The original Assassin’s Creed game was first released when I was in middle school. I did not know at the time that the original faction was in fact based on a real organization which actually still exists today, the in-game logo is based on that organization’s logo, and the in-game creed which I will be discussing was based on the alleged last words of the organization’s original founder.
At the time, the Assassin’s Creed game, the whole franchise, was just that: a game. Assassins and Templars vying for control of the various Pieces of Eden which had the power to save or enslave humanity. The Templars, having seemingly infinite resources, worked under the premise of peace through a dictatorial iron fist and were most often men and women of means and societal prominence. The Assassins, meanwhile, with few exceptions, had only scarce resources to draw upon and very little social standing and were frequently subjected to “purges” as the Templars sought to infiltrate and annihilate.
While I have my own theories about the franchise—that perhaps it is a long-running attempt at red-pilling a digitally-based, entertainment-craving society and educating them about the true nature of the likes of the Committe of 300 and assorted groups, and even making references to Project Bluebeam and similar operations—I wondered at the feasibility of the primary heroes of the game, the Assassins, and, specifically, their creed. It is no secret that evil powers meet in secret and appear to be running the world. The Templars are obvious. But where are the Assassins? Is their creed feasible? If it is feasible for short-term heroics, is it truly sustainable for long-term stability?
This is not a discussion over who is or is not part of hypothetical “Templars” and/or “Assassins” or other affiliated groups, nor is it an analysis concerning the methods of the ebb and flow of power, comparing and contrasting the games versus history versus modern day incidents. This is simply a thought process in which I analyze whether the Assassin’s creed is feasible and, if so, how one might apply it in the modern day.
While certain references to the franchise may be made for simple clarification, it is my goal to avoid them as much as possible when making the case for the real world.
“Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.” To the simple-minded, such a statement is mistaken as a call to anarchy. The fool will arbitrarily insert the connecting word “therefore” as justification to do whatever he wants. “Nothing is true, therefore, everything is permitted.”
Even a mild examination of this simplistic interpretation will see it fall into nothing, for even the first statement is a paradox. If the declarative “nothing is true” is, in fact, true, then it, being true, contradicts itself. But, if the phrase is false, then it, being a lie, makes a truthful statement about itself but nothing else, for “not nothing is true.” This is not even considering that, if one were to somehow ignore this glaring error, then he must somehow reconcile the statement that “nothing is true” with the second declarative that “everything is permitted.” But if nothing is true, then “everything is not permitted.” And round and round it goes.
Put simply, the two statements cannot rightly exist in tandem in a vacuum. We cannot correctly insert the phrase “therefore” and get a logical, never mind feasible, statement.
If “therefore” is an incorrect insertion into the phrase, we must hunt for something else to explain this apparent paradox and call to unimpeded anarchy and unrestrained chaos. Perhaps, then, that is the lens through which we should examine this phenomenon. Perhaps the two statements are not intended to be complimentary to one another, but juxtaposed. Thus we find ourselves with: “Nothing is true because everything is permitted.”
This seems to be a more logical step forward, and not especially mystifying in the digital age. There is little love for the truth except when it benefits oneself or one’s cause. All that matters is optics, perception, fame, social acceptance, and being politically correct. The truth is pushed aside in favor of your truth or my truth. One is called to “believe all women” or “accept everyone’s feelings” and other such frivolous nonsense.
With such a flurry of moral and social relativity, where “everything is permitted,” it can feel terribly overwhelming to try to keep up. When truth is dependent on nebulous factors like moods and feelings, these things known only to an individual and not to those he projects upon, the average person seeking to separate black from white can easily become lost in the gray.
And while this may reconcile the two statements with each other, it does nothing to address their meaning. For while a moral relativist may proclaim in various combinations of 1’s and 0’s on a screen that “nothing is true,” that same relativist seeks only to say that “your truth is not true, but my truth is.” This approach, however, completely ignores what “truth” actually is and means. If the relativists can agree that the sun continues to shine regardless of cloud cover—this demonstrable by the most basic of scientific practices—then there must be some form of truth out there to be discovered.
One may make the argument that the sun shining and one’s feelings are two different disciplines, that one is scientific and the other social, and that social norms shift and change from culture to culture and age to age. Again, I may point out, that that is also a truth. Social norms shift. But what truth is there that governs whether a man beating his wife is correct in one society and abhorrent in another? They cannot both be correct. They cannot both be true.
By saying that “Nothing is true because everything is permitted,” we degrade the value of truth itself, as if it is something that can be turned on and off based on societal norms and what people say is correct or incorrect about public or private behavior.
So far we have established that “therefore” creates an irreconcilable paradox, and “because” creates a deadlocked juxtaposition. If we cannot establish that they are complimentary or opposed, then the only path left is just that, a path, a means to an end. And for this, we will insert the word “until” so that we get “Nothing is true until everything is permitted.”
This sets up the truth as a goal, a real thing that can be obtained by certain means. Rearranging the phrase, we end up with something like, “When everything is permitted, then everything will be true.”
This word insertion accomplishes the impressive feat of creating both a paradox and devaluing the truth. As we have already established, the truth remains the same whether societal norms approve or not. You might as well say, “Murder is wrong until the law permits it.” If murder were to be publicly legalized on a Wednesday, then one is hard-pressed to make a case why a man killing his wife is reprehensible on Tuesday but perfectly reasonable on Thursday. The act has not changed, but a disregard for the nature of truth has resulted in inexcusable, and indefensible, moral relativity.
On the other side of things, we may find ourselves with oppressive laws and restrictions being lifted. While one may, perhaps rightfully, cheer for such a thing, it does not change the nature of the truth, nor my previous statements regarding the idea that laws, or lack thereof, do not determine what is and is not true. Laws, in this regard, serve only to hide or enhance the truth. Therefore, “Nothing is true until everything is permitted” is a foolish and even dangerous sentiment.
I write the previous section as a preamble to my thought process. While the average person may be unaware of the upcoming fact, those familiar with the Assassin’s Creed franchise know that the simple statement we have been discussing is not the entirety of the creed. It is a short, shall we say, phrasal version. A simple refrain, to be repeated often and meditated upon.
Why, then, do I not lead with the full creed? The main reason is as simple as familiarity, for the full creed is not often found or heard. The “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.” is, by far, the most common iteration, and deserving of its prelude. It is no different than a Christian holding up a sign of or reading John 3:16. It is popular, familiar, simple, sometimes misunderstood, a good conversation starter for new people, and a wealth of meditation for those who want to understand why it is those things.
The secondary reason is to show how it is often used and abused by those with short attention spans and simple minds. These same people will point to Matthew and scream “Judge not!” and completely ignore the rest of the passage.
The full Assassin’s Creed goes like this:
“When others blindly follow the truth, remember:
Nothing is true.
When others are limited by morality or law, remember:
Everything is permitted.”
A simple mind will read the first part and claim that it is denouncing religion, that it is calling doctrine evil, and that it proclaims something akin to a naturalistic order. However, a keen eye will pick out the key word, that being “blindly.”
It has been said that the truth does not mind being questioned, but a lie loathes to be challenged. And those who cling most ardently to a lie are like rabid dogs; it is even worse when they believe that lie is truth. In older days, this was called brainwashing. In the modern day, the term “mass formation psychosis” has emerged. The main idea is to get the mind so attached to something, some idea, and continue to feed that idea—through the use of fear, control, propaganda, and even extreme measures like violence and medical tyranny—until that person cannot accept anything other than the fear, control, and propaganda as truth. No matter how much evidence one is presented with contrary to these beliefs, that person is, short of a divine miracle, unable to let go and accept the truth. They are unwilling to debate because they have no capacity to accept a challenge to their thinking. Popular media like The Matrix presented this idea in more literal terms, though in the real world we have things like Operation Mockingbird.
If, truly, nothing were true, then there would be no point in having rules or laws for anything. But if the truth exists, and if truth does not mind being questioned, then it is imperative that it be discovered. The ones who hinder this discovery are those who are so wrapped up in the construction of the road that they forget the journey they were supposed to undertake. They thrive on creating rules, making laws, and constructing obstacles. Sometimes it is to bolster their own appearance or the appearance of someone they work for; other times it is to slow down those who appear to be making progress without them or who may be wandering from a pre-approved path; and still other times it is to sabotage someone entirely and destroy them if possible. When confronted, they will always have a reason for the things they do, though, if pressed, a majority of those reasons will turn out to be excuses.
Then there are those who do not mind being questioned or interrogated. They are not offended by the notion that “nothing is true” for the simple fact that truth must be universal and it must be verifiable and, sometimes, that’s not possible for the average person. Try this: the next time a news broadcast comes on, or a headline appears on social media, watch the story or read the article and continually remind yourself that “nothing is true.” Words have been strung together to create a piece of media, of entertaining consumption. Their statements, whether or not you agree with them, must be investigated. Some investigations take years to complete, if it is completed at all. Sometimes, the truth is never fully uncovered. And sometimes, people will do anything to keep the truth hidden, because they care more about their particular doctrine than about the truth.
The in-game explanation given for this line is that the “foundations of society are fragile” and “we must be the shepherds of our own civilization.” We cannot take everything at face value, but we must be wise and discerning, taking care of what comes in.
Having already discussed the isolated phrase “nothing is true,” as well as its relationship to its preceding line, we now find ourselves faced with those who “are limited by morality or law”. Does this qualify as a call to anarchy and lawlessness? I don’t believe so. The real world organization must have some rules for its members, and even the in-game organization has some rules, the first being, “Stay your blade from the innocent.”
Is this not a rule or a morality? Who decides who is innocent? Why should one stay his blade? After all, hostages, especially civilians and more specifically children, can be powerful leverage. On the surface, this seems to be a contradiction, a paradox as I discussed earlier.
I believe this phrase can be better analyzed through the lens of Chinese general Sun Tzu. In his work The Art of War, he writes: “A truly evil man will burn down his own country to rule over the ashes.” This calls to mind Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns. This evil is unconcerned with the well-being of anyone or anything but itself; the common man is merely an insect, inconsequential to him in his quest for power.
When faced with such a relentless enemy, it quickly becomes apparent that talk means little. We are but dogs barking at an intruder, but we defang, declaw, and chain ourselves with bureaucracy and senseless rules, telling ourselves that we are taking the high ground when in fact we merely present ourselves as an easy target for later destruction. The evil man erects a monument to his evil, and the best anyone can do to oppose him is by citing ordinances but taking no real action. The evil man bribes and buys officials, politicians and judges and law enforcement, and the senseless rules that we have bound ourselves with uselessly promise that one more vote “next time” will make all the difference. If we were to play a game of chess with this evil man, the evil man would simply take our pieces as he saw fit, and the most we would do as our side is being decimated is politely inform him that he can’t do that, it’s against the rules.
Looking at the line in this manner, then, I believe it does not qualify as a call to anarchy. Using that line of thinking as a hypothetical, and going back to the idea of using innocents as hostages, the evil man cares not for the lives of those innocents. He will gladly sacrifice them, and he is more than willing to let you be the one to pull the trigger. Then, with his bought and paid for officials, he will hang you for it and use your blood and the blood of those innocents to paint himself as now being the “good guy” and ensuring that he gains even more power.
Rather, I believe the line is a call to do whatever it takes to remove the evil itself. If the evil man erects a monument to his evil and commands others to worship it, merely citing local ordinances and getting tied up in a legal battle will do no good. Simple vandalism will be seen only as a minor annoyance. The monument to evil must be destroyed. If the evil man seeks to use hostages himself in order to force certain protocols which will, in the end, ensure his freedom, then certain decisions and maybe certain sacrifices may have to be made.
I believe this goes well with the in-game explanation that “we are the architects of our actions” and “we must live with their consequences.” So whether one claims to be bound by rules or claims to observe no rules, making a choice or not making a choice, every choice we make, we must own.
But this is not a discussion on warfare or how to root out evil. It is merely an analysis of a creed, what I think it means, and how, if at all, it may be applied today.
It is now that we consider how the expanded lines may be connected to each other. Are there any similarities between those who blindly follow the truth, and those who are restrained by morality or law, as I have discussed them here?
I believe there is. While I may have given the impression that they are two distinct groups—the former being brainwashed sheep representing the common man, and the latter being politicians and others of some power and/or prominence who have political and/or legal course to oppose evil to some degree—they are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, it is when the two overlap that either one becomes even more dangerous.
Brainwashed sheep who come into some form of power or prominence are apt to be the ones who are bought by evil, or who flock to him willingly. Because they cannot form their own thoughts and tolerate no dissenting opinion or challenges to their view of the world, and now they have recourse to silence those dissenters or challenges, it creates a gridlock in a power structure that, ideally, ought to remain open to the flow of ideas, from bottom to top and back again.
And yet, politicians who idolize their rules and morality can become brainwashed sheep in their own right, the idea that “it’s okay when we do it.” They are no less influenced by their own brand of fear-driven propaganda, except that they pretend to have morals when they act upon it.
In effect, you get a flock of sheep that is fighting each other and paying little attention to the wolves circling the pasture. The sheep frequently approach the shepherd to complain of the wrongs others have done to him, ignoring the shepherd’s direction to get to safety before there is a devastating attack.
What we have now is a creed, which states, in effect: When others are so deeply entrenched in fear-driven propaganda to the point where they have lost the ability to reason or debate or allow their notions of the world to be challenged or questioned; when they are incapable of formulating their own thoughts or have ideas independent of what those behind the curtain have deemed true and right, it is one’s imperative duty to challenge or question these notions, to dig and seek out what is true, to constantly question and refine one’s own thoughts and notions of the world and remain open to correction and rebuke, that the Truth might be discovered and known. When others are tied up in rules and bureaucracy and making sure that they are seen as heroes; when they are unable or unwilling to confront an evil that does not care for their rules and scoffs at their morals and brushes them aside as it is convenient; when they throw up their hands after a lackluster effort and declare their own surrender, it is one’s imperative duty to tear down the white flag and continue the fight, turning the advantages of the enemy into his disadvantage, regarding the sovereignty of the future and the free access to the Truth as the ultimate goal, and taking responsibility for his work or lack thereof.
All plans are perfect on paper. And for as much freedom as a video game may provide, it is still governed by man-made code to be executed in a specific fashion. Where one runs into trouble is when he factors in the only true wild card of the universe: free will.
Perhaps this is why the in-game Assassins always seem to be on the defense. Where the Templars maintain themselves through order, discipline, and a heavy amount of fear, the Assassins, for the most part, encourage free thinking and exploration, believing that honest inquisition will always lead back to their point of view. This is hardly the case.
Does this mean, then, that the creed as a whole is little more than a short-term ideal? After all, if free access to the Truth is the goal, without being bogged down by useless rules and other hindrances, then one must also be free to reject the Truth of one’s own free will. A man will see only what he wishes to see, and he will only understand if he desires to understand, as in the parable of the sower.
Similarly, in order for any organization to function, there must be cohesion, understanding, respect, and some form of hierarchy. Someone must defer to someone else in some way in order for decisions to be made. But what if someone in charge has searched for answers to a problem and come to an incorrect conclusion? What if poor decisions are made because of it? What if those decisions result in catastrophe? Does not an individual or a small group have the ability to split off and form a better group that makes better decisions? Why does some form of reconciliation not work, and how does the organization stop itself from splitting into so many groups that they become, as stated before, like a flock of sheep that only fights itself and pays no heed to the shepherd or the lurking danger?
How, then, are things maintained among those who have not yet found the Truth, and those who have found it and rejected it? Some may be hostile toward it, but the vast majority are more likely to be fairly aloof and lackadaisically disinterested. They’re not ready for it. They can’t accept it. They want to indulge some petty thing before they give in. The excuses are endless. The idiot has been led to Truth, but it’s impossible to make him think.
Part of the problem is that a man’s mind is never empty. If he does not have his own thoughts, someone else will put their thoughts into his mind. Some may be innocuous, a catchy jingle that stays in the head for a week, an awkward conversation that probably could have gone better, any number of little tasks and errands he promised other people he would accomplish. Other thoughts, however, may not be so innocent, and it is the beginning of the fear that drives blind allegiance. Manipulative headlines or pundit talk, demonization of people that barely existed in a man’s mind before the thought of them was placed there by a screen, any number of terrifying things that have nothing to do with his actual life but are instead intended to make him psychologically pliable.
No one is perfectly immune to these tactics, and free thinkers are in a unique situation. A free thinker does not, cannot immediately dismiss something. Words that he agrees with are just as likely to be propaganda as words he disagrees with. And terrifying events and imminent threats could in fact pose a real risk to him or people he knows. In these moments, it is important to adopt, at a minimum, a mood of stoicism. Wisdom, discernment, call it what you will.
Nothing is true.
But as the free thinking man steels himself against the onslaught of fear, manipulation, and propaganda, is there anything that can be done for his neighbor who is bathing in it, who may even like it?
How will people know, unless they are told? Perhaps the free thinking man does not have an extensive network of contacts in media and journalism and politics, but what he does have is far more valuable: a working, thinking mind. He has questions. He must question his idiot neighbor. And maybe all he will get, initially, is regurgitated propaganda from a screen, but that does not mean that his questions are ineffective. Just as propaganda can worm its way into the mind of a free thinker if he is not careful, so can questions and free thought enter the mind of someone whose brain is soft and pliable.
A man who thinks alone is liable to fall into his own trappings of morality or law, as explained earlier. His methods of discernment become ruts, and his ruts become pits from which he cannot easily escape. He begins to trust blindly because a particular source has said a thing, not because the thing is true; or he automatically dismisses something without investigating because someone said something he did not like, not because the thing was false or misleading.
Connections should be maintained among the free thinkers, with open debate and discussion. The basics of logical arguments should be known, and if a man call himself a free thinker then he ought to be open to correction, rebuke, and challenges. Fallacies should be addressed, and childish temper tantrums ignored or rebuked. Respect among free thinking members is of great importance, even more than concensus. Two men who agree on a fact but do not respect each other will do no good when trouble arises. But men who respect each other, even if they disagree on the finer points of an argument, will stand together readily. And it is this respect even in disagreement that opens the door to further discussion.
Many things are are possible in small, controlled environments, but spiral wildly out of control when attempted on a broader scale, like Schrodinger’s cat. Three or five or ten people might be able to have a civilized discussion and accept disagreements, but as the group grows, the individual voice is diminished. There are too many fish in the pond and it is easy to get lost. As the number of people grows, so, too, does the number of opinions. Maintaining respect becomes difficult, especially when relations with new people may be strained or even nonexistent. Someone new has walked in the room and expressed an opinion you disagree with.
Divisions split the group and cliques begin to form. It is at this point where the people must decide how they will proceed and relate to other cliques. The cliques themselves are not evil, as relational ties should remain strong, though they are prone, as the individual is, to becoming too restrained by their own self-imposed laws and morality and end up isolating themselves. The clique, like the individual, must maintain respect for others, even in disagreement.
Drawn on paper, views and opinions and the people who hold them do not form lines, but circles. Each differing opinion is just one degree removed from ourselves, until finally we are faced with those who believe the opposite of everything we do. Confronting those who would distort, obscure, or even attempt to destroy the Truth will be discussed later. Right now we are still discussing idiots.
Some idiots are truly curious, in which case they should be treated with respect. Questions should be answered and ignorance admitted to. If a man intends to attack or defend a position, he should do so with both respect and certainty so as not to appear a fool. A man’s position may be correct, but if poorly articulated, he has accomplished nothing. If he realizes an error, he should admit to it.
The idiot himself should also be questioned. Knowledge is the greatest weapon, and knowledge of what one may perceive as the enemy is like gold. But do not be afraid to give away some of yourself as well. A free thinker is little more than a parrot if he cannot explain why he thinks what he does, the choices that he has made, the road that has led him to his place. He should be prepared to explain the good, confess to the bad, and admit to any ambiguity. Always be prepared to give a reason, or give a reason for ignorance.
Free access to knowledge, the ability to challenge ideas, and the exercise of free will is of paramount importance, for the Truth cannot be hidden from any inquiring mind, and God will not be mocked.
In the previous section, I focused primarily on the first part of the creed, that Nothing is True. Take nothing at face value, question and verify everything, and always deal with others with honest curiosity and respect, even in disagreement. Is this going to happen all the time? No. Humans are stupid creatures. Adam and Eve had one rule and they couldn’t even keep that.
But where stupidity is tolerable, it has its limits. There are those who are ignorant and understand that they are ignorant. They are curious, their minds are malleable. Even those who are less enthusiastic are still workable. Then there are those who intentionally reject the Truth—not for reconciliation, because they are not ready, but for sanity and power and control. They reject the Truth and seek to sabotage it. They despise questions, tolerate no dissent, desire only the control and ignorance of the masses, and wish death upon the free thinkers. And in an odd sort of irony, the Evil men will even advertise their wicked intentions because they know that the ignorant will believe whatever they are told to believe or not believe. Their soft minds are breeding grounds for the worms of excuses and broken vats that will never cease to satisfy the benefit of the doubt.
Evil men such as these, as well as their willing accomplices, make laws to bind those who would oppose them, threaten to take everything from them up to and including their very lives. And yet these same Evil men brush aside those laws, believing—or perhaps being—themselves above those laws, untouchable by any physical forces.
Their disregard for the Truth also leads to moral relativity amongst themselves as they disregard respect and cast aside any notions of morality, fair play, openness, or any values the free thinkers believes essential. Truth is not the goal, but power. For as much as he may deny it and claim it is not so, Evil knows that its time is limited and seeks to cause as much destruction as possible before its inevitable reckoning.
A free thinking man should be concerned with the Truth and getting that Truth to others, because the Truth demands to be known and it is freeing. If a free thinking man cares about others and does not wish to see them perish in Evil’s reckoning, he must bring the Truth to them. He must be relentless in this, while maintaining respect. In the end, he must force them to choose a side, he must force them to be malicious about siding with Evil, rather than complacent, a dead fish flowing in the stream to Hell. Or he must force them to potentially sacrifice themselves for the Truth.
He must also keep in mind, however, that most idiots, even if they have not declared maliciously for Evil, will still work for Evil. They will believe what they are told to believe, love who they are told to love, hate who they are told to hate. If they are told to believe a lie, they will, because they are lazy or because they are too afraid of the consequences of disobedience. If they are told to hate a free thinker, they will, because they hope to be accepted into the cult of fear.
How does a free thinker react, then, when the time for discussion draws to a close? Up until now, Nothing is True has been an interesting philosophy of political pundits, learned men in presitigous academies of varying disciplines, and commoners who may discuss the news of the day at the pub. But ideas are dangerous things, and the Truth is even more dangerous to those who hate it.
A true free thinker will recognize that very little happens in a vacuum. There are reasons, causes, and plans. One of the most dangerous poisons that can enter a free thinker’s mind is that Evil is dumb. Evil is not dumb. There was a war in Heaven because of Satan, because of Evil. If Evil was dumb, it never would have tried; it never would have gotten that far.
In the first section of this discussion, I talked about the different ways that the creed is abused by taking only a short refrain and inserting different words to change the meaning. For Evil, the creed that it lives on and breathes to its followers are these abused versions.
There is nothing Evil will not do to increase its power or save itself if it feels threatened. If it feels comfortable, it will steal, kill, and destroy, but it will do it with a smile. If it feels threatened, it will steal, kill, destroy, and it will not stop until its control and influence is again secured.
If Evil is comfortable, it is because there are too few free thinkers to challenge it. Evil can tell the average idiot to dismiss the free thinkers, and they will do so obediently, so that Evil can continue to grow quietly. Laws, moral relativity. Nothing is True until Everything is Permitted. Just a little more tolerance, just a little wider door, just a few more rules for those misguided folk who protest and start questioning.
If Evil is acting violently, it is because there are too many free thinkers and the goal has shifted to threat elimination. Rather than giving humanity a lethal injection, it decides to go for the firing squad, putting pressure on the populace in order to break them and bring them back into line. Nothing is True because Everything is Permitted. The free thinkers are dangerous. They have ideas that do not conform. Put the pressure on, give them a chance to renounce their ways and come back into the fold and all will be forgiven.
If Evil has gone to war, the only option is to win. Nothing is True, therefore, Everything is Permitted. Truth must be destroyed.
What is a free thinker to do when talk has failed and when simple questions could get him killed? How does he act in Truth without becoming the Evil he despises? Is he expected to go out and start killing indiscriminately? Join the army? Join a militia? Hunker down? Go on the move?
In war, there are many different roles, and different people are better equipped for some roles than others. Not everyone is infantry. Not everyone is a leader. There are cooks and medics and chaplains and support. No role should look down on any other, nor think of itself too highly.
The Truth is what will propel common support, but in order to meaningfully advance, there must be an objective, a goal to work towards. Soldiers may be sent into a city, but if they do not understand the goal—to capture by force, to gather intelligence, to root out a spy or traitor—then the mission has already failed. A spy may be sent to a lavish party, but if he does not understand the goal—an ally he is supposed to meet, an enemy he is support to get information from—then he is merely one more in attendance. A hacker may be told to get into a certain server, but without knowing what information he is supposed to obtain, his chances of being discovered go up exponentially.
The work of a free thinker must always be intentional, with a purpose to accomplish a goal. Free thinkers working together must have a unified goal: to expose a politician, to bring financial dealings to light, or simply to broadcast the Truth where it is normally censored. And just as they must be able to ask questions, give reasons, and admit ignorance, they must also plan for failure as much as success.
Are there limits to the work a free thinker may do, if Everything is Permitted? At the end of the day, each of us is answerable to God. For our work here on Earth, a free thinker, having discovered and understood the relationship between actions and consequences on the personal and global spectrum, must first accept responsibility for anything he plans to do or refrain from doing. He must have a reason for it. This does not make an action or inaction right or wrong, as not every single factor can be known or planned for, and some things will not be known for years afterwards. But if he cannot explain it to others, he will not be able to explain it to himself, and he will not know whether to ask God for strength or forgiveness. Logic, reason, and planning may help to execute an action, but they do nothing to justify the morality or immorality of that action. Similarly, platitudes and misused quotes may help to justify to oneself an inaction against a single person or small group, but they do nothing to justify any consequences that result from that inaction.
There is a tag that is often associated with the creed, and it has been referenced in the subsection titles of the essay already. “We work in the dark to serve the light.”
If free thinkers, acting as they will in accordance with Everything is Permitted, seek to elevate themselves, to be the glorified hero, they run the risk of disregarding the Truth. Truth and free will are more important than the self. If a man performs a deed for his own benefit, he is liable to distort the truth for his own favor. A man who does great deeds should be recognized, if possible, and the truth of his involvement should be known, but he should receive it graciously, for conceit is an enemy of Truth. Like most Evil, it starts out small and grows, seeking only its own glory, its own power and control.
With all of this said, then, is the Assassin’s Creed feasible, and can it be applied to anything in the modern day? I would postulate that it already is.
“When others blindly follow the truth” as it is fed to them via TV sound bites, political pundits on talk radio, social media headlines, inhuman bots with overexaggerated opinions, and whatever distorted media Evil pushes upon the populace, “remember: Nothing is True.”
Verify. Double-check. Research. Ask questions. Get answers. Don’t be afraid to consider and engage differing opinions. Be respectful in debates. Avoid fallacies, admit ignorance, and increase your own knowledge. The Truth is out there, and it will be found by those who seek it.
“When others are limited by morality or law” as they try to navigate the rules they make to restrain an Evil that does not care about either morality or laws, tangling themselves in obstacles of their own design, ignorantly imposing their own Evil because somehow they believe that they are different and things would be better if only they had power and control, and surrendering all Truth and free will after a lackluster fight, “remember: Everything is Permitted.”
We work in the dark to serve the light.
We are Assassins.