God and the Principle of Pre-established Harmony in Gottfried LeibnizJune 27, 2021
The basis of Leibniz’s entire metaphysical system depends on his acceptance of a principle called the pre-established principle of harmony. According to Leibniz, the entire universe is a harmonious and competent system. God has chosen this universe as the most suitable one among the infinite number of universe possibilities.
Everything is in its place in this universe and they form a harmonious unity with each other. In the beginning God created the harmony between them. Everything performs its own motion due to this pre-established compatibility; in this way, the harmonious functioning between substances is not disturbed. God chose this universe as the best universe with his good intentions, so the goodness of the universe is unquestionable. So God is the highest monad responsible for the entire universe and is pure activity. God is eternal and absolute necessity. So it is governed by the law of contradiction. Man and the world are contingent. Because they were like this because God chose that way and not that way. But God’s choice was not random, but in the way of choosing the best of the possible.
“Being omniscient, God knew which world was the best; He wanted it by being good, and by being omnipotent, he had the power to bring it into existence” (Sahakian, 1995: 141). God had decided that a world with freedom of will in it would be better than a world without freedom of will, even though he occasionally allowed man to choose the evil one. Moreover, it could be shown that there is more good than evil in the world. In that case, if the universe was not worth creating, God would not have created it. Thus, according to Leibniz, Descartes and Spinoza, he appears as a true God-lover. Being a pure mathematician, believing in innate a priori ideas and knowledge, carried him to the concept of God as the highest metaphysical principle in terms of grounding his metaphysical views.
It is not accidental that rationalist thinkers such as Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza and Leibniz created God-oriented philosophical systems in the modern age. They set out to prove that systems of God-aware philosophy could be created without being guided by Christian theology. As emancipated subjects, they chose to devise their own philosophy freely in the light of the principles they had gathered from their own minds and made the concept of God the founding starting principle of their philosophical system. On the other hand, the English thinkers of the period did not share this approach and as free subjects, they based their philosophical systems on more naturalistic and empiricist foundations, largely excluding the idea of God. Thomas Hobbes and David Hume have been typical examples of this approach.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook