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Found this remarkable, tight quote near the end of Umberto Eco's fabulously inventive Faucault's Pendulum. Apparently, Eco saw this quote in a way as an inspiration for his book - see a great discussion of this quote, from G.K. Chesterton, at http://www.chesterton.org/ceases-to-worship/.
Thinking back on Eco's fantastic story, I can see how this Chesterton saying fits - Eco creates a sense of inquiry, both among Belbo and Casaubon and Diotallevi in which their imagination can range everywhere over everything, as well as in the Diabolicals. This inquisitiveness, which delves into anything and everything, is diametrically opposed to a mere belief in the stories and beliefs related to God. They leave behind understanding rooted only in Biblical verse, and roam into magical and irrational specters beyond the realm of ancient text. Imagination fuses ancients texts into a faux-reality that encompasses everything.
In the same way, I too attribute Chesterton's saying to the belief of what we call Atheism (not the remainder of that philosophers works however). To the initiate of religious belief, to the notion of a God or gods directing and overseeing the creation and existence of the universe and all living beings on Earth, the Atheist believes nothing. If he or she doesn't believe in God, there is a vacancy, an erroneous absence, a deprivation of belief, of belief in anything.
I remember speaking to a new initiate into Christianity, who passionately believed in God and Jesus and all their teachings, who came from a culture which has been converted, in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, to Christianity. And I asked her, what did her ancestors believe before this conversion. "They believed in nothing." This was wrong, naturally, for an historical sense - surely her ancestors had beliefs, envisioned a theistic world as well, one no less worthy than the Christianity they had been forced to accept. They did not believe in nothing.
And neither do Atheists today or yesterday. Take the Biblical notion of creation, for instance. God, they say, created the world in seven days. Simple, eh? So Atheists who don't believe in the Genesis story believe, instead, in nothing? On the contrary, the scientific explorations of the Cosmos, of the Big Bang theory, of Evolution, have ranged over all possibilities, all avenues of scientific thought and reasoned experimentation. - ie. EVERYTHING. The world of an Atheist is not overseen by a god. It is overseen by a set of laws of physical and chemical and biological science that is, in fact, far more expansive and amazing and capable of inspiring wonder than a mere seven days creation. The Atheist believes in EVERYTHING.
_New Haven, CT – Independent military historian and adventure fiction writer Erik D. Weiss releases his debut novel. A tale of leadership, adventure, military history, conflict, and love, Tea and Chivalry is firmly grounded in the European Age of Enlightenment and plays upon our yearning for firmly defended values, astute leadership, and principled pursuit of desire. A story of adventure and love, perfect for young adult readers.
“Kraft in Weisheit – Strength in Knowledge,” the rallying banner of the Count of Weisswasser, guides this eighteenth century champion of the Age of Reason as he struggles to defend his land from invasion by evil forces in the neighboring German landscape as well as the traitors within his own castle. The military conflagration overlies a narrative of true love, as the Count harnesses inner strength and responsible leadership to fight for his cherished Countess.
A valuable lesson for young adults, Tea and Chivalry comes from the pen of a student of the artes liberales. A devotee of literature, science, and history, Erik D. Weiss provides a fictional framework for the value of reasoned thought and responsible pursuit of desire.
Available on Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, the CreateSpace Store, and Kindle Store.
New Haven, CT – Independent writer Erik D. Weiss releases a compelling collection of short stories. The cornerstone work, The Prisoner of Chillon, is a fictionalized rendering of Byron’s famous prisoner. A totalitarian allegory, The Factory takes us within the walls of autocratic fanaticism. As a figuration of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Baseball provides a nuanced view of the game as a figuration of circular knowledge and the journey of life. With Heist at Scone Palace, we follow a daring robbery caper set among the Scottish highlands. In a further tribute to Dante’s Comedy, A Light in the Dark Wood takes us on a futuristic advancement of Dante’s journey to the realm of scientific discovery. With The Egg, the collection closes with a fanciful and humoristic satire in an old English club.
“A point in time with momentum in space creates its own direction” – from Baseball, is a picture of the varied directions where these stories can take us. Drawing inspiration from history, literature, and science, Erik D. Weiss has given us a collection that inspires different thoughts and moods and passions.
The Prisoner of Chillon and Scattered Short Stories will appeal to a varied audience of all ages. As an independent, self-published author, Erik D. Weiss seeks to provide works that will inspire such varied passions in his fellow-readers.
Available on Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, the CreateSpace Store, Kindle Store, and Smashwords.