Parmenides of Elea is often considered the founder of Western ontology. His only known work, the poem On Nature, makes the following two crucial points:
- First, Parmenides asserts the identity of Being and Thinking (τὸ γὰρ αὐτὸ νοεῖν ἐστίν τε καὶ εἶναι1). This great truth is already implicit in the word ‘εἶναι’, which means both the Being of beings in the world, and the Being of one’s own inner world, viz. Mind (νους). (In Hegel’s terms: Substance = Subject.) I would like to tell you that examples of this identity abound in Disney movies.2 This identity is the Truth of Being: the perennial wisdom at the center of all world religions. Being = “I.” Or I am Being.
- Second, Parmenides claims that “this will never be subdued” (δαμῇ = subdue, tame, seduce, rape)—namely “the Being of non-beings” (εἶναι μὴ ἐόντα3). And this “Being of non-beings” is Becoming, the “panta rhei” of Heraclitus (πάντα ῥεῖ): the world of ex-perience and il-lusion. In other words, Parmenides says that the world of ex-perience will never be subdued as such, because it is an unstable unrest that does not settle into the stable unity of Being.4
Now here is the point that I am trying to communicate to you from the depths of the wilderness of Being…
Evil is Hypocrisy,
Hypocrisy is Contradiction,
Contradiction is Becoming,
Becoming is “The Being of non-beings;”
Therefore, Evil is “The Being of non-beings.”
And therefore—by the assertion that “the Being of non-beings shall never be subdued”—Parmenides sets Western philosophy on the track of quietism. The philosopher restrains himself from the attempt to subdue evil. Does not Parmenides thereby paradoxically give reason to evil? that it should proliferate unimpeded?
Quietism is quietly presupposed, and Jeffrey Epstein rounds up little girls so that President Biden may sniff their hair and squeeze their nipples without fear of subduction.
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Science of Logic. Translated by Arnold V. Miller, George Allen & Unwin Ltd; Humanities Press, 1969.
Parmenides. “On Nature.” PHILOCTETES, http://philoctetes.free.fr/parmenidesunicode.htm. Accessed 25 Dec. 2021.