Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pluralistic Metaphysics

Empedocles (490-430 BC) was born in Sicily, Greece and was a disciple of Parmenides. He was one of several Greek philosophers that incorrectly figured that instead of the universe having one underlying substance that it had several underlying substances. Specifically, he considered earth, air, fire, and water as the four primal elements which were unchanging and eternal. Further, he (incorrectly) figured that love and strife were the two active and opposing forces which moved earth, air, fire and water to action. This lead him to believe in "survival of the fittest" long before Darwin, along with ideas like reincarnation.

He supported the poor, persecuted overbearing civil magistrates, and even declined the position of Sovereign over his city when it was offered to him. He at least thereby seemed to live by the beliefs he had.

He was a great public speaker, knew alot about nature, the curing of diseases and how to avoid epidemics. Some thought that he could control the weather, destroy evil, cure old age and more.

According to Aristotle, Empedocles died at the age of sixty in 430 BC.

Think of the many problems with Empedocles beliefs!  Without God giving purpose and meaning to his life, he, as have many in our generation, sought to develop his own ideas to give meaning to life.

Praise God that we are not left in the dark of Pluralistic Metaphysics!  We know the one true God who gives meaning and purpose to our lives, a God who is even present with us in our daily endeavors. 

God has also has given us absolute truth and some mathematical and scientific understanding about earth, air, fire and water.  Regarding absolute truth; He made them, He directs them, He blesses obedience to His Law/Word, and judges disobedience to His Law/Word.

So, we could compliment Empedocles on his power of observation with regard to seeing love and strife as the mover and mixer of the physical elements,  but we would need to teach Him that God is the Love he was seeing and strife was the lack of God's love and lack of obedience to His Word through the Fall of Man, man's sinful nature, and particular sins.

How do we know that we love God?  When we want to keep His commandments and doing so is not grievous, but a blessing.

1 John 2:3
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:4
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:5
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1 John 3:22
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1 John 3:24
And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1 John 5:2
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.