Absolutes Produce Paradoxes @NRA
Wayne LaPierre and I disagree about many things, but it is probably simplest to characterize our disagreements as philosophical; LaPierre believes fervently in absolutes and says “Absolutes do exist, it’s the basis of all civilization,” said LaPierre. “Without those absolutes, Democracy decays into nothing more than two wolves and one lamb voting on who to eat for lunch.” Despite his insistence of the existence of absolutes, LaPierre offers no example. There is an excellent reason for this; absolutes do not exist.
Let us take the statement ‘Thou shalt not kill’, as an example. According to the Bible, God carved these words into stone, so that if there are any absolutes, this would surely have to be one of them. However, if one keeps reading past the Ten Commandments themselves, it is clear there are a wide variety of exceptions and justifications given for killing, including one that allows for the death of a fetus to not be equated with murder. In fact, many of the punishments listed in Exodus call for the death of one who transgresses. So, if ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ cannot be considered a moral absolute, what can?
In nature, the only true absolute is the singularity that forms a black hole. A singularity is a point of infinite mass and energy that occupies what is effectively a zero volume space that is formed by the collapsing core of a supernova. This point of infinity removes itself from the universe as it comes into existence; it cloaks itself in an ‘Event Horizon’ that prevents light or anything else (including information) from escaping. The absolute of the singularity creates paradoxes simply by being (one example: if the singularity is of infinite mass and energy, how is there any other matter or energy in the universe?) and therefore it removes itself from reality, thereby eliminating the paradox it threatened to create. Does that make sense? The universe prevents paradoxes by forbidding the existence of absolutes. Even ‘absolute zero’ isn’t the absolute that it was thought to be.
There is a fundamental difference between a worldview that demands absolutes and one that depends on relativity; one functions in harmony with the world and the other is in perpetual frustrated conflict. Absolutist thinking is the driving force behind Creationism and all stripes of Fundamentalism; it is the kind of thinking that can accept no compromise. It is the kind of thinking that runs contrary to the spirit of the teachings of Christ and Buddha as well as the theories of Einstein and Darwin. It is the thinking of the Pharaoh and God Kings who demand their pronouncements be made true by virtue of being spoken by them; it is not so because it is, but because they say so.