Sunday, July 08, 2007

faith? reason?

A comment on Faith by Terry Goodkind in his novel Chainfire (pg 540); Zedd, the First Wizard, addressing his grandson Richard, the first War Wizard born in three-thousand years, also the Seeker:

Faith is a device of self-delusion, a sleight of hand done with words and emotions founded on any irrational notion that can be dreamed up. Faith is the attempt to coerce truth to surrender to whim. In simple terms, it is trying to breathe life into a lie by trying to outshine reality with the beauty of wishes. Faith is the refuge of fools, the ignorant, and the deluded, not of thinking, rational men.”

It is a statement that undermines Richard's belief that his wife, Kahlan, the Mother Confessor, is alive despite the fact that no one remembers her, underlined by the reality that at this precise moment in the story they are looking at her decomposed corpse freshly dug up from the below her gravestone in the Confessors Palace graveyard.

The story goes on to prove that Richard's belief is not based in "the beauty of wishes" but in the reality of relationship and memory (and thus also experience), and that reality is not what we see, but what we know to be true. What we see can be manipulated, what we experience cannot? Essentially a negation of the age of reason, and a judgement on those who seek to place reason and faith in opposition. An interesting perspective.

Rennie D
8 July 2007

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