THE PRINCIPLES OF RELIGION
Let us summarize all that has been said. Our existence is limited and therefore not intrinsic to us, yet we exist. Therefore, we must say that there is a Singular Infinite Being who imposes our existence upon us at all times. This must be intentional, for it cannot be accidental. There is, therefore, intent in Creation, both generally and particularly. If there is intent, this means there is purpose. As long as the nature of existence has not changed, we can be certain that the intent and purpose has not changed. Likewise, until the intent has been fulfilled it will not change. It is impossible for any limited entity to grasp anything beyond its limitations. Therefore, it is impossible for us to “reach beyond” and grasp the Singular Infinite Being and His intent and purpose in Creation. If this information is to be known by man, the Singular Infinite Being must inform us, Himself. For this to occur there would have to be prophecy. If this information would be lacking, there could not be any meaningful law, neither Divine nor human. Therefore, there could not be reward or punishment, nor purpose. However, if this information would be bestowed upon us, there would be a definite law, reward and punishment and, likewise, purpose.
Now, as mentioned previously, we are limited. Because of our limitations, it is not possible for us to believe the testimony of a single, lone prophet. If we were to believe a single, lone prophet, we would have to believe anyone claiming to be a prophet who speaks in the name of G-d. One prophet could come and tell us one thing and another could tell us another, conflicting thing. There would be no way to determine which is correct, if either. (Even according to scientific methodology, the testimony of a lone researcher cannot be regarded as credible, because his perceptions may have deceived him. Likewise, in the case of a “prophet” he may have been delusional and only seen or heard what he imagined to be prophecy. How then, is it possible for us to determine which prophecies are true, and which are delusional or fraudulent? What principles do we have to test the veracity of prophecies?
Therefore, it is clear that, due to our limitations, and the fact that we have no reference point from our own experience to determine the veracity of prophecies, there is only one possible way that we can accept a prophecy as being undeniably credible. There must be a mass prophecy involving the testimony of mass witnesses. However, for several reasons, there only needs to be one mass prophecy. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, unless the nature of existence changes, we can be sure that the intention and purpose of Creation has not changed, so there need not be more than one mass prophecy to express that intent. Secondly, because this knowledge would be received from the Singular Infinite Being, it would be the ultimate Truth, and would, therefore, be unchanging. Thirdly, once this knowledge would be received, as a gift from Above, we would now have a standard by which all prior or subsequent prophecies could be tested and verified. If they would concur with the mass prophecy and in no way disagree with it, they could be accepted as true. If they would be in disagreement with it, in any way, they would be verifiably false.
This is not to say that there could not or would not be subsequent prophecies by single individuals. Rather, since the mass prophecy would be a general prophecy for all of Creation, it would, therefore, be unchanging as long as Creation remains unchanged. Therefore, all other prophecies, whether for specific generations or for all generations, would, of necessity, need to be in concordance with the general, unchanging, mass prophecy. On the contrary, we would need to test them against the general mass prophecy to determine their veracity. If they would be in disagreement, in any way, with the mass prophecy, we would, of necessity, have to discard them as false. If they would be in concordance to it, we would, of necessity, regard them as true.
Now, since the Creator is the only truly unlimited Being, therefore, ultimately, no dependent being can obstruct His will from coming to its ultimate fruition. This is because all other wills are dependent upon His will to exist. Therefore, ultimately, they are negated by it. The only reason they exist at all is to create conditions of free will for human beings. This is because, as explained above, the Creator desires that man have free will, so that he could fulfill his purpose freely, rather than instinctually. However, ultimately, for the above reason, the will of man cannot obstruct G-d’s will from coming to its ultimate fruition.
Furthermore, since the Creator has an ultimate intention and purpose in His Creation, it follows that He would, therefore, bring about the ultimate and eternal positive consequences and results for those who advanced and worked toward its fulfillment.
Let us now recap and summarize what we have said to this point. It is impossible for a limited, created being to grasp his Creator or His intent in Creation. The only way this knowledge may be accessed is if the Creator Himself, the Singular Infinite Being, informs us of it. Therefore, in order for this information to exist in our limited world, in other words, in order for there to be a “True Religion”, there would have to be prophecy. Without prophecy, it would be impossible for any human being to acquire this knowledge, and it would be impossible to believe anyone who claimed to have acquired it without prophecy.
Likewise, a mass prophecy, with mass witnesses, would be required to verify all prophecy including prophecy received either prior to or subsequent to the mass prophecy. As limited beings we cannot accept, with confidence, the testimony of any single individual regarding even physical matters, let alone spiritual ones. If so, how much more so, in regard to matters that transcend our very existence, we certainly would require mass prophecy and mass testimony in order to believe in its veracity with confidence. Furthermore, this mass prophecy would have to be unchanging since its source is from the eternal, unchanging G-d. It is, therefore, this general mass prophecy and the Divine knowledge which it contains, which would either validate or discredit all other prophecies, both those prior to it or subsequent to it.
This mass prophecy would have to include a set of Divine laws which would be associated with positive consequences for those who follow them and negative consequences for those who transgress them. This is because something done with intent and purpose leads to resulting consequences, and as we have established above, there must be intent and, therefore, purpose. If there were no results to our actions, by definition, they would be devoid of purpose, and, therefore, the knowledge bestowed upon us by the mass prophecy would be superfluous. Only knowledge and laws given to us by the Singular Infinite Being could possibly give purpose to our existence, and once it would be made known to us, any person who transgresses them would thus be going against G-d’s will and there would be negative results if he does. The opposite is also true. There would be positive results if a person would fulfill the will of the Creator.
As explained above, since G-d is the only truly unlimited Being and all other beings are totally dependent on Him for their very existence, therefore, ultimately, nothing can stand in the way of His will. It is, therefore, certain that His will and intention in Creation will ultimately be fulfilled and that there would be eternal positive results for all those who advanced and worked toward the fulfillment of that ultimate purpose.