The Way to the Way

Concept Art from Zork Grand Inquisitor

Your Way is only as strong as it is flexible.

The Way sets out rules, but those rules can be bent.

All rules are only useful in a particular context.

A line you never cross is a weakness that can be exploited.

So, take no rules as absolutes—not even this one.

The way that can be followed rigidly is not the eternal Way.

If no rule is absolute, then how are we to know what to do?

What is it that tells us when to break the rules?

If it's a rule, we again must decide whether to follow it.

If it's not a rule, it must be chaos.

If it's chaos, then all our actions will be chaos.

So it can't be chaos.

And so we find ourselves in an infinite regress of rules, with no apparent escape.

The same problem confronts philosophers, debating ethical systems.

This one argues for utilitarianism, that one for deontology.

Each system implicates certain actions as ethical, and others as unethical. They disagree, and both contain absurdities.

The very existence of a rule causes scenarios where the rule does not apply to exist.

A fact that reveals itself creates its own destruction.

An XKCD comic. The title reads, "Author Katharine Gates recently attempted to make a chart of all sexual fetishes. Little did she know that Russell and Whitehead had already failed at this same task." In the comic, two men approach a third. Second man: "Hey, Gödel, we're compiling a comprehensive list of fetishes. What turns you on?" Third man: "Anything not on your list." Second man: "Uh... hm."

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