Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I mentioned that Mr. Lewis' spiritual journey included a sojourn with Absolutism. I will now attempt to define it, to the best of my clumsy abilities. I've told you philosophy is hard for me. I read the same page of the Absolutism entry in my encyclopedia over and over again last night for about half an hour, trying to understand. I'm still not sure that I do.

Please be patient with me in your comments.

The Absolute: Ultimate reality is a single, all-inclusive system of being. This is the ground, source and repository of all other being.

Monism: Ultimate reality is One. The Many -- the multiplicity of finite events and creatures -- are dependent existents that contain real being only by participating in the life of the One. But carried to its extreme, this is untenable, because it would exclude human knowers from ultimate reality.

Pluralism: Ultimate reality is Many. But carried to its extreme, this is also untenable, because with no unity, there can be no connection and no comprehension.

The suggested conclusion: Both a One and a Many must be considered equally ultimate in the scheme of things in which human beings exist.

This debate began circa 500 BC and continues today, it was noted. Which would make it one of the world's oldest arguments.

Also noted: The great philosopher Bertrand Russell allegedly demolished the premises of absolutism.

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