The concept of ‘being’ may seem a harmless enough but rather sloppy and inaccurate way of modelling reality but it leads to appalling consequences. Every use of the words of the verb ‘to be’, like ‘is’ or ‘are’, conceals a false or questionable premise.
If we want to philosophise with clarity we can not say that any phenomena ‘is’ any other phenomena. We can only speak of actions, resemblances, and differences.
If we try and define what any phenomenon ‘is’ we merely apply a label to it, or say what its behaviour resembles. We can only define phenomena in terms of their resemblance to other phenomena and by implication, to what they do.
Any statement about what anything ‘is’ only has utility to the extent that it implies what it does.
When we speak of what any phenomenon ‘does’ we actually imply what we think it has done and what we think it will do.
‘Being’ exists only as a neurological and linguistic illusion.
The concept of ‘being’ implies some kind of metaphysical essence or quality in a phenomenon which exists somewhat independently of what we actually observe it doing.
This being-doing duality leads directly to the misconception of a spirit-matter dualism which underpins nearly all religious ideas, and to a mind-matter or to a mind-body dualism which gives rise to insoluble but illusory problems and paradoxes in philosophy, psychology, and in our ideas about consciousness.
Language structures thought, to at least the same degree that it reflects thought. Only with the greatest of difficulty can we formulate a thought which involves a concept for which we lack a word. Every word you do not understand represents an idea that you cannot easily have, but on the other hand, words can give a spurious reality to concepts that have no correlate in the real world at all.
In particular the subject-verb-object sentence structure of the English language, and most other languages, encourages users to think in terms of the subject having some sort of seperate ‘being’ from what it does.
If someone claims to have free will, ask them, ‘free from precisely what?’
Peter J. Carroll, The Apophenion: A Chaos Magic Paradigm