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Being and the Nothing Humanism and TechnologyThe ancient philosopher Lao-tzu believed that the worldentertains no separations and that opposites do not actuallyexist His grounding for this seemingly preposterous propositionlies in the fact that because alleged opposites depend on oneanother and their definitions rely on their differences theycannot possibly exist without each other Therefore they arenot actually opposites The simple and uncomplex naturedreasoning behind this outrageous statement is useful when tryingto understand and describe Martin Heideggers deeply leveledphilosophy of Being and the nothing Lao-tzus uncomplicatedrationale used in stating that supposed opposites create eachother so cannot be opposite is not unlike Heideggersdescription of the similarity between the opposites Being and theUnlike Lao-tzu Heidegger does not claim that no oppositesexist He does however say that two obviously opposite conceptsare the same and in this way the two philosophies are similar He believes that the separation of beings from Being creates thenothing between them Without the nothing Being would cease tobe If there were not the nothing there could not beanything because this separation between beings and Being isHeidegger even goes so far as to say that Being itselfactually becomes the nothing via its essential finity Thisstatement implies a synonymity between the relation of life todeath and the relation of Being to nothingness To Heideggerthe only end is death It is completely absolute so it is agateway into the nothing This proposition makes Being and thenothing the two halves of the whole Both of their roles areequally important and necessary in the cycle of life and death Each individual life inevitably ends in death but without thisdeath Life would be allowed no progression The nothing doesnot merely serve as the counterconcept of beings rather itoriginally belongs to their essential unfolding as such 104 Likewise death cannot occur without finite life In concordance with the statement that the nothing separatesbeings from Being the idea that death leads to the nothingimplies that death is just the loss of the theoretical sandwichsbread
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