That World

The sun looks the same.  Its red glare condemns a redder land, pours blood over the bloodless dead, stretches light amongst the shadows.

Yet all has changed.  We have won.

Distorted bodies coat the ground with alien limbs.  The guttering rattle of death has been subsumed by an euphoric silence.

I want to scream, or laugh, but my throat chokes, overcome with the beauty of it:  their warped contours draped awkwardly, still.  No longer grappling.  Free.

Bending to study one close by, I suppress the instinctual flinch, the urge to reach for my holster; I am safe.  Watery eyes, liberated from the malign stare which they once perpetuated, are all that confront me now.  Oddly innocent in their blankness.

As if testing myself, I slide one arm under the stiffened body and pull it into me.  Cradled so, the tiny form betrays nothing of its former self.

My mind wanders lightly over the landscape, littered with lost lives.

Back home.

I remember watching these bodies gratuitously slaughter one another.  I remember the holes into which they stuffed their mutilated peers.  Crunching bones and compressed flesh, more and more…

and more and more.

I remember my bewilderment as I watched them rip gashes in the ground and stretch, with those odd, elongated limbs, holes in the sky.

I remember that particular alien.  It looked just like the rest but we knew it was different.  It had houses everywhere, where it was visited by all the others.  It told them to kill each other.  It told them to throw the bodies in the ground.  It told the bodies to do the same.

Suddenly, the hard creature in my arms is too cold.  I make as if to look at it but find I can’t.  Instead, I imagine it thanking me, thanking us for saving them from themselves.  Can these humankinds feel gratitude?  I never really thought about it before.

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Aquinas’ Second Way

Thomas Aquinas depicted in stained glass

Thomas Aquinas depicted in stained glass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aquinas’ Second Way is a fundamental part of what we know as the Cosmological Argument for God’s existence and can be found in his Summa Theologica.

To summarise:

Everything we can see in the world has one or more efficient causes. It would be impossible for something to be its own efficient cause because ‘to be so it would have to exist prior to itself.’ Of all the efficient causes we see in the world there is always a first efficient cause. Without the first, the intermediate efficient causes would not exist, meaning there would be no effect. There must, therefore, be a first cause of everything because, without this, there would be no effect and no world. The first efficient cause is God.

There are several criticisms of this argument by the likes of David Hume, Bertrand Russell, J.L.Mackie and Immanuel Kant.

I am currently studying Aquinas as part of my A Level philosophy course; here is my own argument in opposition of his Argument from Cause…

Aquinas is arguing that all things in the world have efficient causes, for all of which we can perceive a first. He thus postulates that there must be a first efficient cause of the whole. However, the very moment he posits this, surely the initially-perceived ‘first efficient causes’ within the world become intermediate causes, following on from the first efficient cause of God. Thus Aquinas’ premise becomes baseless.

I am sure that this argument has either already been put forward (the pitfall of living in the 21st century when originality is dead- even that bloody quote is becoming a cliché now) or is rather misguided. Nevertheless, I thought I would share.

Night night, you terribly confusing world.