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Old 05-29-2002, 12:32 PM   #11
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Greetings and well met again, Kalessin. I have been expecting you. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I did a "double-take" upon confronting "evil arising from good". Whereas I have thought and discussed the issue before, never had I seen it worded so. I shall resist the temptation to delve into the issue itself, trying to do what hundreds of years' worth of better minds than mine could not. Of course, by calling it a contradiction you have moved the issue into the realm of philosophical logic - which has its limits. Which, further, is why I think the best efforts to deal with the issue have been and will be found in Story, such as LotR.

Where do you see the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil in LotR? The word ultimate is the sticking point for me. "Good" for humans and hobbits means the "Evil" of the death of good things for Elves.

You mention the defeats of Morgoth and Sauron as examples, but Tolkien emphasizes that Evil is NOT destroyed and will arise in some other form - soon.

In "The Music of the Ainur" in the Silmarillion, JRRT has Eru foretell a final Good. That's the only place I know in the entire corpus where good ultimately triumphs over evil. This instance has little to do with the quote with which this thread concerns itself.

I think that you may be referring to the "paradigm" of the struggle of Good toward ultimate victory over Evil; if so, then your example has greater merit, for it's clear that JRRT was writing from this paradigm rather than an equilibrious or nirvanous one.

Your emphasis on keeping things in perspective is worthy. Which brings me back to JRRT's quote regarding "consciously so in the revision". The fundamental question(s) was/were, "what did he mean?" "how did he mean it?" "where can we find the differences in his drafts versus final published form?"

it could be argued that the works as a whole were explicitly Christian apologia and that the various characters and narrative elements were in the service of an evangelical mission.
It could be, but the argument is quite refutable.

I had hoped to garner feedback about the "no deus ex machina" idea in regard to JRRT's eucatastrophe. Please consider the notion and either refute or verify, or whatever. Always in the pursuit of knowledge and the moderation of pride.

I really doubt, Child, that JRRT "came up with [consciously so in the revision] later because he wanted it to be so"; have I proof? No, but I can't conceive of JRRT doing that. Can you?
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