Sunday, 23 June 2013
Nicholas Van Rijn, Philosopher?
"'You remind me of the final examination in the philosophy class, my dear...The single question was, "Why?" You got an A if you answered, "Why not?" You got a B if you answered, "Because." Any other answer got a C.'" (p. 132)
Van Rijn is a Master Merchant, Polesotechnic League. I am a philosophy graduate. I think that the A answer should be, "Why what?" "Why - ?" without any content after the "Why" is not a complete question so cannot have an answer.
If the question means "Why does anything exist?", then perhaps this question is as meaningless and unanswerable as "Where is everything?" Any one part of existence is either located or explained by its relationships to other parts so the question becomes pointless if applied to everything. I think.
In that case, maybe "Why not?" is not too bad an answer. Chinese philosophy has the idea of a void from which everything comes. Hegel argued that the most abstract thesis and antithesis, being and nothing, are identical. Modern physics has particles continually beginning and ceasing in empty space.
Rig Veda says, "That god who sees in highest heaven, he alone knows. Or perhaps he knows not."