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another passage to quote

Back in February, i wrote this entry that was a passage i quoted from The Paths of the Dead. I thought the passage was well-written and also pretty relevent to my state of mind at the time.

I thought i'd quote another passage from the second part of the Viscount Trilogy, The Lord of Castle Black, not necessarily because it has any relevence to my state of mind right now, but just because i think it's a neat passage and i felt like sharing it to those that feel like reading it.

"...this is my belief: Those who say the ends justify the means, and those who say the ends do not justify the menas, are both wrong."

"Both wrong?" said Tazendra, who had been following the conversation carefully. "Impossible! You perceive, they are saying opposite things, therefore, if one is right, the other must be wrong, and if one is wrong, the other must be right. Is that not logic?"

"It is logic, of a form," agreed Aerich.

"It is, however, incomplete. In this case, it is not the answer that is wrong, it is the question."

"Bah! How can a question be wrong?"

"Well, if I were to ask you whether you prefer to fight a battle empty-handed, or holding a piece of cloth, you might tell me that my question was wrong; that, in fact, you would rather be holding a certain length of tempered or folded steel."

"Not only might I, my dear Lyorn, but I most certainly would."

"Therefore, you perceive, in that case, the question would be wrong."

"Well, but -- " Tazendra broke off, frowning.

Roaana spoke instead, saying, "Then, in the case which we are discussing, how is the question wrong?"

..."In this way. There is a relationship between means and ends, but is neither one of justifying, nor of failing to justify."

"But then, what is it?" said Piro.

"It is one of prescribing and proscribing," said the Lyorn.

Roanna frowned, started to speak, but instead interrogated Aerich with a look, inviting him to continue. Aerich bowed. "Consider that, if I am at my home, and wish to visit a neighbor who is located along a road that runs to the east, I will not usually travel west. My decision to travel east is not justified by my goal of visiting my neighbor, but is rather determined by it."

"But is it not true," said Roanna," that there are many roads to a destination?"

"Indeed, that has often been said," replied the Lyorn. "But one can only walk upon one. And the decision as to which road to take is determiend by the goal. One must know one's destination, and perhaps be aware of other matters -- dangers upon some roads, or a particular view one enjoys along another, or delays from flooding along a third. All of these matters, subordinate to the goal, influence our decision as to the road we choose."

"And so," said Piro, who had been closely following this reasoning, "if one finds oneself using dishonorable methods to achieve a goal, it would follow that the goal, itself, is dishonorable? Or, if not dishonorable, in some other way flawed?"


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March 2017