The one who engages in negation and denial, however, does not regard the matter as it is, and is even unable to do so. For it is a well-known principle that “a non-particularized denial, not directed to a particular locus, cannot be proven.”
For example, if I affirm the existence of a thing in the world, and you deny it, I can easily establish its existence with a single indication. But for you to justify your negation, that is to establish the non-existence of the thing — it is necessary to hunt exhaustively through the whole world, and even to examine every aspect of past ages. Only then can you say, “It does not exist, and never has existed.”
Since those who negate and deny do not regard the matter as it is but judge rather in the light of their own souls, and their own intelligence and vision, they can in no way strengthen and support each other. For the veils and causes that prevent them from seeing and knowing are various. Anyone can say, “I do not see it; therefore, in my opinion and belief, it does not exist.” But none can say, “It does not exist in actuality.” If someone says this —particularly in questions of belief, which look to all the universe— it is a lie as vast as the world itself, and he who utters it will be incapable both of speaking the truth and of being corrected.
In Short: The result is one and single in the case of affirmation, and every instance of affirmation supports all other instances.
Negation by contrast is not one, but multiple. Multiplicity arises through each person’s saying concerning himself, “In my opinion and view,” or “In my belief,” and leads to multiplicity of result. Hence each separate instance cannot support all other instances.
Therefore, with respect to the truth with which we began, there is no significance in the multiplicity and apparent predominance of the unbelievers and deniers who oppose belief. Now it is necessary to refrain from introducing any hesitation into the certainty and faith of a believer, but in this age the negations and denials of the philosophers of Europe have induced doubt in a number of unfortunate dupes and thus destroyed their certainty and obliterated their eternal felicity. Death and the coming of one’s appointed hour, which afflict thirty thousand men each day, are deprived of their meaning of dismissal from this world and presented as eternal annihilation. The grave with its ever-open door, constantly threatens the denier with annihilation and poisons his life with the bitterest of sorrows. Appreciate then how great a blessing is faith, and the very essence of life.
The Second Matter: With respect to a problem subject to discussion in science or art, those who stand outside that science or art cannot speak