I find it necessary for the greatest truth-teller and the greatest deceiver to share a common property, that is, they are both trusted by the masses and one cannot be distinguished from the other.
In which is demonstrated its impossibility Picture an ancient tarn enclosed on all sides by mountains and trees, hold in you mind the keen shimmer of the water, the murmuring of the oaks and the injustice of the northern winds. Now strip all of this away, the mountains and lake vanish along with the trees, then the very face of the Earth is swept from reality. The stars all vanish along with the other celestial bodies in the sky so that all we are left with is a blank void, a nothingness of sorts. Except what we are left with is something very real, the passing of time and the reality of space is still undeniable is it not? There is also the potential for the reintroduction of corporeal entities, not to mention the fact that the scene of this blankness is still comprehensible to our minds. There are those amongst us who would reduce this already reduced form of reality even further to the point at which the dimensions of space and time disappear and we are left with what is referred to as nothingness. But this appears to be a completely flawed notion, not only does the reduced reality of blank space give rise to the idea of nothingness in a mind, the idea of nothingness is not even that. The comprehensive faculties of the mind can make no sense of it whatsoever and it can only be described with respect to what is not there. If we ask: what is nothingness? an adequate response might appear to be, it is the absence of all things, or the absence of reality. This brings us no closer to understanding what nothingness is and, since we cannot comprehend it or give a satisfactory account of it, we might think those who believe in the possibility of it to hold an unsubstantiated belief. And yet the problem is even worse than this. Some would go as far as to claim that, not only is nothingness possible, it is also ‘easier’ and more sensible than reality. Hence the arrival of the question: Why is there something rather than simply nothing? Simply nothing? Why there is nothing simple about it! In fact this very notion of what is simpler or easier being the case implies the existence of a mind (of God) for whom it is easier for, and this may not be true to the way in which Nature works. Already the befuddlement that we as human beings come under the influence of when thinking of concepts such as nothingness seems to remove all rights for us to talk of it as something that is simplistic and easier than reality, even if mind did play such a crucial role in Nature. But we can go further than this. Although the possibility of nothingness seems unlikely, due to its incoherency and the precariousness of how it is derived, this in no way refutes its possibility; simply because we cannot understand it does not mean that it is impossible. Therefore we must determine a way of knowing whether or not the possibility of nothingness is ruled out entirely. What do we know then? Well we know that either nothingness is the case or reality is the case and that both of these cannot be so. We also know that reality, in some form or another, is the case, due to our various sense perceptions of things which imply a beholder and a perception. We can therefore be sure that nothingness is not the case. Yet this does not mean that it could not have been the case. So we must go deeper. All things must arise due to necessity, be that by a direct cause, such as one billiard ball knocking into another; a causal framework, that is, a universally governing law of Nature that causes things to exhibit certain properties; or causation by pre-programming, such as in the case of fundamental particles (which I do not believe could ever exhibit truly random properties since I have yet to see a coherent system that explains how it could occur). We may therefore deduce that all that happens is necessary. If, therefore, reality is so, then it follows that reality is necessary. We know that reality is so and that therefore it is necessary. Now if reality is necessary and either reality or nothingness is true, then it must be so that nothingness is impossible by necessity. This arises due to the fact that there is only one correct solution to the problem and that, just like in mathematics, that correct solution makes all other solutions impossible by definition. 2 + 2 could never be anything other than 4 by its very nature, this is also the case here since only one solution is coherent (reality) and the incorrect solution (nothingness) arises due to our misinterpretation of the correct solution (the error by which we assume it is possible to strip reality away completely and be left with something that, although incoherent, is possible). Therefore the idea of nothingness is made impossible by reality. Reality’s necessity makes the impossibility of nothingness an impossibility by necessity. Why this is the case however is far more difficult to explain, perhaps it has no explanation. I believe that this brings the realm of Philosophy entirely into reality itself, and this may seem to be a truism and yet since the development of modern physics we seem to have begun to view our universe with less significance than we did before due to the possibility of the nothingness ‘before’ it. If the idea of nothingness is but an impossible misunderstanding then our reality’s philosophical significance is restored. This will be helpful in the justification of other theories.
There are blank faces under the leafy moon tonight,
Charred spoons lay scattered on the sandbanks
Whilst pumpkins, pale as sick vultures, tumble
Down to the river,
Making blubbering splashes as they hit the frothy currents.
What is this starlit place?
Wait! A figure glides along the waters.
It has wide marbles for eyes
That trickle lost light from their deepest vaults.
A moon spirit lost in the stygian night.
Etched in the Neolithic dawn,
The hexed belt of Orion;
‘Twas then but a symphony of Azure
To the tribal enchantress,
In ecstasy amongst her heterodox forces.
From the splintered lute
To the strains of Pachelbel,
That Dust, taught by the ark,
Doth climb the steep crags
From the abandoned pits
Out into the surreal daylight;
They blink in Ambiguity’s glare.
Is it but a mirage, their newly found glow?
Were they lured by some fall’n angel
To hasher nights?
To eons where the lofty spires
Do rise up o’er the billows
To howling zeniths.
Our crowns wrapped in frantic heights,
The visionaries conjure a new philosophy:
Those celestial Craftsmen
Become the ticking engines of One greater.
Chords of Scorpius woven into orbit
By Aristotle’s euphoric cries
Now I stare out through a window,
A plane sketches the open clouds,
In the calm, I believe it sounds:
A stir in the ether;
The burning of the Alexandrian vaults
In Rome, as Zeus takes up his bolt.
‘Tis ‘cursed luck that ‘pon the eye
Of newly blooded sight
The ancient ghosts should rise on up
O’er the sands so white.
The land infused with emerald skies
Their void and rapid essence,
Do tell of kingdoms gobbled up
By Time’s malicious presence.
O as I stand upon the rocks,
The granite, grit stained stones,
I look to yonder hill so high
Where lie the ancient bones
Of man and beast and godly kin
They all seem so alike,
In presence of that one so sly:
The Scottish Sea Wind Wight.
He stands upon the fertile cliffs
And gazes ‘pon the sea,
Yet only when the moon doth rise
Shall the spirit be at ease.
He glides about the murky caves
The ancient caverns sly,
With but a sword from bygone days
O where his death was nigh.
Condemned to hang for Treason’s vines
Which seeped around his lips
And plunged their vulgar poisons ‘pon
His serpentine like whip.
So lost is enraged spirit coy
He’s turned the land to dust
Where once the trees and waters sung
Even the sand doth rust.
And as I make my way up to
Where he did free the ghost,
The air around grows torpid fast
And hints at undead host.
The form I see by rotting wood
Is like that from some dream,
The rancid sort where Mortals are
Engulfed by Faerie’s stream.
A pure gaunt face, his eyes are hallowed
And sunken into bone,
And where they should have shone a blue
A tragic red doth roam.
He’s formless though he looks as man,
Yet I cannot so bring,
My eyes and mind to know of thing
That rules as Hade’s king.
Now the truth comes flooding back,
In rows of fiery gore,
The land is green, the rope is fresh
So that swift death’s ensured.
The Scottish Wight is soul of mine,
An essence yet to come,
And as I fall through open trap
I’m left to Devil’s Run.
I have on occasions, and no doubt have done so alongside many others who are skeptical of religion, criticised the believe in metaphysical concepts, such as God, due to their heavy association with and dependence on faith. Although there exist many arguments which set out to prove the existence of such metaphysical phenomena, the truth of these matters usually comes down to a personal belief for most people; the truth no longer becomes what is important where religion is concerned, more what we would prefer to be true. Christianity claims to offer salvation through Christ, and Buddhism reincarnation. Religions are often criticised for being based on human inclinations and desires, the easy way out of the quest for knowledge and an appeal to the common man. And in many ways this criticism casts a black shadow upon belief in transcendent entities and afterlives, what we desire does not necessarily correlate with what is objective and knowable about the world. But what seems absolutely unacceptable is the arrogant assumption that the disciplines such as the sciences and philosophy are not open to this same criticism.
Consider the sciences, they are empirical by their very nature since they use the senses to make observations about the world. But their method depends upon the assumption that our senses are in fact correct and that the information we receive from them is true and objective. Given the variety of criticisms that can be thrown at this assumption by the skeptic, we must accept that what we really do, when we carry out the scientific method and make statements about the world, is take the fact that our senses give us reliable, truthful knowledge on faith. The very thing we might criticise a follower of Christianity for doing.
Similarly in philosophy we make the assumption that our conceptual scheme (the elementary principles including the basic building blocks logic and grammar which our mind possesses) is true and objective. If our own conceptual scheme is simply a product of evolution then we cannot say with certainty that it allows us to know anything meaningful about the world around us. Following this idea even tautologies could be doubtful since their truth might only be specific to our own conceptual scheme. When we formulate a theory in philosophy we must have faith that our conceptual scheme is more than simply a subjective byproduct of evolution.
All disciplines require a certain degree of faith in order for anything of use to be acquired and for any matters of truth to be discerned. It would, then, be wrong (and not to mention ignorant) to criticise religion for having elements of faith to it since all our endeavours inevitably do the same. So long, of course, that the faith is not of the blind and irrational sense (that is, refusing to even listen to propositions which suggest the opposite of personal belief). So long as one is not utterly consumed by faith to the disregard of all else, we cannot, intelligently, criticise religion for such an attribute. Perhaps instead of doing so we should concentrate more on making the certainty of our own endeavours and disciplines more concrete and less dependant on that which we condemn others for wielding.
To claim that Universals, such as Justice, have an independent existence outside of the cognitive is to assume a certain type of connection between the mind and reality which is suggestive of some form of design and purpose of which we are the final end since the gulf must be reconciled between both the cognitive and existential conceptions of universals. Such a claim could only be held as true if the existence of some intelligent deity is postulated, and since we cannot do this seeing as such a proposition is neither a tautology nor empirically verifiable, it must be the case that such statements involving Realism are neither true nor false either. They have no factual significance.
The times of restless, ancient still
When all did bow to tyrant’s will
And raging beast did stir in mind
Of glowing orb of purest rime,
Who that great God bestowed upon
The ghastly truths of divine One
And how harsh lies of damned deceit
Would make His cattle, kneel and bleat.
How kings and monks would fall on ground
And beg The Lord to let them drown
The men who did not follow creed
Of scriptures law, by human weeds.
And so when angel did learn of
The pointless life and hollow love,
He rose above that smirking Lord
To strike him down for good, for sure.
And yet cruel God did know his flight
With ever-present, burning sight.
That angel fell to fiery deep
Where always cursed to wrongly reap
The souls of men who did not good
Nor either did they take the hood
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We shall begin by examining the potential relationship between God’s omnipotence and omnibenevolence. If God is, as the common Christian belief holds, infinitely powerful then it should follow, assuming he is in possession of freewill and an awareness of the self, that it is possible for him to manipulate, or guide, the universe towards some goal or objective since his authority can override the physical laws of nature. The will of God created reality and that same will may govern it directly at any point in time he so chooses. Now, let us also suppose that God is omnibenevolent, armed with this knowledge we would make the assumption that God wishes to exercise this good in his creation and in fact, make goodness a vital and fundamental part of creation itself. However this does not seem to be the case and God, at least from a human perspective, appears to allow the existence of evil and suffering in the universe which are contrary to his complete nature of goodness. This leads to three potential conclusions. Either: God does not exist since two parts of this nature create a contradiction which cannot be logically resolved. God is not omnipotent and some other force besides God is responsible for the existence of evil making us wonder what exactly our “God” is and whether or he is worthy of worship. Or finally, and possibly most controversially, that God is not ominbenevolent
God is the creator of the universe and according to Christian doctrine the “creator of all things visible and invisible”. This view of God currently has a place in science and is a potential solution to the cause of the Big Bang, in fact it seems logical that there should be a first cause since an infinite series of events with no beginning is illogical and to presume such an absurdity would be foolish. Therefore, with God as the creator of reality, just as a watchmaker is responsible for creating a faulty clock God is responsible for the malfunctioning of his creation (for example earthquakes and volcanoes causing human suffering and death). This could suggest that evil does not originate from God and that reality as we know it was formed from preexisting matter which contained the potential for evil. This would suggest that God is not the creator of everything and that God is not omnipotent since he cannot dispel this evil potential which tragically resides within all matter. Nor is he eternal since otherwise be would have been responsible for creation and therefore some other being or force must instead be responsible. If we are to have a first cause, and it is not God since he did not create reality, then it defies logic to state that before the first cause God existed. Even if God existed before time he could not have existed simultaneously with the first cause since otherwise it would be necessary for the first cause to create God as he was created which is impossible since he was not made but simply was. God cannot have been created before the first cause was because the first cause was never not. God must have come after. If the first cause created God then he must have been created at a measurable point either in time or some other substance or dimension since any time, place or nowhere that God was created the first cause must have existed before since only it can be eternal by logical definition.
If God created the universe for a purpose then he is responsible for how that final purpose is achieved, if he creates a world in which death and evil exist in order to achieve some ideal then God’s omnibenevolence is proven to be purely speculation since an all good God would be prevent evil and suffering. However, it could be argued that God has the greater good in mind when he allows the existence of evil, or a good which is beyond the comprehension of mankind. This would suggest that the actions that we consider evil are not really evil at all and are instead simply things that we dislike. We may dislike an action such as rape or genocide but that does not make it evil by any means, simply undesirable to a human being. To one who can see the bigger picture of events (and even the true nature of these events) there is no immorality in these actions despite what we humans may think of the matter. After all, we are only created in the image of God, and come nowhere near to the likeness of God himself.
If God has freewill and is omnibenevolent then he must be in control of his creation and is therefore responsible for all that happens within the universe and out of it. One implication of this is that, because God exercises freewill not only is he responsible for his creation but he governs it as well. Therefore God is not so much an all good ethereal being attempting to better both man and the universe as a whole but a divine dictator whose lust for power and control has corrupted him beyond the scope of human understanding. He is the perfect example, not of good, but of pure self interest and the complete disregard for the interests of others. He is in fact responsible for his creation but, since he is all powerful and there is no one to oppose him, there is no reason why he should be responsible (the ethical term) towards it. After all if one has free will and the ability to do as he pleases then why should he not take advantage of the situation, especially if the consequences of such actions have no negative implications for the actor. God is said to be more than a man, in many respects this is true, but it is likely that he possesses freewill, and that gives him the awareness and ability to do as and what he pleases.
If we are to assume that all things which occur in the universe at this time are the result of the fundamental forces of nature which came about or were adjusted at the creation of this current universe and that God was responsible for the creation of these forces and the universe, then, even if God is transcendent, due to his omniscience he must have been aware of the exact implications of his creation to an incalculably small scale. This is proven by the precision that the universal constants appear in mathematical form (Planck’s constant being one of them). This suggests that Gods plan has, already, as good as taken place and that all things that occur in the universe including evil actions have been calculated and predicted at that defining moment before creation. God is therefore omnipotent and omniscient. The question remains however, as mentioned in the above paragraphs, as to whether or not God is simply incomprehensibly good or merely a divine dictator with no regard for the individual human life.