Meditation on A Child.If I

Meditation on A Child.

If I consider him as made out of something, he can be given four accounts:

1.) He is himself, for what he is made out of makes him.

2.) He is his parents, for he is made out of them, and in this sense is nothing other than the subsistence of his parents in another place.

3.) He is the earth, for what he is made out of reduces to what came out of the earth (and the things of earth out of the stars)

4.) He is every human generation that came before him, for all he was made out of was derived from his parents, but his parents derived this same thing from their parents, and so on.

If I consider him as human, then he is not caused by anything mentioned above, for none of these things can be cause a human as human. Neither the child, nor his parents, not the generations that came before him are the cause of man, for they were all already human. Neither did the earth make this child apart from the co- generation of his parents. Similar considerations apply when we consider the child as existing, or having being.

And yet the child is obviously both made out of things, and human, and existing. None of these things constitute the child partially, for the same being is considered totally human, totally what he is made of, and totally existent. The causes, however, are diverse. Many different causes flow together to make a single effect. This child is being caused by more than one thing.

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