Rule of Law – Bradon Wilchej

So you are willing to compromise?

Not capitulate.

So you want your way?

Our way.

Whatever do you mean?

Might does not make right. These laws we speak about are already ‘there’ to for us to discover and obey.

So you are a natural law proponent?

In that nature’s God has established them, yes.

There you go again, bringing up subjective superstitions.

My turn; does that mean you don’t believe in gravity and quantum mechanics?

What nonsense; every educated person believes in science.

Believes in ‘science’ or ‘truth’? ‘Science’ is a process of discovering the existent truth last time I checked.

Semantics, there is nothing else.

One can believe in the truth but there are many processes to discover it.

Really? I suppose you will bring up your pesky notion of religion.

Actually, I was going to bring up interpersonal conversation. We use it to discover all sorts of things: new friends during a conference, guilt or innocence in a court of law and where the nearest coffee bar is located; among other uses.

I bet you’ll say poetry and art are means of discovery as well? Not simply human invention to pass the time while we refrain from assaulting our neighbors.

I’d never accuse you of that, and yes, they are means of discovery. Not all truth is amenable to scientific process.

Any modern progressive human being knows better.

I don’t think you are right in what you say.

I’ll go so far as to say that your kinds’ time is over; we have surmounted the reaches of the north, to use your own poetry.

You can’t say that…

Sure I can; I can say anything I want, when I want and contradict myself to my heart’s content.

When you subject others to your pronouncements, it ceases to be whimsy and becomes tyranny.

There are no consequences, ultimately.

The townsfolk outside with the pitchforks beg to disagree.

Ah, but I said ultimately.

So you believe you are extinguished at death, do you?

Of course, and you believe in hellfire; what a quaint superstitious notion.

You may discover elsewise, I’m afraid.

Scare tactics, nothing more. Just to assert your control over me, but I’ll have none of that.

I think not; I just mean to communicate the truth. It is you who will have to deal with the consequences.

All the world’s a stage…

The following intriguing argument comes from Dorothy L. Sayers’ essay: Creative Mind in the collection “Letters to a Diminished Church”. I’ve condensed the passage to its essence.

Suppose a novelist with a completely consistent imagination created characters, yea, an entire world with a comprehensive history. If one of the characters, an archeologist, were examining the fossil record then she couldn’t leave the book to ask the novelist for the meaning of the fossils. She is trapped between the covers of the book.

Her situation is identical to that of a scientist in our universe. The scientist can only check evidence that the universe reveals of its own past and he is trapped, as it were, within the universe. As a result of the fossils, the self consistency with other data and the impact of it on herself and her fellow characters, our archeologist would be forced to think, speak and act as if the past had taken place (whether it did in actuality or not). Is this situation somehow less than the truth?

In what sense is the past (perhaps mostly unwritten) of characters in a novel any less true than their thought, speech and actions in that novel? Or, if a prehistory has effects (through the agency of an author) on history as if it did happen, what matter is it if that prehistory never occurred?

If the world came into being yesterday (or at some other time), then, if the world were the result of an author’s consistent imagination, there would be no perceptible difference of any kind to anything in the universe.  In this regard, a physicist might refer to “fully defined” Dirichlet boundaries, kind of like the covers of a book. Where consistent imagination is involved, the divide between scientific and poetic truth is very hard to discern.

So what does any of this reasoning prove? Nothing, the purpose of imaginative creation is to form self-consistent worlds out of the universe of undifferentiated contemplation and not to prove anything. Every activity (science, poetry, engineering, law, etc.) has its own technique; the mistake we make in the modern period is to apply the technique of one activity for all purposes…  

Shall we then agree with Shakespeare: ” All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players… “?