Sunday, July 03, 2011

Fantasy authors can get so philosophical

I adore Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series...there are some points I wouldn't agree with him on, but in the eighth book, Naked Empire, one of the main characters, Richard, makes some great points to a people who embrace nonviolence to a fault and yet have poisoned him to blackmail him into coming and fighting their battles for them (since he's an ignorant violent savage anyway in their eyes).

"Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. Unconditional rejection of self-defense, because you think it's a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.
Evil grants no mercy, and to attempt to appease it is nothing more than a piecemeal surrender to it."

"If you are unwilling to defend your right to your own lives, then you are merely like mice trying to argue with owls. You think their ways are wrong. They think you are dinner."

"A man stepped forward. 'But common decency in dealing with our fellow man requires that we must show them mercy for their misguided ways.'
'...A murderer, by his own choice to kill, forfeits the right to his own life. Mercy for such evil is nothing short of excusing it and thus allowing evil to prevail--it codifies the taking of innocent life by not making the murderer forfeit their own guilty life.
Mercy grants value to the life of a killer, while, at the same time, it strips away the value of the life of the innocent victim. It makes the life of a killer more important than the life of an innocent. It is thus a trade of the good to the evil. It is the victory of death over life.'"

"'But that's too harsh a sentiment,' the man said. 'It's just being stubborn and obstructing a constructive path. There is always room for compromise.'
Richard tapped his thumb against his chest. 'You men decided to give me poison. That poison will kill me; that makes it evil. How would you suggest I compromise with poison?'
No one had an answer.
'In trade between willing parties who share moral values and who deal fairly and honestly with one another, compromise over something like price is legitimate. In matters of morality or truth, there can be no compromise.
Compromising with murderers...grants them moral equivalence where none can rightfully exist. Moral equivalence says that you are no better than they; therefore, their belief--that they should be able to torture, rape, or murder you--is just as morally valid as your view--that you have the right to live free of their violence. Moral compromise rejects the concept of right and wrong. It says that everyone is equal, all desires are equally valid, all action equally valid, so everyone should compromise to get along.
Where would you compromise with those who torture, rape, and murder people? In the number of days a week you will be tortured? In the number of men to be allowed to rape your loved ones? In how many of your family are to be murdered?
No moral equivalence exists in that situation, nor can it exist...'"

Richard ends up making a very long speech to the men, and eventually they come around to where one steps up and says, "I choose to join with you and fight to gain my freedom. I want to live free. I want those I love to live free." I think this is what the men and women of our armed forces have said. I believe that freedom is costly, that it must be fought for and defended, and that there are times when words and arguments are spent and useless. I believe that it is foolish to avoid giving evil an ultimatum and to claim that endless compromise and relativism is the moral high ground. I am thankful for every drop of blood spilled so that I have not had to personally take up arms to preserve my life and the lives of my family, blood spilled so that I could worship and think and speak and write as I wish. I am endlessly thankful and proud that my husband serves to defend life and freedom for others.

Tomorrow, I will celebrate Independence Day with a deep sense of gratitude.

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