The One

MelissusThis argument then provides the strongest proof that there is one only. If there is earth and water and air and fire and iron and gold, and one living and another dead, and again black and white – each must be such as we first decided, and they cannot change or become different, but each is always as it is.

But as it is we say that we do see and hear and perceive correctly, and yet it seems to us that the hot becomes cold and the cold hot, and the hard becomes soft and the soft hard, and the living dies and there is birth from what is not living, and all these things change around and what a thing was and what it is now are not at all the same.

So it happens that we don’t see or understand what there is. These claims do not agree with each other. We say that many things are constant, but they all seem to us to become different that we were not seeing correctly, and that those many things do not appear as they rightly are, for they would not change if they were real, but each would be as it seemed. Therefore, if there were many things, they would each have to be as the one is.

Melissus

Published by Diogenes

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