Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

A note on metaphysics

Those who find the cartoon section the most profound part of the newspaper may be accused of anti-intellectualism. But I think the_opposite. In fact I used to call it "the intellectual section".

The metaphysics of Ziggy, Peanuts, or Bizarro or the Far Side are notorious for lack of pretension. If Hegel had reduced his system to a series of cartoons I would have liked him better, and the world would have been better served.

"What is metaphysics?" It is a pedantic term for the search for truth. God knows we must deal with some elaborate sleuths into the truth, who evade plain language as if it were a Saturday night bath. Truth is not elusive, said Jesus and Siddhartha. "It is as close as that flower, and when the sun scorches, see the flower wither."

I know there are those who will think I bowdlerize for omitting the insights of Heidegger, but I am still aghast at his "Sieg Heils". There is a small element of validity in many metaphysics, but it is almost totally displaced and disgraced in most systems by verbiage. I mean I do not tell my ten year old son to "act as if the maxim of your will became thereby a universal law of nature" [Kant], although that is a good approach, but simply, "Set a good example."

I have spent many months trying to decipher metaphysical systems and have gained practically nothing from it. My character was not noticeably improved compared to a common laborer's nor did I break any of my bad habits such as smoking. This is a confession or apologia I guess.

There is a lesson in this for those of us in the top two or one percent of measured intelligence. It is Jesus who rebukes the meta-physicians: "I thank you, Father, for not revealing these things to the intellectuals but instead to those who are simple as children."

Let us keep it simple.

Richard Kovac

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