Monday, 4 August 2008

Other projects

The purpose of this blog is to explore and flesh out unfinished ideas, and to experiment with different writing tasks. Ages of Man is feeling pretty fleshed out now, and while it could do with some re-examination (and editing!), I have a pretty clear concept of how I want it to develop. At some point I will start writing it in full, which I do not intend to post on a public forum such as this (neglecting the obvious lack of readership...).

It thus falls to think about some other ideas that I have kicking around. I saw this article on BBC News, describing a group of people who genuinely believe that the Earth is flat, and in a worldwide conspiracy to convince us otherwise. The human mind is capable of believing in pretty much anything rather than discard its own axioms, and it is quite clear that these people would subscribe to the most ludicrous explanations imaginable - especially as regards evidence - rather than discard their underlying axiomatic belief in a flat Earth. This link demonstrates something similar- of people searching for evidence to prove their ideas, despite rejecting similar and overwhelming evidence that disproves them. We do not worry about the Flat Earth Society because they are a harmless minority - but what if they were actually dangerous? How would we cope with them?

This brings me onto the idea of someone committing unspeakable atrocities with only the purest intentions, albeit in the name of misguided piety in a (preferably) fictional religion. What if Hitler/ Stalin/ Pol Pot did what they did in a genuine belief that they were benevolently acting in the best interests of mankind and/or their god? Given the lengths to which people are capable of deluding themselves, this is not beyond the bounds of credibility. Such a character would raise some interesting and pertinent questions, and would probably be well suited to a musical/opera of the most dramatic and emotional kind.

1 comment:

James said...

I think you could find proponents of Mao, and some others, who would argue them themselves really did believe they were helping the world by butchering people. But it's hard to be sure - the pious, humble religious types never seem to be the ones advocating the purges / cleansing / jihad.

If Gandhi had advocated violence, would he be remembered today on the same scale?