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Heideggers Conceptual Essences Being and the Nothing Humanism andTechnology Being and the Nothing are the same The ancient philosopher Lao-tzubelieved that the world entertains no separations and that opposites do not actually existHis grounding for this seemingly preposterous proposition lies in the fact that becausealleged opposites depend on one another and their definitions rely on their differencesthey cannot possibly exist without each other Therefore they are not actually oppositesThe simple and uncomplex natured reasoning behind this outrageous statement is usefulwhen trying to understand and describe Martin Heideggers deeply leveled philosophy ofLao-tzus uncomplicated rationale used in stating that supposed opposites createeach other so they cannot be opposite is not unlike Heideggers description of thesimilarity between the opposites Being and the nothing Unlike Lao-tzu Heidegger doesnot claim that no opposites exist He does however say that two obviously oppositeconcepts are the same and in this way the two philosophies are similar He believes thatthe separation of beings from Being creates the nothing between them Without thenothing Being would cease to be If there were not the nothing there could not beanything because this separation between beings and Being is necessary Heidegger evengoes so far as to say that Being itself actually becomes the nothing via its essential finityThis statement implies a synonymity between the relation of life to death and the relationof Being to nothingness To Heidegger the only end is death It is completely absolute soit is a gateway into the nothing This proposition makes Being and the nothing the twohalves of the whole Both of their roles are equally important and necessary in the cycle oflife and death Each individual life inevitably ends in death but without this death Lifewould be allowed no progression The nothing does not merely serve as thecounterconcept of beings rather it originally belongs to their essential unfolding as such Likewise death cannot occur without finite life In concordance with the statement thatthe nothing separates beings from Being the idea that
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