Definition: the True Language is so named not because it satisfies the concept from antiquity of a language whose expressions were naturally isomorphic to their referents in some essentialistic way, but because each letter in the metaphorical True Alphabet is made up of acts of virtue and grace, the crystallization of sincerity. It might not be real, for all I know, despite humanity's tendency to symbolism and indirect communication. However, for now we will just be asking about a general possibility.

Question: suppose some long-term moral timeline, an ethical metanarrative involving many people in many places at many times. Since per the definition, the True Language can carry any expression, there would be True sentences that were questions because they were bracketed by actions symbolic of ¿ and ?. Or, then, would that be the only way to mark out a True question? In real language, we can use inflection to help gesture at the interrogative mood, and though it is dimly imaginable that there could be dialects of the True Language, perhaps it would simply be easier to have a designated action playing the role of the question mark. Supposing that all good deeds done in this timeline could be construed as spelling out a single massive "sentence," would it be possible for someone to close the given moral timeline by performing the second question-mark act?

  • It is sounding rather Godelian, which indicates that the True Language could never express all Truth.
    – Scott Rowe
    Aug 16, 2023 at 1:42
  • I do not see how metaphorical letters symbolizing acts of virtue and grace get us to carrying any expression 'by definition". If anything, the definition (if that is what it is, you may want to elaborate) suggests the opposite - the True Language will make vice and crudeness altogether inexpressible. That has been the task of ideal languages since Plato, to keep out everything undesirable on this or that conception. So that it is not even there to corrupt the weaker minds. And if it is all virtue and grace do we really want any questions there?
    – Conifold
    Aug 16, 2023 at 2:51
  • @Conifold I wouldn't want to say that we "know" (quasi-know?) the answers to every possible moral question when we have done only good in some context, although we might "know" the answers to some previous questions, here. The other thing is that it is in questioning ourselves, we confront our propensity to arrogance, both individually and collectively, so until such time as the problem of condescension was overcome in society (if ever!), we would still have grounds for questioning ourselves on this more "mystical" level. Aug 16, 2023 at 2:56
  • Another issue: how permanent would closing a moral timeline be, really? That one economist(?) thought we'd reached "the end of history," and was proven wrong in general if not altogether in particular; but so closing one timeline might mean opening a new one, not the irresistible paradise of religious hope but a contingent oasis in the fiery miasma of still possible, but not necessitated, worse days further ahead. Aug 16, 2023 at 3:01
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    Dee was said to speak a revealed angelic Enochian (true) language, legend was told they're definitely not composed of human moral alphabets, but resembling English while interestingly there's no etymology for this angelic language. Also unlike our natural language it needs another set of Angelic Keys offered by some Oracle angel within some divine conjuring square. Maybe this language can't be inscribed in physical papers but more like modern clouds, say you compile all the Q&A scripts of this entire SE site using this language its height measures utterly simple as 0... Aug 18, 2023 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


Didn't catch any of that, above me paygrade, mon ami.

However ...

"That which is hateful to you, do not do unto others. That is the whole Torah. The rest is the explanation; go and learn!" ~ Rabbi Hillel (The Elder)

  • Although I am sympathetic to arcane Jewish moral theorizing in this context, and have even made an abstract prophecy from the Zohar (I think) part of the "keystone" of my broader argument, I am not sure an opaque recommendation of lovingkindness is sufficient in the given case. The idea is to use normal moral actions as symbols, like letters in an alphabet, so that by performing specific sequences of virtuous actions, we in some sense spell out entire "sentences," ones we can assert, pose as questions, or issue as commands: or make as promises, ultimately. Aug 16, 2023 at 2:39
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    @KristianBerry, ignosce mihi, that was me best shot at an "answer". I'm quite bowled over by the level of abstraction in your posts (queries and answers). In the simplest sense, we're seeking some kinda coherence in moral acts. When a man helps an old lady with her groceries, when a lady drops a penny into a beggar's cup, what are they saying? Is it just gibberish or is it meaningful? Aug 16, 2023 at 4:39
  • Its meaningfulness might vary from person to person or even case to case; there's some empirical evidence that a lot of people are nicer (or colder, if not outright meaner) based on obscure fluctuations in their immediate circumstances. Aug 16, 2023 at 5:02
  • @KristianBerry, is this your attempt to sell us old wine by putting it in a new bottle? Nice try. You got me! Clever, very, very, clever!! 👏 Aug 16, 2023 at 10:18
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    It does take effort, I've been imagining the debate between the two characters for about 5 years by now, and I'm not sure I have it refined enough to work (I have to somehow condense hundreds of pages of analysis into a back-and-forth that would take about 5 minutes haha) Aug 17, 2023 at 3:11

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