Saturday, 21 December 2013
Dust Covers II
In The Sandman: Brief Lives (New York, 1994), Destruction asks:
"Why does it seem like none of us ...Endless or mortal, ghost or god...knows what we're doing?" (Chapter 8, p. 15)
Death's answer is that everyone knows everything but pretends they don't. My answer would be that literal omniscience is impossible. (I have read that Godel proved this. Hence, "Godel deleted God.")
Can we say that every animal and human being is the cosmic totality conscious of itself at a particular place and time? Thus the totality is both subject and object but the object is necessarily at a particular place and time, spatio-temporally limited. First, knowledge necessarily involves memory. Someone who, at any time, was not able to remember any previous time would not be conscious. A perception that began and ended simultaneously would lack not only duration but also existence. It would be the temporal equivalent of a mathematically flat plane with zero depth, an abstract concept, not a concrete reality.
But a growing memory implies an empirical realm divided into known and unknown, some of its parts existing now to be known later.
If everything were known, then nothing would be unknown.
If nothing were unknown, then nothing would be future.
If nothing were future, then everything would be past or present.
If everything were past or present, then, in the following moment, everything would be past.
If everything were past, then we would be dead.
If we were dead, then nothing would be known.
Thus, if everything were known, then nothing would be known.
Reductio ad absurdum.
Therefore, it is impossible that everything be known.