Being and Becoming


There is great debate between Heraclitus’ theory of Becoming and Parmenides’ theory of Being. Both do have some logic and evidence at least that would allow for any man to understand where these two philosophers are coming from. But there are a lot of weaknesses in the Being theory that lower its validity to a different level than Becoming. It is because of this that Heraclitus’ view has a stronger impact on both human and natural logic for existence. So out of the two theories, Heraclitus’ Becoming is more reasonable and logically explainable, making it the more definite one.

Heraclitus’ view of Becoming is a very common sense of logic for man’s interpretation of the world. There isn’t much interpretation or analysis of his theory for one to deal with. It is very simple and straight forward. Things are not constantly the same. Change is inevitable and a vital part of the world. He is saying that matter undergoes processes that bring it from one form into another. In sense the origin and creation of the matter and object does not change, but it does become something different within itself. For example, this is to say that water can not become a block of wood, but it can become vapor or ice. It also is not just a simple statement with a wide response. It is a clearly stated thesis that leaves little room for trivial interpretation. There is a clear mentality that is common to human nature that derives this idea of Becoming and allows for others to grasp it quickly even if they choose not to agree with it.

On the other hand, Parmenides’ idea of Being doesn’t quite have that logical grasp on others. He is merely stating that all the world exists in a kind of stasis mode where there is no change. Everything just is, which is Being, and can not be anything other than being. This general grouping of everything as Being provides for a very questionable definition of this word. If everything is Being, then what exactly do they all possess that makes them Being? There is much room for interpretation. If Parmenides means only that everything exists, then one can also say that things change. For one thing, by this definition, to possess being it does not require any other set of rules to exist. It merely needs to be. However, if the definition of Being is more complex, something outside of just existing, then it is a very vague understanding of how everything can be grouped together in this one category of Being. This would give a lack of development to the thought and leave the word Being as an empty grouping of letters. It would not have a true meaning and therefore not a true purpose which would render this theory pointless and insignificant.

It should be somewhat clear by now why one side is stronger than the other. There is a sense of both logical and evidential validity to Heraclitus’ theory. While in a way it can have a broad interpretation or radical versions, it is much harder to pull a part what he is saying than it is in the other theory. In just every day life the common man sees evidence of Becoming. It can be in the form of watching flowers and plants grow, baking bread or meat, and leaving a glass of water out on a hot day. These little hints at Becoming provide scientific explanations to match the definition. There is no question to what Becoming is. This makes it easy to follow and comprehend.

Being has a much harder time trying to prove itself to the average man. If all matter exists, then it is Being, for it is recognizable as evidently existing. But if it is Being, then it is locked in a stasis existence meaning that Being and Becoming can overlap. But, as stated before, there is no question that change is viewed everyday, so it can not be that only one exists by itself. And Becoming makes no claims to exist outside of Being. Rather, Becoming could be a part of Being. And if Being means something more than just existing, there is a questionable logic behind what this Being is. For the definition would provide too narrow of meaning to include everything. Becoming is more of a verb than an adjective by its definition, so it is easy to say that a cat can Become as much as a tree or a baseball. And while it is Becoming, it is existing, and being. But if it is Being, then it can not differ and can not be Becoming. So therefore, Being is the weaker of the two theories for it provides man with a more narrow logic and questionable interpretation of existence.

While Being does have its strong points, and Becoming its weak, the two can not fully compete with each other. Being lacks some vital backbones to the argument, suggesting that even Parmenides didn’t quite understand how to explain himself and therefore wasn’t a hundred percent sure of what it means to be. Heraclitus on the other hand provides a definition, that though apparently more broad at first glance, is only seen this way because it is more evidently provable and therefore more accurate its in definition. In the end, it is Becoming that really shines as the stronger of the two theories. It provides for a more understandable and less interpretable argument. There is clarity in what is being said and presented. This is why the argument for Becoming is the better.


Source by Jake Rose