Metaphysics 101, or
(Or a lack of 25 cows plus 2 cats and a dead duck)
Above (One Plus One) = WHUT?
One plus one equals two. Right? Are you sure?..
What if I asked you to deny it. You could verbally deny it. You could use the words "One plus one does not equal two." Would you really believe that one & one does not equal two, even if you say it to me in a tone of complete conviction? .
If I put you under interrogation, just like in the spy flicks, and made you quite uncomfortable until you say "One and One is NOT two", would you actually in your whole being believe it?
It may take quite of bit of physical pain or discomfort for you to believe it, not just say it.
When we examine the thesis one plus one equals two, or any other simple mathematical equation, we can say we are absolutely certain that it is true. There is not one even hint of a doubt in our minds about it. The contradictory of this mathematical proposition (equation) is absolutely impossible.
Well, why are we so sure? Implicitly and not explicitly in our minds we reason thusly:
What is a one? A one is a single entity with its own unity apart from other single entities or unities. The white cat which just jumped on my lap is a unity.. It is one cat. It is separate in existence from all other cats. Now another cat, which looks quite like the other cat, but is a separate unity just jumped onto my lap. Now one cat plus another separate cat equals 2 cats. Two single unities are on my lap.
My lap is getting crowded and uncomfortable, (for each of these individuals, separate in existence, together with the other one are bothersome.) I decide to chase one of these individual unities from my lap. Now I have only one of the two there. Two minus one equals one. We are absolutely certain of this.
Now it is clear that each cat, can be considered a separate being from the other. Although they both depend on each other for comfort and company at times, they are in the world of existing things physically separate from each other. Each is its own unity. All of the parts of the individual cat unit work together to create a harmony which is the total one cat. All the individual parts work together for the good of the whole unit cat.
Their eyes and sense of smell work to recognize their cat food. Their teeth work to grind the food so it is easier for it to go to the stomach and be digested. The digested nourishment goes into the blood to circulate to make muscles, the eyes, and all the organs function..
When all the parts of the cat work together for the good of the whole cat, you have a unified being, a unity, a one. The cat unity and other animal units can live without some of their parts which are less essential to their being alive, but parts which are by nature supposed to complete the cat unity.
We all have seen animals with limbs or ears missing who seem to get along quite well. We have also heard of sad stories of animals which have lost essential parts, such as an essential amount of blood to sustain life. This will cause the whole unity of the animal to be destroyed, and the parts will no longer work in any type of harmony. This unit being decomposes. It does not exist as a unit being any more.
We call this death of the animal. In death the parts separate into their own component parts. Each animal is composed of a cooperative group of organs which in turn are composed of cells. Each cell is then composed of its own parts, which upon death of the whole animal separate into the basic compounds and elements which were formerly part of the cooperative unity (cat), which was once the living animal.
The organs of the animal cease to work in unity, and the individual animal becomes individual substances and chemical units, not working at all for the good of the whole animal. In nature these units usually become part of another unity, to help in its maintaining its internal harmony & existence as a ONE.
For example, the animal dies, and its decomposed parts are used to nourish and become, for instance, part of a tree under which the decomposing the animal may have been lying.
Notice the term decomposing. To compose: to make parts into a harmonious unity. Beethoven took individual sounds or notes to create a beautiful harmonious unity.
We could cut out the individual notes of a written Beethoven piece and haphazardly shake them up, and give the pile to a Rock Star.. He may use the same notes, but his unique unity of them can produce a different unity, using the same notes Beethoven used but in a totally different combination. This will create a totally different unity, or piece of music. (May we call the latter activity the "decomposing of Beethovenís music?.)
So now we know what a one is.. A one apple, a one animal. Sometimes, as in plants, we canít tell where the unity begins, i.e. if the plant we see is a unity or part of a unity. Grass is an example of the confusion of where an individual plant begins or ends. This fact, however, does not mean that we canít recognize a real unity when we see it clearly, like that unit deer which runs across the road in front of our car.
So now we know why we believe one plus one equals two and also know we are deadly certain of this fact. We have an idea of what the unity of a material being is which creates the "one"..
Next: Zero cannot equal one, or something cannot come from nothing.
A unity something, like a cat, let us call a one.. Something is an existent, that is something is real and exists. We can count it.
Each something that we know in the material world has its limits. It extends just so far. It has so much density, bulk , etc. It is composed of just so many molecules, cells and no more. For example, a duck. We know the duck in our yard is an existing thing. We know it is a unit, a unified biological thing. All of the ducks parts work together, the kidneys, liver, work together, not ultimately for their own good, but the good of the duck as a whole..
Parts of anything also can be composed of parts. The parts of a duck liver all work together for the good of the liver, which itself works together for the good of the whole unit duck.
Those parts work for the liver as if the liver were an end in itself, and not part of the duck. When the poor duck dies, the liver dies and its parts also. The parts of the liver, cells, have parts also which work together for the good of the cell itself. We can break down a material thing to its most basic element, which of course cannot go back to infinity, but must stop somewhere. The basic unit of matter, whatever that is. It may be an electron which fortuitously revolves inside of an atom, or something else. That ultimate part of matter in inimical to our investigation here, so let us put it aside.
The unit one duck is limited by what it is. Limited means it has so much, and no more to it. To be a duck means a lack of rational thought, lack of the ability to seek large prey like antelopes, partly because its small bulk and strength, and its limited inborn equipment. We know a duck not only has what it has as qualities, but it is also noted by its lack of many qualities. This is how we recognize the duck unitís duckness, by what functions it has and those it lacks.
Limitation goes with every material thing we know, also to parts of the things we know. What a thing is creates its positive qualities and perfections, but also its lack of other qualities. Limitation states that the being can possess this much and no more.
Now we have a unit, a being which exists in reality and is limited to what it is. for let us call that which exists and exists as something, a being. Being is a term we will use to denote what we have defined above.
Much ado about Nothing:
Now besides being, what else can we have in our world. We have hear the terms nothing, nothingness and non-being. All these terms refer to something, but not a being. They refer to lack of being. This is confusing, for all the terms we use seem to point to real existing beings, and some think "nothing" is a something.
The term nothing does not refer to being or any part of a being. Nothing refers to lack of being. We call the term "nothing" a "being of reason". Lack of being is real, but does not exist in itself. We need a term to refer to this state, so we use the term nothing,(no thing) . The term nothing or non-being is not a type of anything, like a dog is a type of animal. Neither is it a positive entity. It lacks existence and lacks existing as something.
A dog may have a missing leg. Well, the missing leg is nonbeing; it doesnít exist. Existing: the dog. Not existing: the leg. Being: the dog. Non-being: the leg that is not there.
Zero is written sign of mathematics which refers to lack of existence of something. If I have zero apples. I have no apples at all. If I have one apple, I have an existing being, an apple. If I have zero in my bank account, can I write a cashable check for $100?.. No, the check would bounce, for zero, lack of money, cannot equal 100 which is some amount of money. No amount of concentration on our part or hoping or wishing, can make 100 pop out of absolutely nothing.
Some say that in mathematics there is not only a zero, but minus numbers, such as -2, -3, etc.
Let us examine the existential reality of a minus number. Can a -1 exist in reality as a being?
It seems as if one adds a "plus" number, such as +1 , +2, +3 to a minus number, you get a number which is less than the plus number.. +3 -2 equals + 1. This equation can be also shown as -2 + 3 equals + 1. The answer is the same for each + 1.
Let us examine the "reality" or existence" of the numeral which is in a minus number. A minus number such as - 23 would not refer to existing beings, like 23 cows, dogs. It would point to a lack of existing beings. Therefore a minus number would denote a type of nothingness, a lack. - 23 cows refers to a lack of cows. We have cattle pen and it can hold 23 cows, and it has no cows in it, a nothingness of cows. In this case we have -23 cows. So the minus numbers point to a lack of beings. Theoretically zero cows. But we use -23 in practical matters to denote a certain amount of cows that have been taken away, leaving zero.
All, in all, minus numbers donít point to any existing unified beings, as do plus numbers.
Can zero make a one.? If we have an absolutely nothing, a zero.. Can we make from that zero alone a positive number of things? The answer is no. Lack of being cannot by itself make being. Zero, by itself, cannot make a one. So let us put this statement "zero cannot equal one" itself in the following judgements which are another way of stating "zero cannot equal one".
These judgements would be:
Something cannot come from nothing.
A being cannot give what it does not have.
Non-being yields nothing.
Zero cannot yield one, two, or any positive number.
Apples and No Oranges
If we have one of something, like one apple, can that one complete apple make 2 complete apples? I do not mean making two apples by cutting the original in half and making two apples. If we did that, we would not really have 2 apples, but still one apple cut into 2 halves. The matter making up the one apple is now cut into two parts, leaving a smaller amount of matter in each half than was in the whole. Here when we say one apple cannot yield two apples, we mean that two apples would mean two complete apples with the approximate amount of matter in each of the two apples that was in only one.
Can the one apple of itself, without incorporation of any other matter or power than it has, make 2 complete apples with the new additional apple having the same amount of matter as the first?
If we say yes to the one apple by itself making two complete apples, we imply that something can come from absolutely nothing. We are then saying 2 complete objects can yield 3 complete objects, or 4, etc.. If zero of itself cannot equal one, neither can one yield 2 or more..
One may object saying that one apple, if its seed goes to the ground and sprouts into a tree, produces more apples; in this way one apple can produce two or three.
That is not our meaning. In the above case, the one seed from the apple will need to incorporate into itself water and nutrients to grow into a tree. In the above case there is more matter added to the apple to make the tree and new apples. If the seed were left alone, no water, no material additions of any kind, the seed could not of itself grow into anything at all..
Healthy "Bouncing" Baby
If we visit a neighbor whose baby weighed eight pounds at birth, and now weighs a healthy 15 pounds, could we assume the baby, without any additions or help became this way? In reality, the baby would have to incorporated nourishment and other care outside of itself to grow and gain weight. If we thought that the baby just did this alone, without food, water, etc. and told others this opinion, we would be thought quite illogical.
Although we learn through our senses, this is not because we know just by lifeís experience of watching other children grow, but because our mind can grasp that something cannot come from nothing.
An 8 lb baby has a certain amount of material components. To get to be 15 pounds, the baby needs more material components which it does not have at the time of birth. These components cannot come from said baby itself, for something cannot come from nothing. 8 of itself cannot yield 15 anymore than 1 can yield two.
We must conclude that something cannot come from absolutely nothing.
Also Being cannot come from non being.
A being cannot give itself what it does not have.
Let us look at the world around us. We do not need a degree in physics to notice that there is motion in the material universe.. What is motion philosophically? Motion is a change in a being an addition to that being which that being did not have before. It is also a relation from being somewhere in relation to another being to be in another part of that being. For instance, I get in the car and ride to Tampa.. In relation to the earth, I am changing my being situated in one part of it to being situated in another part of it. If we donít have a reference place to start, we canít observe motion. If a tennis ball were the only matter in existence as a whole thing it could not move, have local motion. .
Motion on this earth, for example, is gaining of being in that there is a different relation to the earth of the thing when the thing moves. Now this different relation is a gaining of something to that moving being that the being didnít have before. Being in a new place is having added another aspect to the being which the being didnít have before. It is like adding a 1 to a 1... The new added aspect to our being demands a search for what is the cause of the addition.
Below: Let us treat what is not the cause of motion or any other effect which may be produced on a body..
The physical theory of motion (inertia), nor any physical theory from ancient or modern science, cannot by its nature cannot treat causes real causes of motion. Only metaphysical principles, can do this, for the real nature of causality is a metaphysical problem.
The "objects" of physical science and metaphysics.
Physical theories study relations between material objects only, be they atomic, subatomic, or any other existing beings which make up the material universe. The object (what is studied) of the physical sciences are individual, material, concrete, beings under the aspect of their being as matter and motion. (which would include electrons etc.) That is the limit of the physical sciences. It can only study causes under the aspect of material causes or material relations in the material world. That is their limit as a physical science.
The object of the science of metaphysics is being as being: a being, not as material nor immaterial, but as existing. Each existent has the aspect of being real and is an existing thing of a certain type. The type of a being is called the essence. For instance: The essence of an non rational animal8 is that it has life, sense knowledge of some sort, be it sight, touch etc. or perhaps just touch as a clam would have. This animalís essence would limit it as to what perfections or qualities it possesses in itself as abilities or potentialities to new activities.. The nature of something, makes that being possess some positive qualities which would make it do somethings, In the case of brute animals, they search for food, eat, develop. Also the essence possess limits on its activities, such as a dog does not have the ability to study mathematics, nor write a critique of a best selling novel.. There are just so many things the nature of the dog allows it to do, and no more. No matter how much you expose your dog to algebra lessons, his nature is limited so as he cannot learn it. He lacks the ability to do so.
In the case of motion, the essence of a material being does not contain motion. The reason for this is that motion is a addition to the being when it happens. If a being could move itself, that would mean that the being would be where it comes to be before it is there. This is irrational. A being cannot be and not be somewhere at the same time. A being cannot give itself what it does not have. As we said above zero cannot yield one. If we have zero, then we have one, that one must have come from somewhere else. If we have a change of a beingís place, that would be akin to adding something to that being that it did not have before. We must conclude that a being cannot really move itself.
If a being cannot move itself nor add to itself from itself, then said being which moves needs a mover. This mover would needs to have the power to add something to a being which it did not have before. We have observed many moving beings. We have to account for the cause of this motion in beings. It just cannot be said that a beings seems to be moving itself, for no mover is seen, so it must be self moving. This is not an answer to the cause of motion, for motion is an addition which must be accounted for somewhere else besides in the being in motion.
We can say that any material being which moves needs a mover to give it the added aspect to its being which it did not have before. We can count causes of motion from effect backwards to first cause of motion. There cannot be an infinite (not finite) number of movers, for number is finite in itself. When we count movers backwards we always end with the first one. Of course there is no such thing as an infinite regress of movers, then there would be no first nor second, etc.
We must end up with a first. The first mover must be unmoved. It must be unmoved, for if it did move, we would have to posit another mover to move it. It would then not be the first mover itself. We are forced to conclude that a first mover is not moved, but is the cause of motion in everything.
We have not in our sense experience seen, touched, etc. an unmoved mover. It is outside of our sense experience. We donít sense an unmoved mover, we argue logically to its existence.
Just because something cannot be seen, does not mean it does not exist, and we have proved that there needs be an unmoved mover. So far we have argued to the existence of being which necessarily exists but which is outside of our sense experience.
An unmoved mover must exist, and this being is extra-sensible, that is cannot be sensed.
Have you ever noticed in the sense world a unmoved mover. ? No. You can argue necessarily to an unmoved mover, but you can't sense one.