Welcome to a problem-identifying node of the Pandeism index!!
Not long ago, a promoter
of one particular brand
sought to persuade me that his brand was the right one by posing the query, what if the figure
central to his faith
had never been born? Firing off a list of human achievement
s he claimed to have been influence
d or inspired
by this central figure, my would-be-converter
waxed poetic on how, but for the existence
of this historic religious personage, man would lack artistic
and literary creation
s done in his honour
, and done by adherant
s to the faith for which he stood; and that man would equally have failed to achieve sundry social
capacities claimed to draw inspiration from the figure's promoted faith.
And my response? Well, "what if Heraclides
had never been born?"
"What? Who's that?"
Heraclides, known as well as Heraclides Ponticus (or Heraclides of Pontus
). The fourth century BC
Greek philosopher who introduced the notion
that Planet Earth
spins upon an axis
. For, you see, the butterfly effect
teaches us, had he never been born, then both for lack of his great insight
and for lack of his utterly typical and pedestrian
acts and perhaps those of his progeny
, events in history
would have tumbled out differently all over the place. Our modern music, art, architecture, literature, economy, and all of society would just as likely present drastic and unpredictable differences as if the never-born person were most any other person who had engaged in any human interaction
, up to and including the central figures of worldly religions.
But it can with equal assurance
be noted that some degree of conflation
exists with the proposition
that the absence of any one person would especially effect the evolution
of scientific knowledge (or indeed, of any branch of human achievement). Principles such as the theory of relativity
, architectural achievements brought on by advances in understanding of materials and structural methodology, perhaps even musical and artistic principles, as well -- all would almost certainly have been discovered or developed by someone eventually. And who knows, perhaps some different course of history flowing from the absence of this person or that would have opened a new path and brought about the acceleration
of some revolutionary discovery.
And though historic figures have often served as the focal point for the dedication of great musical pieces, it is silly to suppose that, absent one historic figure, there would not have been great composers speaking to other muses. Verily, had the world lacked for Heraclides, perhaps some other thinker would have stepped up to fill that void and achieve those insights (though surely not to fulfill all the mundane acts); and for any religious figure who might not have existed, it is just as probable that another person would have taken their place, espoused their philosophy
, been deified
by their followers. And O, but for the sweet music which we will never know, for it has never come to be created because of our accidents of history!!