On the Security of Knowledge

As you step into the room, you find yourself in a small crowd of people. They are all paying close attention to two speakers butting heads up front. You decide to watch the tense debate.

: "There's only two options here: either reality was intentionally created, or it's all one big accident. You say you know things, but only one of those options allows for the possibility of knowledge. We need a source for our knowledge. Only a Creator can possess and provide us with knowledge. The only way we know anything is because of our creator, god. He is the secure foundation of knowledge.

: "You get ahead of yourself. You assume that your "Creator" could bring about, and therefore know, literally everything. The truth is much different.

Reality is uncreated NOT because it is an accident, but because metaphysical creation is impossible. You forget that there only "is"; this is an absolute and inescapable ontological fact. Your favourite creator is just a limited thing, located within that metaphysical context. You and I are also there, along with the all the other supposed creators and gods, subsumed within an inviolate metaphysical context.

Your creator, to the extent you can coherently posit such a thing, might know more than us, but he is still limited. We're all in the same boat -- your god needs a source of knowledge just as much as we do. We all rely on the absolute security and certainty of Being.

: "What's the justification for that? What's your a priori justification for saying "it all is" - it might seem that way to you, but people have always thought that way about their a priori models. Whether it be a system of geometry, physics, maths, or whatever you please.

You're being arbitrary, some day a thing will come along that breaks your a priori model, and you'll switch to a new one. You cannot justify your certainty by invoking Being."

: "You fail to see the difference between limited models updating as new information is provided, and the grand metaphysical principle I have revealed to you. When I say that there "is", I am talking about ontological presence. That encompasses all meaning, anything that might ever be perceived or otherwise affirmed in any way. I am not trying to trick you when I say this is omnipresent - wherever this conversation goes, there it is.

When you say a thing might come along and break this model, you only reveal your own confusion. For you affirm the presence of a "thing", you refer to it in the singular, and you say we can perceive it. By definition it is subsumed by what-is. You have not posited anything outside that omnipresent principle of Being, and in no way will you ever do so.

You necessarily affirm Being and refute your own position. Whatever you grasp at to refute me, it is here in reality with us. Maybe you could present some facts that would overthrow a limited model of geometry or maths. As for justification, justification itself is a limited thing that should be put in its place. For this principle is beyond justification, necessity is more powerful than reason or explanation. Ontology swallows everything whole."

: "Let's have it your way then, and I will show how you lead yourself to absurdity. Let's say we're here by accident, or at least not created by an almighty god who reveals truth to us. You need to tell us the source of your knowledge, how do you know such things? Who's it going to be, yourself? You will either make up some a priori rules and use them to define reality, but that's just being arbitrary because ultimately there are multiple theories out there, and you just picked one.

Or you can rely on your immediate sense perception and experiences, but what does that amount to? It's not an outside world, it's just in your head, and even the idea of your head is probably nonsense in the end. It's hopeless.

: "It's not hopeless. The ontology I just taught you absolutely vindicates our claims of knowledge! Whatever you are aware of, it "is", without exception. That is truth per se. That is what the metaphysical enquiry reveals to us, and from there great and certain realisations will follow.

Existence is absolutely secure, which means there is to be no talk of whether something exists. Rather, we know that literally everything exists, and now our task is to accurately describe it all. So we have to ask if a description makes sense - have our words captured meaning, or did we just make incoherent sounds or chicken scratch on a page?"

The men continue their back and forth, before another man steps in and announces that it will soon be time for audience questions. You are tempted to stay and participate, but the long day has sapped your strength.

  1. Retire to your room and get some rest...