Time to start over?

What if one day you realized that the world was corrupt?
And evil.
And vile.

And that you could design a better world.
A more perfect world.
With honor.
And love.
And law.
And order.
And good.
And nobility.
And peace.
And faith.

You’d have to destroy the world to remake it.
A lot of people would die. All of them, in fact.
But the good people would go to Heaven.
And the evil ones would go to Hell.
And the next world would be better.

What if you had the power to make this happen?

What if you decided to do it?

And what if … you were an angel?

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21 thoughts on “Time to start over?

  1. Nope, the good going to heaven, that I could handle, but sending the rest to hell before their time? I’m all about the redemption stories. A perfect world built on the bones of the condemned? Wouldn’t be one.

    • Cardinal Law (I think), once said that, as a Christian, he believed in the existence of Hell. However, given his absolute faith in God’s infinite love and redemptive power, he was certain it was empty.

      That’s a major tension in the all knowing, all loving, all forgiving, omnipotent God.

      –G

  2. The bigger question…

    …How do you KNOW you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about ALL your realizations?
    How do your KNOW you can create a better world that will indeed be perfect?

    This sort of justification is behind most religious wars:
    THEY are evil & wrong & vile, *I* am just & good & holy, I will remake the world in my image…

    Even bringing the Angel imagery into it doesn’t help the argument as traditionally they didn’t have perfect judgment in these matters, else the whole rebellion/lucifer/fallen angel mythos wouldn’t be such an important part of western religion.

    If your angel is indeed omniscient enough to know that he is absolutely correct & will succeed in absolute terms then the question becomes less interesting – unless the question is really about a motivation for a character in a story or RPG setting…
    :)
    Rory Weston (rweston at uniserve dot com)
    PS: big fan of Anger of Angels by-the-by. One of my favorite sourcebooks (1st edition through AE inclusive).

    • Re: The bigger question…

      Even bringing the Angel imagery into it doesn’t help the argument as traditionally they didn’t have perfect judgment in these matters..

      That’s what makes it so interesting though. I think the question is a lot easier from the angel’s viewpoint than a “mortal’s”.

  3. “Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel? ”

    –Thomas Daggett, The Prophecy

    It’s been 12 years since I studied Angels, Angelology, and Angelic Iconography in England. My recollection of my tutorial is dim and faded, and I have done no reading on the subject in at least 10 years. However, I do have a copy of Volume 9 of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologicae at hand. It’s the volume that deals with angels. :)

    What follows is informed by vague recollections of Aquinas’ writing, enhanced by a quick skim (heh, skimming Aquinas, like that’s possible) of the Summa. It is not intended to be an authoritative statement of Catholic Theology, nor is it intended to evangelize, proseltyze, or otherwise convertize, marginalize, or minimize anyone’s beliefs or selfhood.

    You have been warned.

    [Aquinas Alert]

    The question you raise is an interesting one, and one which we mere mortals would be hard pressed to answer. Angelic knowledge, according to St. Thomas, was something entirely different from mortal knowledge. Unlike humans, who derive knowledge from their senses, angelic knowledge is pure intellectual knowledge derived directly from God. Interestingly, as a result angels have no need of imagination. Instead, their intellect is entirely abstract. As a result of this, according to Aquinas, is that the angelic intellect (as opposed to the devilish intellect), is entirely subordinated to the will of God.

    Thus, assuming that we’re dealing with an angel, and not a devil, your knowledge of these facts would be absolute and unquestionable. It would come directly from God. Moreover, possessing this knowledge, and being completely subordinated to the will of God, you would have no choice in the matter . . . unless God willed otherwise.

    [/Aquinas Alert]

    –G

  4. If you were an angel then it wouldn’t be genocide.
    If you were an angel then it wouldn’t be sin.
    If you were an angel with the creator behind you.
    You’d just me fixing some mistakes, for him.

    • Yes but how would you KNOW? God created mortals. Mortals sinned. God created angels. Some angels rebelled. God destroyed some angels outright for questioning him. Is God making flawed creatures? If so, is it deliberate? If it’s deliberate, is there a possibility that you the angel are a deliberately flawed creation and your well-meaning actions are actually a misunderstanding of God’s will? If it’s not deliberate, is there a possibility that your actions are NOT God’s will, that you are taking action outside the desires of a flawed God?

  5. God’s greatest gift to mankind and to the angels was Free Will. However, I’d assume that an angel wouldn’t wreck God’s creation without some kind of go-ahead.

    But angels cannot create a world. Only God can. So the question in that regard is flawed.

    But if I – as an angel – knew what you say I knew, then I’d go Sodom and Gomorrah on Earth in a heartbeat.

  6. How do you know that this hasn’t already been tried?

    I mean, Satan is King of this World, in some circles.

    Also, there’s the Gnostic Concept of the Demi-Urge, who is the flawed creator. He made the world and said it was ‘good’, but is it really?

  7. A very nice restatement of the plot of the movie “Constantine,” starring Keanu Reeves.

    You’ve shifted the focus of the movie from the hero (Constantine) to the villain (the archangel Gabriel).

  8. This sounds like a good set up for a game, in which all the characters are angels representing an absent deity (no running to the authority for guidance), and fighting among themselves about the decision to destroy and remake the world?

    Honestly, the whole thing brings up a lot of concepts that don’t jive with my world view. Taking the Russian Revolution as a comparison; a clearly evil, vile, corrupt, and utterly foul system was swept away, with great loss of life, to create something better. But that brave new world started becoming itself kind of crummy just as soon as it was created (see the early Soviet wars against Poland or the Makhnovistas, and that’s before the rise of Stalin) – and those people who died, were all of them really evil? Or just sort of evil? Or just doing evil unwittingly because that’s how things had always been? And even Nicholas II, who definitely deserved displacement and death – was he evil enough to merit an eternity of Hell, if there were such a place?

    Er, I don’t think I’d make a very good angel.

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