Once, two nameless gods found themselves in an argument. This was an odd event, as these gods were not quite like the gods of the Greeks or the Romans, who had business with one another and always found reason to gather.
Also, unlike the other gods, these two nameless gods know themselves to be all-powerful and all-knowing. They almost never found themselves to be needful of each other’s thoughts, except of course for this one occasion, as they found themselves in disagreement.
The two gods were trying to resolve whether or not humans existed. For one of them heard that far away, there lived beings who like them, had reason and power, though it was not unlimited, like in their case. The other could not possibly believe that such being could exist, for it was utterly unnecessary: if it were not so, they would have known, and at least one of them, in their infinite wisdom and power, would have made one.
They argued and argued about the existence of such an entity: where it must have come from; how it may have supposedly acquired its nature, if it does exist; how it goes about its affairs; and what inplications it might signify, supposing it were true.
They had come up with different theories about its existence and nonexistence, but had come up with no final conclusion; until finally, one of them (neither of them would admit to the idea afterwards) suggested that they look for the said being. Fortunately, after searching for it among the vast number of universes that are, they found one. And its name was Socrates.
Socrates was delighted to meet such beings, even with him not knowing what exactly they were: the gods would not reveal their nature to him, for they deemed that his limited reason and intellect may not be enough to grasp the idea if their being. They began asking him a lot of questions which Socrates gladly answers one by one.
After they have exhausted the last of their questions, Socrates found that it was his turn to ask the questions. “Lords, you now know what I am,” said the human. “But what are you?”
The gods looked at each other, seemingly unwilling to answer the question for Socrates’s own sake. Reluctantly, one of them answered: “We are gods.”
Gladness grew on Socrates’s face as he had seen gods, and yet did not tremble, nor die in their glory. “I have heard about you in the myths of the oracles and old wives,” said he. “But I have always wondered – as we were told that you as well as us are ruled by chance and the Fates – what sets the gods apart from men?”
The gods were again taken aback: not only did Socrates have prior knowledge about them, he also was delighted to be in their presence! Yet the gods knew that there must be a misunderstanding about their nature (though it was excusable, as these are mere humans after all): for they were not ruled by fate or chance. They know themselves to be all-powerful and all-knowing, meaning they have the full capacity to define their own existence. This they related to Socrates, who, upon hearing, enlarged his innocent smile.
“What elegant pieces of wisdom I am hearing! This is all too foreign to me!” exclaimed the philosopher. Humbled by such knowledge, Socrates felt the irresistible urge to ask another question: “What then, do the all-knowing and all-powerful gods need my counsel for?”
The gods were growing fond of this young, though scrawny-looking, human, as they had sensed in him not only curiosity but humility. Perhaps this was what humans were for, they thought: to remind the gods of their might and superiority. “Dear human,” one of them said. “We have sought your counsel to settle a dispute on whether or not humans existed.”
The smile on Socrates’s face shrank as his mind grew uneasy. He asked in response: “By humans, what do you mean?”
“Humans,” said one of the gods. “Are lesser beings are rational, but not all-knowing; and while having will, are not all-powerful.”
At this point, Socrates found himself in deep thought. The gods, looking down on him, were curious of what could have been the cause of such change in his disposition.
“In that case,” Socrates slowly said. “If you were all-knowing and all-powerful, would you not have the dispute at the first place right? You would have not found yourselves in differing positions, nor would either of you have required the counsel of another in resolving such a problem, if indeed you were all-knowing. For all Truth is one.”
“Furthermore, you have defined human beings as ‘rational, but not all-knowing; and while having will, are not all-powerful’,” added the human. “From our conversation, I could properly assume that you are rational; for if you weren’t, you would not find it necessary to ask questions when met by ignorance.”
The gods were silent.
“I could also infer that you have will for here you are, looking for answers in the hope of finding them,” Socrates continued. “If you are indeed rational and yet, from my experience of you, are not all-knowing; if you possess will and yet are all-powerful, could it possibly be that you are human?”
It was at this point that the gods felt a surge of anger from the insolence of the human, while it looked as if it were really asking out of curiosity and not arrogance. They were humiliated by a lesser being, and yet their reason cries out: how can this be so, if they were indeed gods?
Bearing this unshakable thought, the gods fled from Socrates. Vowing to never speak of the incident again nor ask the question that led to their humiliation, the two nameless gods went their separate ways and never seek the another’s counsel ever again. They proceeded to rule over their own personal universes with utter indifference towards the universes of other gods, the worlds and proceedings that inhabit them, and most especially, towards humans.
For the gods have learned through humiliation that it would be better to never ask questions and never doubt their being as all-powerful and almighty gods, than to entertain the notion that they might indeed be nothing more than human.
And Socrates? Well, he went to court.