think that, neither we would want that. Because for all we are worth, we do care about our own existence.

    Wether or not the world itself cares about it's own existence or wether it can even be consciouss of that fact, is irrelevant here, because all we care for is that because the world itself exists, also we can exist, and we possibly can not think that that would not be the case.

    Some very other thought is this. Suppose we would not have started our thoughts with questioning the existence of the word, but would have asked a different question. We could for instance ask the question, wether or not we could think that the world exists, without our own existence in it.
    Can we form in our thoughts an imagination about the world about how it would exist for existence before we existed, or after we are gone? Can we imagine the world to exist in let's say a hundred years, at a time in which we in all reason could say, we would no longer be there?

    Well, yes. That is quite possible. If we have children, we could imagine how they would live in the world at an age in which we ourselves were gone. We can also imagine the world how it was, when our parents for instance had their youth, and in which we did not yet exist.

    These thoughts can form quite ease, and don't raise the kind of impossibility we met when imagining the world itself to not exist.

    So, what does this make us conclude for our initial question, in which we asked wether the world itself and/or I are necessary beings?

    Well our conclusion is this: We can think about the existence of the world in which we did not exist. We can however not think about the world, in which the world itself did not exist.

    We conclude therefore: for the statement "The world exists, and I witness it" it must be necessarily so, that the world itself exists. Even if I do not exist, the statement is still true (for another I). The only way the statement becomes problematic is in the case that no such I would exist. This however only would mean that the statement would not have meaning, and neither would there be anyone bothering about that. But we can be quite sure: even then it is true that the world exists.

    Necessity of Being

    We can summarize our conclusion in saying that it is a necessity that there is a world, instead of not a world (see also the thread named: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=876&highlight=fundamental+question" ).

    Since necessity of being means there is necessarily something instead of nothing, we can say therefore that there must be a Necessary Being.

    In the next part we will explore more about this Necessary Being, and explore not only what this idea about Necessary being is, but also how it would relate to consciousness.

    Next Part:

    In fact we will be exploring then the same sort of question about the existence of the world, but not from the persective of a individual human being, but from the position of the Necessary Being itself.

    Does a Necessary Being knows and cares about the world?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  2. jcsd
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