18.

Aristotle's concept of god is fascinating. I mean, the man can be faulted for accepting slavery, or more generally just confirming the ethical notions of the time he lived in (shouldn't a philosopher be critical of the status quo?), but the way he describes god is really interesting, if you ask me.

So basically, what he calls god is actually more of a principle of rationality. So it's not a person, or even something that takes the shape of a person. It's not a religious god at all, just a philosophical one. And this principle is the force that causes all movement in the universe. Because you see, everything moves because it has a goal. So the goal of a lion, for example, is to survive and procreate. Rocks fall, because the goal of a rock is to be close to its origin, which is earth. Humans are special; they have rationality, so their goal is to become like the gods themselves. But anyways, the point is that everything moves in a goal-oriented way. And every movement, as we all know from physics class, is caused by some kind of force. Think of billiard balls on a table, and how one ball can make another move. But this leaves us with a question: what caused all this movement? It cannot be something that was itself moved by something else, because then we would just move the problem further back. So, Aristotle says, there has to be an unmoved mover. Something that is the first cause of all movement. Something that is itself unmoved and unchanging, because it is pure form, perfection, rationality, and doesn't have a material shape. And this unmoved mover causes everything to move, like a girl motivates a boy in love to take action (granted, that's not the metaphor he gave, and it's also not very realistic, since all I ever did when I had a crush was stare wordlessly and cry in my room).

The annoying thing about Aristotle's god is, and you probably noticed, how hard it is to put into words. I really think it's quite genius, yet every time I try to explain it, I fall short. I'm quite sure that the above paragraph does not adequately convey what I find so mesmerizing about it. So maybe I haven't understood it well enough yet (the exam is in two days, I still have time!). But there's also something poetic about it. After all, the god I'm trying to describe isn't meant to be understood. In fact, it's absolutely impossible for any human to fully comprehend it, for to understand it would mean to be god. (This is another thing... Aristotle's god is basically a thinking that thinks about itself, and is fully transparent to itself, and since it is the prime principle principle of the universe, the universe is also fully transparent to it.) So maybe it's good that I don't quite understand it, because otherwise I would've ceased to have any material form and turned into an ethereal, abstract principle of rationality (which, to be fair, people sometimes call me anyways).

Anyways, it's late (not really that late, but I'm tired (and I'm using way too many parentheses)), and I'm going to sleep. Nighty!


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