Sunday, 11 June 2017

Attitudes To Death

Hail, Poul Anderson fans!

Today:

no Internet connection this morning;
a long and exciting day in Manchester;
finally blogging quite late in the evening.

Dominic Flandry contemplates personified Death:

"...we're holding our own against the Old Man...Why not? What's his hurry? He's hauled in Kossara and young Dominic and Hans and - how many more? I can be left to wait his convenience."
-Poul Anderson, A Stone In Heaven IN Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (Riverdale, NY, 2012), Chapter III, p. 31.

An interesting example of how secularists continue to personify.

One of the most basic civilized values is respect for each man's attitude to his own death. If a Hospice patient's documentation identifies him as Catholic, then he must be asked whether he wants to see a priest for last rites. It is his prerogative whether he responds, "Yes, please," or "No, thank you." SM Stirling's Father Ignatius, a warrior Benedictine, mortally wounds a man in single combat, then offers him absolution which the man accepts to the visible annoyance of his comrades in the Sword of the Prophet. Their attitude is inappropriate. A dying man's own choice is paramount.

One of the vilest superstitions invented by mankind is the belief in Heaven for us and damnation for our enemies. A major in the Sword makes this arrogant prediction to Rudi Mackenzie. But Stirling imagines something even worse. His Count Ignatieff expects to spend eternity in Hell - as one of the Torturers!

Lord, deliver us from such delusions.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Welcome back from Manchester!

    Yes, I remember that bit about Dominic Flandy and his personifying of Death. And the varied list of persons, now deceased, whom he misses.

    One thing to remember about Flandry is that he was not a dogmatic agnostic or atheist, constantly pouring scorn and hostility on Christians. Rather, he was a friendly, perhaps even a regretful agnostic.

    Yes, even the most lapsed of lapsed Catholics tend to be grateful, when dying, to be asked if they wanted to see a priest for the last sacraments. And, I'd forgotten about the incident re Fr. Ignatius and the CUT warrior, perhaps only a recent "convert" to the CUT, who accepted absolution from him. The thing to remember about many CUT warriors is that they are all too much like fanatical Muslim jihadists.

    Yes, I remember too well how Count Ignatieff, who might so easily had been a good and admirable man had he been Christian, considered damnation to be salvation if he could be one of the torturers!

    Sean

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