Now we have Part II of our two-part Assassin’s Creed series.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah. “Nothing is true; everything is permitted.” The eponymous Assassin’s Creed. I wanted to spend a post on this because, believe it or not, I think there is some Biblical grounding to it.
I mean, I could be wrong, but let’s go for it anyway.
“Nothing is True”
This is technically a fallacy. If the statement that “nothing is true” is true, then it contradicts itself.
To understand this line in the Assassin’s Creed series, I went to the 2016 movie. You know the one: the one that nobody seemed to like, but I thought was okay.
One of the characters, during an “initiation” sequence, this part of the creed is preceded by, “Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember…nothing is true.”
(Apparently, it was this way in Assassin’s Creed II, the game, as well as the movie. I’ve never played ACII, though, so…moving on.)
As such, the context for this seems to be more along the lines of, “Assume it isn’t true until proven true” rather than, “Nothing is true.”
It took me a while to find a good Biblical example of this. While the topic of false teachers and false teaching comes up a lot—especially in the New Testament—there really is little to say about testing for truth. I mean, there’s the stuff about “Do not bear false witness,” and examples of people getting in trouble for lying, but that’s about it.
The only passage I could find was less of a command and more of an example: the Berean Jews of Acts 17:10-15. The ones who “were of more noble character” and “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Lifted from Acts 17:11, NIV.) Those familiar with the book of Acts may recall that a lot of the Jewish leaders rejected Paul’s teachings; the Bereans were among the few exceptions.
Maybe I’m mistaken about it, but it seems like it checks out. I’m willing to discuss in the comments.
“Everything is permitted”
“…but not everything is beneficial.”
Sorry, I was finishing 1 Corinthians 6:12. In that context, Paul was talking about abstaining from sexual immorality, but I think it works in this context.
In the context of the games (and the full Creed), this line does speak out against being bound by laws and rules. Enter this restricted area? Sure. Everything is permitted. Take down the leader of this group of guards? Sure. Everything is permitted.
But not everything is beneficial. Enter the restricted area? The present guards will take you down. Take down the leader of this group of guards? The present guards will take you down, and call their friends.
Testimony time: as a Christian, I sometimes look at the commandments we are given and can find reason to follow them beyond “Jesus said so.” For example: don’t drink alcohol. Jesus said so, and people tend to do stupid things when drunk.
The Creed, as a whole, seems to promote moral and truth relativism, which makes sense for a game with stabbing people in the face as a core mechanic.
However, is there any merit to the Assassin’s Creed?
Sort of…I guess. Really the idea with the Creed is that you are free to believe what you want and to do what you want. As a Christian, I am not inclined to believe in this. But still, people lie and people do what they want. It is up to us—up to me and you—to discern what is true and what is permitted. And I like to use God’s Word for it, because having a guideline helps.
I’ll try not to cover anything deeply philosophical or doctrinal next week. Then again, I’m planning on doing an anime review, so it shouldn’t be a problem.