Friday, December 5, 2008

good vs. evil

here are the quotes i harvested from eldest, the second in the eragon series by christopher paolini...

"Even though we're linked, I can never predict what she's going to do. The more I learn about her, the more I realize how different we are."
Then Oromis made his first statement that Eragon though was truly wise: "Those whom we love are often the most alien to us."

I understand that I forced a defenseless baby to pursue a certain destiny without even giving her a choice in the matter. Can someone be truly good if they never have the opportunity to act badly? I made her a slave.

"You confuse the issue. All I wanted to know was the most useful tool a person can have, regardless of whether that person is good or evil. I agree that it's important to be of a virtuous nature, but I would also contend that if you had to choose between giving a man a noble disposition or teaching him to think clearly, you'd do better to teach him to think clearly. Too many problems in this world are caused by men with noble dispositions and clouded minds.
"History provides us with numerous examples of people who were convinced they were doing the right thing and committed terrible crimes because of it. Keep in mind, Eragon, that no one thinks of himself as a villain, and few make decisions they think are wrong. A person may dislike his choice, but he will stand by it because, even in the worst circumstances, he believes that it was the best option available to him at the time.
"On its own, being a decent person is no guarantee that you will act well, which brings us back to the one protection we have against demagogues, tricksters, and the madness of crowds, and our surest guide through the uncertain shoals of life: clear and reasoned thinking. Logic will never fail you, unless you're unaware of--or deliberately ignore--the consequences of your deeds."
[fyi, the question was what is the most important mental tool a person can possess]

i really, really liked that last one. i was driving around the other day, talking to my eldest about this series, and comparing it to star wars. how evil is always so much stronger than good in a almost every's like whoever represents good is usually lucky to escape alive...hand to hand, evil is so powerful. but i guess it's because of the unnatural way that evil gains that is more potent at a moment, but almost always ends up consuming itself. good just has to hang on because it will always out survive evil...well, you know, if evil doesn't kill it first. which never happens...not in star wars, not in the lord of the rings, not in the bible, and i don't think it's going to happen in eragon either.

so, today's nelson mandela quote surprised me...

Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.

that's what i was thinking...but he's so much smarter than i am.'s the last day before our big robotics competition. my youngest was sick yesterday, so we'll see what kind of stamina we have for the long day ahead of us.

1 comment:

LanaTron said...

but i guess it's because of the unnatural way that evil gains that is more potent at a moment, but almost always ends up consuming itself.

Which is why, in the end, good is more powerful: good does not consume, good gives.

And here's a U2 line that goes with part of your Eldest quote...

"love and logic keep us clear"

Talk to you later...