After yet another round of head meeting wall of denial in the comment room, I am reminded of a story about a philosopher who kept having the most interesting dream. In his dream, the philosopher saw himself meeting the greatest minds of history in debate. With a single remark, he sent each of them away despondent and defeated. No matter whether they were natural law theorists, Christians, atheists, agnostics, continental, analytic, Freudians, Marxists, behaviorists, nihilists, whatever, he sent them away with his awe-inspiring single remark.
The only problem was that he would wake up each morning completely unable to remember what his atomic statement was. The greatest piece of argumentation of all-time and he couldn’t remember it!
After having the dream several more times he read that some dreamers could wake themselves long enough to take notes on their dreams before collapsing back into unconsciousness. He resolved to do so himself. He placed a pencil and notepad by his bed and spoke very sternly to himself about the need to wake up. Despite the tension caused by such rigorous concentration and self-talk, he finally managed to fall asleep.
The dream faithfully recurred. Amazingly, he managed to rise and scribble the deadly argument on the pad. As he finished his note unconsciousness descended and he immediately returned to slumber.
He awoke to the sound of his alarm clock with great expectation. He remembered having woken from his dream and having made a note. He could barely get his eyes to focus on the pad he held with shaking fingers. With great discipline he mastered himself and read the inscription only to go pale with disappointment as he read what it said:
“Well, that’s what you say. . .”