Leibniz’s Discourse on Metaphysics: I – IV (God’s Perfection)

21 Jun

Sorry for my week and a half long absence from posting thoughts and philosophies. I really enjoy writing and publishing amateurishly like this because I can basically do whatever I want.  Also, starting today, on my new site CosmosZ2 (replacing modusz, modusz wasn’t working), posts every Monday-Thursday just like on here, but the posts there will be non philosophical opinionated thoughts on current events and politics. Go check out http://cosmosz2.wordpress.com. I took the week and a half long break to finish and revise my English composition paper, and to build up on some research on Leibniz, Spinoza, Heidegger, and Deleuze. Works are coming on all of these philosophers, but for now the focus is on the beginning of Leibniz’s book Discourse on Metaphysics. The first four propositions are concerning God and his creations and love. Leibniz obviously favors God’s creation and love, and state that people should accept what God gives them (in essence of one through four). I want to state each one and talk about them, along with summing them up together as a whole at the end. I strongly agree with Leibniz’s propositions here and feel that people should read Discourse on Metaphysics (especially atheists and agnostics).

I. “Concerning the divine perfection and that God does everything in the most desirable way…..”

Leibniz goes on after this statement to explain the perfection and supreme characteristics God really has. He states that God has all forms of perfection in every thing on earth. Also, because of God’s perfection, he does everything in the best way anything can possibly be done. Leibniz goes against those who think God is not perfect and that things are not desirable. He goes on to perfect his thought about this in propositions II through IV.

In reality, God is perfect. God is holy in all possibilities. People are not holy, but when on the right track, people look to God for further direction towards perfection even though we will never achieve perfection while here on earth. By saying that God does everything in the most desirable way, he says that regardless of how we feel things are done, those things are done in the most desirable way in God’s eyes. God’s actions are also expounded up on on II through IV.

II. “Against those who hold that there is in the works of God no goodness, or that the principles of goodness and beauty are arbitrary….”

Leibniz again goes on to explain this proposition. In life, people have trials and hardships that break them down into pessimism and make them lose faith in God and other good things in life. Leibniz correlates the vision that God has no goodness and the arbitration of goodness and beauty because people think this way when life gets to them. People say/said this because of life. Leibniz uses this proposition to shoot those arguments down.

In truth, the works of God are always good, and the principles of goodness and beauty are never arbitrary. People think that God’s work do not contain goodness because the things that happen may tear that person down at the time, but God does everything for a reason. Even if the reason will not be understood for years, if God did not do that instantaneous thing, that person may be forever screwed up in some way. God does everything corresponding and cohering with goodness. Once we understand this, we see the beauty and goodness in the things he does. For people who ask God for things on a daily basis, and their prayer never gets answered, there is a reason for that. This is a corny thing to compare this to (especially because I hate country music) but Garth Brooks said in his song “Unanswered Prayers” that  “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” He says this because something he desperately wanted, would have screwed everything up now that he understands the reality of a certain thing. I really do not like using this comparison, but the lyrics of that song are insightful and philosophically understanding (not to mention understanding of God’s doings).  Brooks thanks God for unanswered prayers, because there is not a thing that God does that does not have goodness of all forms in it. Leibniz argues this in II. I strongly agree with Leibniz.

III. “Against those who think that God might have made things better than he has.”

Leibniz goes further on this proposition by saying that one acts imperfectly if he does not do things to the best of his ability, and if God ever acts imperfectly, he would not be doing his full ability, and this is impossible because of God’s holiness and love for people. God would not do injustice or mediocre things for us because of his amazing love. People also say this because of the horrible tragedies and disasters that go on today, and how much better things could be.

It should be understood the purpose for our existence her on earth. If we are God’s children why is it that we are supposed to be here for a short amount of time before going to heaven with Him? Our purpose here is to show our love, obeyance, and servitude to God. We are born here to make our own choices (even if we have a variation of predestination, I will explain this in a different argument), and if we make the right ones by giving ourselves to God, we then get our place in heaven.  So, our existence here is sort of like a test to see if we can sort through all the nonsense and find God. The tragedies and bad things that go on that cause trials and hardships for people are only a part of the test we are supposed to take here before being present with Him in heaven. So, Leibniz says this because people say that the world could be so much better without all the tragedies and hardships that go on here. This leads people to believe the God should and could make things so much better here for us. Leibniz rejects this belief because he knew that God does everything for a purpose and Leibniz knew the exact purpose that I explained earlier in this paragraph. God will only make things better for you when you find Him and submit yourself to Him forever and declare Him your savior. The thought that if there was a god, He could do things way better than things are on earth, is the grounds that atheists state to be the reason that they believe against th existence of a God. These atheists are simply too far away from God to understand His reasons and purposes. Leibniz correctly goes against this idea.

IV. “That love for God demands on our part complete satisfaction with and acquiescence in that which He has done.”

Leibniz states that love for God is what causes this whole necessity. If one does not have love for God, there is little purpose anyway. In the case that one loves God, one should be satisfied and acquiesced to God’s doings. Even if something that God has done does not feel good for a person at the time, God has a reason for having done that, so satisfaction and acquiescence is necessary because of your faith and love in God.

I strongly agree with this also, because if we have faith and love in God, and recognition for what God has done in our lives, we should have faith in whatever he does. If we have faith in his actions, we must be satisfied and acquiesced at the time in the things He has done. We must first acquiesce at the time in what he has done even if it does not feel like your prayers are answered. If we have achieved acquiescence, then hopefully we can get to satisfaction because of maturity in our faith in Him. I would hope that no devout Christian and child of God would not feel that anything that God has done be less that perfect, because this person must understand God’s characteristics even if that person does not understand His intentions. If we are true Christians and if we truly love God, we can be happy with what God has done, even if at the time it is not what we want. We definitely feel better in the future if we accept things for the way they are at the time and continue to pray.

Overall, God’s perfection and holiness should not allow us or lead us to questioning God’s actions. We should have enough maturity in faith to accept that what he does is right for us. We do not know what is right for us more than He does. Given that we know that God is perfect, we should have enough faith and love to trust Him. I think that Leibniz’s beginning four propositions in the Discourse on Metaphysics leads to the fact that we should have enough faith and love of God to trust him regardless of the situation. I agree with Leibniz totally and wholly. There are no holes in his argument. The only holes are in the arguments of the atheists and non believers: their arguments have the holes. Leibniz’s argument pokes holes in their arguments.

Again, thanks for the support, and again, sorry for the week and a half long break from the philosophical works. More coming tomorrow on this site Cosmos Z and my other current event/political site for opinions Cosmos Z2.


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