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Tuesday, May 20, 2014



A Short Treatise on the Nature of Being

By Jim J. McCrea

The philosophers have held that goodness is a transcendental property of being. That means that being as being is good, so that goodness is simply another name for being.

With that, evil is not another type of being in addition to goodness, but is the absence of being or goodness where it is due.

Now obesity can be considered an evil because it is not the due or proper nature of the human body to be that way (not that obese people are evil, but obesity itself is an evil. Most overweight people see that as not a good thing).

Now one may object that obesity being an evil is obviously not an absence of being but is an excess of being, so this seems to belie the idea that evil consists of some sort of absence or lack.

But we have to know that being is not merely raw matter. Matter is what a physical thing is made of. It is a common intellectual error today to hold that a thing is nothing but what it is made of.  A physical being, however, has a component in addition to matter -  that is *form.* Form is how the matter is constituted to give that physical thing its proper nature and integrity.

With obesity the lack is not in the matter but is in the form, as the body of the obese lacks proper form. That constitutes the evil of obesity.

There is physical evil anywhere where the proper form of a physical thing is lacking that is supposed to give it its integrity and perfection.

** Endnote - Physical evil is not to be confused with moral evil. Physical evil is simply the state of something physically not being what it is supposed to be.

Also see Metaphysics: the Science of Being