What can we imagine


What can we imagine? It’s an interesting question. It forms one of the ontological arguments for the existence of God. To put it briefly, we can imagine absolute perfection, to exist is to be more perfect than not to exist, therefore absolute perfection must exist, or something along those lines. Sartre uses it too, not in exactly the same form, but what he says is that because we can imagine ourselves better than we are, we cannot be the foundation for our own being. If we were the foundation of our own being we would make ourselves the better self.

There are two problems with this, firstly the suggestion that to exist is more perfect than not. Take the example of what I had for tea – pizza. Every now and then I get cravings for pizza, they dog me for a while until I finally give in and order myself one. It’s always disgusting. The pizza in reality never lives up to the pizza in my head (and don’t get me started on the garlic bread).

Secondly, just because I can imagine perfection doesn’t mean it has to exist. It is possible I have just extrapolated it from the world. I see a quilt, then I see a better quilt (warmer, colours I like better etc.) This opens up the possibility to me that there is a better again, and a better again after that, not just in quilts but in all things. I might think, well I like this wheel, but if there is a better quilt maybe there is a better wheel, or a better God.

Maybe we are our own foundation, or the foundation of our own being, and we founded ourselves as best as the limitations of the world permit, however we can imagine ourselves better, because we have the concept of better.

I am still doing loads of hand sewing, mostly at night while I am watching my library DVD’s.

3 responses »

  1. I once knew a fundamentalist Christian with whom I used to argue about Creationism. She claimed that no-one could imagine anything that not been created by God, or in other words that God was the source of all creativity. I thought this was bollocks.

    You should make your own pizza, then you could have the pizza you imagine (I hate commercial pizza).

    • I have thought about getting one of those pizza makers, but it seems like a lot of money for a gadget I can only use for one thing.

  2. Bah, just make them on an oven tray. I like to use pita bread for a base. I’m not a fan of chunky pizza bases at all. i also have other pizza pecadilloes. Onion is compulsory. Minimal sauce and maximum cheese. And slightly overcooked 🙂

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