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Philosophy of Universe and Its OriginsTerm Paper

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¶ … Universe

The debate on how the universe was formed has been ongoing for a long time as seen in historical records. The explanation rested on two schools of thoughts, namely the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions as well as early traditions. This can be seen from the example of Bishop Usher who calculated the beginning of the universe to be 404 BC through summing up the ages of the Old Testament people. Another recent argument is supported by the fact that human beings are continuously evolving in terms of culture and technology. The fact that we remember the person that performed the first specific deed proves that we cannot have been around that long since the progress should have been more than what is currently being experienced. Furthermore, the given religious date of the universe creation is not far from the last ice age, which is believed to be around the time when modern humans began existing (Hawking, 1998).

However, some scientists, including Aristotle are not in agreement with the idea of the earth having begun. He and others believed that this implied on a certain divine intervention. Their preference was that the universe existed and will continue to exist long after everything else ceases to be. For them an eternal thing made perfect sense than one created. Accordingly, human progress had an explanation as argued by the humans themselves. They attribute natural disasters such as floods occurring repeatedly for having forced humans to go back to the beginning (Hawking, 1998).

Ancient Greek philosophers on the other hand were preoccupied by the cosmic riddle i.e. questioning the origin and construction of the universe as it is. Around the same time there was a sudden shift from mystic and religious view to a more philosophical approach where reasoning came into play. This great philosophical leap triggered severe human consequences. Most pre-Socratic philosophers were naturalist as there main concern was explaining the ultimate substance principle as the primal element from which all else originated. As such they came up with a philosophical system that could rationally explain human behavior in relation to nature. This explains why this philosophical argument still holds water today as the natural component in their stand is very important in philosophy (Theodossius, Manimanis & Dimitrijevi?, 2011).

According to both arguments, they remained unchanged with time. The argument that it was either created in its present form or has existed as it is today forever. This natural belief back then was attributed to the fact that human life was too short to guarantee any significant universe change within its time. In a universe that is static and unchanging the question on whether it has existed forever or if it was created at a certain finite time still remains to be discussed by religious experts and metaphysics as both theories could be taken as an account of the universes (Hawking, 1998).

In view of philosophers

According to pre-Socratic Greek theorists from Iona, new study paths of nature incorporated within human logic were born. These included the worshipping of the earth as a goddess to examining its location on the cosmos hence the spherical shape proposal. They are the ones that unified the earth as having one element being a basis of everything else there is. This element was water for Thales, infinity for Anaximander, air for Anaximenes and fire for Heracticus.

The start and the end of the universe succeed each other eternally. Anaximenes and Anaximander had the same belief that our world did not exist in exclusion. Heraclitus believed that the richness of natural creation together with its unpredictable changes makes it impossible for anything remain stable or motionless. Nothing remains constant but instead has eternal continuous flow. This is the same principle that is accepted in today's quantum physics where the apparent stability and motionless is an illusion created by those who want to believe in its existence and is determined by our limited senses. In line with Heraclitus, as written by Diogenes Laertius, physical matter has been consistently transformed (Diogenes Laertius 1935:, 7-8, Theodossiou 2007: 72).

The ancient Greek philosopher theories and views indicate the relation between antique Greek worlds with the earth and natural environment which is one of today's international priority matters as methods and ways on how to protect it are being sought (Theodossiou, Manimanis, & Dimitrijevi?, 2011).

According to some important Greek theorists, natural philosophy holds that the earth is composed of unstable atoms. Some of these elements are looked at in depth in this encyclopedia. As such, the reader should consult individual entries of Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus as well as Lucretius. These philosophers advanced a complete and systematic natural philosophy that accounts for the origin of everything from indivisible bodies such as atom interactions-with few intrinsic properties such as shape and size yet they strike against each other, rebounding and interlocking in an infinite void. The atomist's natural philosophy explanation forsakes divine intervention and proposes that atoms produced purely by material interaction of bodies accounting for properties of microscopic bodies were produced by the same atomic bodies interactions. They formulated different views on ethics, Theology, politics and epistemology all of them being consistent with the physical system. Epicurus modified the strong and consistent materialism from what existed before which was also accepted by Aristotle as a major competitor of teleological natural philosophy (Berryman, 2011).

Leucippus and Democritus

Democritus and Leucippus are regarded as the first atomists in traditional Greece. Very little is known about the teacher Leucippus but Democritus is known to have advanced his teacher's theories by systemizing them as seen in available records. The theories are such that two fundamental and oppositely constituted natural elements are indivisible and void. This is known as a negation of the body. Atoms are therefore intrinsically unchangeable and can only move about in different combined clusters. The fact that the atoms are separated by voids, they cannot fuse but instead bounce against each other when they collide. All macroscopic objects are a combination of atoms meaning they can be subjected to change especially as their constituent atoms shift and move. This means that as the atoms continue moving, everything in the world is put into transit and has a high likelihood of being dissolved (Berryman, 2011).

Plato and Platonists

Atomos, which is a Greek word, is frequently linked with philosophical systems put forward by Democritus and Leucippus that involves colliding and impenetrability. Plato advances a different theory founded on physical indivisibles. This argument extends a narrative of the world where matter in the form of four basic elements namely earth, fire, water and air are standard solids with plane figures that is isosceles and right angled triangular shapes. These triangles and shapes become diverse standard solids thus the theory further explains how these parts can transform into each other (Berryman, 2011).

According to this philosophy, it is this elemental triangle that is considered indivisible as opposed to the solids themselves. According to Aristotle's discussion of solids being made up of indivisibles the Plato and Democritus views are the most considered although he respects the latter more. Aristotle criticizes Plato and the 4TH century thinking of Pythagorean who makes an effort to consider the weight of natural bodies from indivisible mathematics and abstractions irrespective of using numbers or perhaps plane surfaces (Berryman, 2011).


Xenocrates (396-314 BCE) is Plato's student and was the academy's 3RD head and is reported to accept the indivisible lines theory and may be the target of Aristotelian treatise (Berryman, 2011).

The first argument under attack addresses the Zenonian issue related to touching or traversing in sequence an infinite series of elements. The notion of indivisible lines brings in the view of any extended scale having a divisible infinity, which may not be the case. The argument on platonic forms also comes into play as it only applies to those accepting its existence in the first place. The argument is because the triangle-form presumes the existence of a line - form adding that this ideal cannot be divided into parts since they are taken to be part of the whole hence the need to have a different form of explanation. Priority also determines if the argument is distinct as argued whether the physical elements making-up the body have been regarded as ultimate parts before the whole and cannot be subdivided any further. This argument may not draw from the indivisible part as such it suggests that the object of sense and those related to thinking must be inclusive without parts (Berryman, 2011).

Minima Naturalia in Aristotle

One counter narrative in Aristotle's philosophy is taken by many writers to serve as evidence of minima's existence within natural things. According to Aristotle, a small size of material substrate upon which natural tissue occurs exists. Blood and bone for example are made up of given magnitudes of earth, fire, water and air. There is a need to have a specific minimal of all these elements before blood and bone is created. While… [END OF PREVIEW]

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