Saturday 28 May 2011

Are we Norse gods? - Kreeft on Tolkien


From The philosophy of Tolkien by Peter Kreeft (repunctuated and emphasized).

Re. Norse Gods as Tolkien's primary pagan source:

"Odin, their supreme god, is not morally good, like the God of the Bible. He is addicted to power, like Sauron.

"The Vikings would never have understood the philosophy that 'power corrupts'. In fact, all the pagan gods, Northern (Germanic) or Southern (Mediterranean) are, like us, partly good and partly evil.

"They are 'divine', or superior, not in goodness but in power - in fact three powers:

"1. Power over nature by a supernatural or 'magical' technology.

"2. Power over ignorance (cleverness, farsight and foresight).

"3. Power over death (immortality).

"Exactly modernity's superiority over the past!

"If that is all that divinity means, we are now approaching divinity!"



a Finn said...

Well said. :)

Brett Stevens said...

It seems to me that moral goodness is something we must find in the specifics of life, knowing only abstract principles, and that is part of the order of the cosmos: a constant struggle to define the indefinable, as a means of producing a continuous refinement and purpose.