The 24 Deaths of MH – part 16

24 deaths of MHWilliam of Ockham states:
—If God is all-powerful, He can just as easily decide to give out the commandment thou shalt kill.
Else God would be constrained, of course. And William’s reasoning leads him to argue that there can be nothing inherently good, or ‘of virtue’ as he uses, in the concept ‘thou shalt not kill’.
Provocative thought. Subversive thought. William is edging towards getting rid of God completely. In the 1340s, he probably debates whether he wishes to be burnt as a heretic and then decides to stick largely to the what-we-are-agreed-upon.
William is such a violent thinker. Exposure to his ideas would probably slay several sorts of religious fundamentalist with apoplexies.

He killed someone and then someone killed him.
MH ran somebody through with a microphone-stand. Then was run through in return with a rapier, by someone who took exception to the first killing, on the grounds of kinship or some other affiliation.
—So is anything going to happen to the one left standing?
—No, because killing’s good now, said the Journalist, having heard the news first. It’s a good thing us two have never striven too actively towards goodness, isn’t it.
Plays hell with the Jacobean concept of revenge,
Somehow, it still feels quite bad that MH got it. Like morals were absolute, in a higher way than this ‘God’ in all his capriciousness.

In the famous ‘universals’ debate, William is on the side of, perhaps the leader of, that faction asserting that concepts are necessary (useful) in the construction of meaning, but have no existence.
—If God is all-powerful, he cannot be constrained to being consistent.
—He might have told his hapless mortal subjects that he was changing… I have the distinct recollection of it being thou shalt not kill,
—Well, that’s the trouble with absolutes.
—So absolute power must lead to caprice.
—No, he can’t be constrained to being inconsistent.
—This is starting to make me feel giddy. I’m going to sit down now.

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The 24 Deaths of MH by Hannah Shilling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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