Thursday, December 3, 2009

Faith: Embracing Death

"Truth has advocates who seek understanding," Richard said. "Corrupt ideas have miserable little fanatics who attempt to enforce their beliefs through intimidation and brutality . . . through faith. Savage force is faith's obedient servant. Violence on an apocalyptic scale can only be born of faith because reason, by its very nature, disarms senseless cruelty. Only faith thinks to justify it." (…)

"Every person makes choices as to how they will live," Richard began.

"Evil does not exist independent of man. Men do evil by choice. Choice involves the requirement to think, even if ineffectually. The most basic choice you can make is to think or not to think, to let others do the thinking and tell you what to do, even if they tell you to do evil.

"Wise choices require more, they require rational thinking. Refusal to think rationally affords one the ability to maintain the illusion of knowledge, wisdom, even sanctity while committing evil. If you follow the teaching of others who do your thinking for you and who have you do evil, the innocent victims are harmed just the same as if you choose to harm them yourself.

"Dead is dead. Their life is over.

"Teachings that defy reason defy reality; what defies reality defies life. Defying life is embracing death.

"Celebrating faith over reason is merely a way of denying what is, in favor of embracing any whim that strikes your fancy."

 (Confessor by Terry Goodkind)


James said...

One of the better quotes from Goodkind on religion. A lot of people that read SoT think that he's either pro-religion or tolerant of religion given the "good guys" in the old world and the ever-present prophecy. If you pay attention, though, it's pretty clear where his feelings lie.

Reaganx said...

No way is he pro-religion. Most of the Sisters of Light are shown as pretentious idiots - they decided not to escape from Jagang partly because of their irrational devotion to the Creator and disdain for "this world." Their palace in the Old World is shown as sort of a lunatic asylum for fanatics. Moreover, the whole Imperial Order belief system is based on religious hogwash.
As to those like Richard, for them the existence of the Creator is irrelevant. It's sort of a deism, though for all intents and purposes it's the same as atheism.