Commentary / Refute

Thus I refute you, and you, and you...

The Bomb

Posted December 13th 2004

Well, well. Shovelface was kind enough to inform me that a certain little egg in Halo 2 has been discovered (though apparently it was shown quite openly in the Art of Halo book for some time; page 107, I believe). We are pleased to gratefully acknowledge that the 'Thus I Refute Thee' quip inscribed on the bottom of the bomb used in multiplayer is there due to none other than Robt and Lorraine McLees, in response to a conversation between Dillon Derksen (Monk) and myself (Finn). To explain, here is an excerpt:

A good friend of mine and I were chatting last year, about our philosophy courses and what horrible things our thesis papers had being doing to our minds as of late. Somehow, George Berkeley, an Empiricist (or Idealist, if you want to be a stickler) and Marathon came up in the same sentence. A grin spread upon his face, like cream wafting through black coffee. With a moments pause for drama and reflection, he proceeded to tell me of his sudden, and unusual giddiness.

Mr. Berkeley was, as mentioned earlier, an Idealist. Not in the sense that he had his goals and dreams, and to hell if they be compromised. No, for him (as you may in fact already be aware) perception made an object so; only that which was beheld existed at all. (Thankfully for both simplicity and efficiency's sake, an ever present God assured reality's consistency.)

His theory was, not surprisingly, met with varying degrees of acceptance and criticism. One of the most unique rebuttals came from a Dr. Samuel Johnson, who decided in good form to bypass rhetoric and lengthy deduction, and skip on to something hopefully far more intrinsic (though far too often lacking): common sense. While bantering with a colleague who was attempting to gather enough evidence to derail Berkeley's strangely intangible theory, Johnson was unfortunate enough (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it) to stub his toe on a rather large rock in the path. With not a little rage and no small bit of pain in his all-too-real toe from the very concrete stone, he muttered quite possibly all that needs to be said against Idealism; a true Descartian revelation:

"Thus I refute thee."

The story is told many different ways (some even putting the quote in the mouth of Berkeley, himself) but the pure poignancy of the phrase is what grabs and persists.

"Wouldn't that be the uber-quip to have inscribed on the side of a shotgun barrel; of the 8-gauge, no less?", he finally resolved.

I had to agree. Strongly. No other phrase we could think of in the time to follow could add not only a superficial layer of mystery and power to the hand cannon, but such a profound crack of objectivity. "Thus I refute you, and you, and you over there. Perhaps you could also do with a stunning refutation. Taste dialectic. Etc."

It's inclusion would be the most satisfying thing that could happen after the countless hours my good friend, Dillon Derksen, and I have "frittered" away with our two computers networked, playing co-op, trying desperately to fathom the complex loading mechanisms of the WST-M through trial and error on the plethora of willing candidates occupying Lh'owon.

While not on the Shotgun per se, it's close enough. Thanks, you guys :)