Belonging To a Community - Essay by Blinda30 - Anti Essays
Belonging to Community - Term Paper
§ 2. Secondly, Another occasion of comparing things together, or considering one thing, so as to include in that consideration some other thing, is the circumstances of their origin or beginning; which being not afterwards to be altered, make the relations depending thereon as lasting as the subjects to which they belong; v. g. father and son, brothers, cousin-germans, &c. which have their relations by one community of blood, wherein they partake in several degrees: countrymen, i. e. those who were born in the same country, or tract of ground; and these I call natural relations: wherein we may observe, that mankind have fitted their notions and words to the use of common life; and not to the truth and extent of things. For it is certain, that in reality the relation is the same betwixt the begetter and the begotten, in the several races of other animals as well as men: but yet it is seldom said, this bull is the grandfather of such a calf; or that two pigeons are cousin-germans. It is very convenient, that by distinct names these relations should be observed, and marked out in mankind; there being occasion, both in laws, and other communications one with another, to mention and take notice of men under these relations: from whence also arise the obligations of several duties amongst men. Whereas in brutes, men having very little or no cause to mind these relations, they have not thought fit to give them distinct and peculiar names. This, by the way, may give us some light into the different state and growth of languages; which, being suited only to the convenience of communication, are proportioned to the notions men have, and the commerce of thoughts familiar amongst them; and not to the reality or extent of things, nor to the various respects might be found among them, nor the different abstract considerations might be framed about them. Where they had no philosophical notions, there they had no terms to express them: and it is no wonder men should have framed no names for those things they found no occasion to discourse of. From whence it is easy to imagine, why, as in some countries, they may have not so much as the name for a horse; and in others, where they are more careful of the pedigrees of their horses, than of their own, that there they may have not only names for particular horses, but also of their several relations of kindred one to another.
Belonging and Community Essay - 597 Words
§ 36. This farther is to be observed, that there is no idea we attribute to God, bating infinity, which is not also a part of our complex idea of other spirits. Because being capable of no other simple ideas, belonging to any thing but body, but those which by reflection we receive from the operation of our own minds, we can attribute to spirits no other but what we receive from thence: and all the difference we can put between them in our contemplation of spirits, is only in the several extents and degrees of their knowledge, power, duration, happiness, &c. For that in our ideas, as well of spirits, as of other things, we are restrained to those we receive from sensation and reflection, is evident from hence, that in our ideas of spirits, how much soever advanced in perfection beyond those of bodies, even to that of infinite, we cannot yet have any idea of the manner wherein they discover their thoughts one to another: though we must necessarily conclude, that separate spirits, which are beings that have perfecter knowledge and greater happiness than we, must needs have also a perfecter way of communicating their thoughts than we have, who are fain to make use of corporeal signs and particular sounds; which are therefore of most general use, as being the best and quickest we are capable of. But of immediate communication, having no experiment in ourselves, and consequently no notion of it at all, we have no idea how spirits, which use not words, can with quickness, or much less how spirits, that have no bodies, can be masters of their own thoughts, and communicate or conceal them at pleasure, though we cannot but necessarily suppose they have such a power.