ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

You Must Make Metaphysical Commitments

Updated on November 5, 2014


Everyone in practice must make metaphysical commitments, that is, he or she must commit to some position concerning the fundamental nature of the world.


Perhaps, one can adopt and maintain consistently a theoretical position of skepticism about our ability to know the nature of the world. Such skepticism may take many forms. One may maintain that we cannot demonstrate the truth of beliefs about the world around us, much less beliefs about metaphysical entities such as God (e.g., Hume). Alternatively, one may hold that complete objectivity is not possible and hence there can be no such thing as objective knowledge in any discipline (e.g., Nietzsche).

Whether one can maintain a theoretical position of skepticism against all rebuttals is a question for the philosophers. However, it is clear that in practice one cannot. Practice is action. We have an inescapable decision to make--live or die. If we choose to live, we must act. We must do something. We must eat, sleep, work, play, get along with our neighbors, and act in myriad other ways. Living is acting. Now, to act is to translate thought into action. It is to make a decision. That decision--any decision--is based, explicitly or implicitly, on my beliefs about the nature of the world and my place in or relation to the world.

Star Clusters
Star Clusters | Source

Commitment to a belief in the laws of nature

One such belief common to practically all of my decisions is that our world behaves in regular ways, which we call the laws of nature. These laws are based on the proposition that the future will be like the past in fundamental respects. Today's fundamental chemical, physical, and biological behaviors will be tomorrow's. Based on this belief, we prescribe and take drugs, build and cars, build and travel over bridges, buy and watch TV sets, cook by recipes, and on and on. Skeptics such as Hume and Santanyana have denied that we are justified in the proposition that the world exhibits uniform, regular behavior. We may debate the theory, but in practice we must act, decide, and believe, explicitly or implicitly, that the regularity of fundamental natural behaviors is a part of the fundamental or ultimate nature of our world.


The name we give to beliefs concerned with the ultimate nature of the world is metaphysics. From the foregoing, we see that in practice, we must have metaphysical beliefs, explicitly or implicitly. Because we decide and act on these beliefs, we are committed to them. Thus, in practice, we cannot be skeptics. In practice, we all must make metaphysical commitments.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)