A Meaningless Existence.
I present a wall of text for those who wish to climb. Any philosophical inquiry into existence ends up being a logical perversion or a complete
fabrication—usually both; I have to be honest and admit that this one is no different. Of course, to resist falling into some poetical
interpretation of existence, I will be very pedantic and logical in approach. I understand that in a world with such limited attention, this may not
be the best idea, but if you can make it through this without losing your mind, you are probably fit enough for philosophy.
WHAT IS EXISTENCE?
‘Being,’ on the surface, is a word to which we apply on the fact of existing in the apparent world. If it exists
here as we do, if it
, if they are
, if it can do
, it is also being
by default. “To be, or not to be, that is the question”—and
consequently, the answer.
What can we know that truly ‘exists’ according to logic? There is only one
subject, and one
‘thing’ we can
label and use as a variable in the proposition “x exists” while leaving us with zero doubt. Only Existence can exist. Only Everything (all that
exists) can be everything, and thus composes what we call existence. Only its polar opposite Nothing can not exist. Only existence itself exists; and
everything within it as its constituent parts, also exist within existence. To simplify it, Existence = existence. Existence, being composed of
everything, is also Everything. Existence = Everything.
What is this ‘Everything?’ Obviously, Everything is a noun we use to connote all things. But everything is also no
thing. If Everything
was itself a thing, and also that which is composed of all things, Everything must also contain itself. This, of course, defies logic, as nothing can
contain itself lest it continued on infinitely .
This is the Russell’s Paradox. This logic shows either Everything is not a thing, Everything is infinite, or language is insufficient in these
matters. Logically, all of these are correct, but I would wager most that language, and also the strong inclination we have to put such profundity on
these ideas, is at blame here. In other words, there is not a place, nor a realm, nor a thing which can bear the name Existence unless we are
illogical enough to step into these paradoxes.
By presupposing only Everything can exist on its own, we can only logically conclude that anything within in it, its constituent parts, or Atomic
facts (to quote Wittgenstein) must also be a something; and Everything, as the culmination of all somethings and anythings, is existence. Therefore,
everything exists. Sure, everything exists, therefore all things exist. That is logical. Is it?
But this leads to more confusion. Only one ‘thing’ can exist on its own. Although paradoxically Everything is not a thing, the things that
compose this Everything must also exist, but at all times must exist as ‘something,’ as a part of that everything in the context of that
everything. Makes sense...
For example, in language and logic, “dogs exist” and “unicorns exist” are both true and untrue as the propositions are void of context. But
both dogs and unicorns are subjects to which we can lend our focus and contemplation, therefore they are constituent parts of existence. If I keep up
my faith in gramar, I would have to conclude that within the context of existence, both dogs and unicorns exist as something
. But what?
If dogs and unicorns were nothing, and didn’t exist, they would need no label. One cannot label a void, it can only label something. But why can I
pet a dog and not a unicorn? Because when we assert “unicorns exist,” we are putting forth an incomplete
sentence or proposition. Only
existence can exist. Unicorns, at least within language, exist within the context of existence, and therefore must be a constituent part of this
everything, existence. It must first exist before we can label it. Unicorn is a label, therefore unicorns exist. Luckily, all hope for sanity is not
lost at this point.
To correct this mess and to perhaps be a little more honest, “Unicorns exist as
x” should have been our proposition, and we can answer more
truthfully to what they are within the context of existence (ie. Unicorns exist as mythological horses with a single horn on their head). If I were to
argue “God exists,” it would become ridiculous as soon as someone asked “exists as what?” Instead of answering truthfully that “God is a
word and idea to which some pray,” it would be my duty to invent what God existed as, which, within the context of existence, is an impossibility
and always untrue, and thus, as Philo honestly admitted, God is ineffable. It could also be argued that God is everything, which would also be
logically valid, but then again, as we’ve seen, everything is no ‘thing’ and can no longer be described nor thought of as a thing, unless
perhaps it was an idea—nonetheless God would have to be composed of all
things, including the evils and misery we pray for God to
destroy—more paradoxes we allow ourselves.
In these situations where there is no unicorn to pet, we refer to imagination in order to ‘discover’ what these ideas are, and not fact. These
ideas, like the unicorn, are endowed with words which immediately implies its existence, and this implication will drive people into a paradoxical
belief system because of it, but what really is happening here is the refusal to see the context, and incomplete propositions result. The unicorn is
an idea. Ideas exist, but only as ideas. Therefore, unicorns, in that context, exist.
WHAT EXISTS AS WHAT?
If only Everything can exist, what do its constituent things exist as? When we say, for example, “Socrates is a man,” we are not saying Socrates
exists as a man, as language would have us believe, we are only really admitting we can use either the term ‘Socrates’ or ‘man’ or
‘philosopher’ or ‘Greek’ to describe the entity we are talking about. It is merely different words describing the same thing. This, in logical
jargon, is a ‘tautology,’ or “a phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice or more in different words,” yet also, “a
statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.”
In other words, when we look at our friend Socrates, the very act of experiencing him is answering all our questions in regards to what he is, yet
paradoxically, we consider Socrates as not only that one thing, but many things—a man and a philosopher and a Greek etc. Nonetheless, we are still
talking about and looking to the same thing without our gaze having not once moved to anything else. So which is he? the thing we look at? Or all of
those ideas we have about that thing? What does Socrates exist as? What does God exist as? What is ‘to be’? What is ‘is’? Although these
questions are completely absurd, none of them can be honestly answered without the subject immediately present and in focus already giving us the
answer within the context of what we call existence. Without a God to provide us his answers by existing, without a Socrates present, we must imagine
the rest, or be forced to adhere to the imaginations of someone else.