Story 19 - God and the Devil.
Suddenly Mr. Devil began to snicker. "One of my agents," he said with
a wicked glee in his eye, "had told me around this time that he devised an added safety factor that takes over when the law isn't always present. He told me that it is actually rather easy to defeat your design, Mr. God, by simply preventing your people from looking at each other with honest hearts and honest feelings, and
that they will do that by their own volition. My agents created a barrier. This barrier was designed to deny your people the love they would feel when they did look at each other, lest it would bring joy to their hearts. My agents told me, that to accomplish that, they simply devised another devilish 'spiritual' quality, which they named guilt."
He asked Mr. God if he is aware how powerful and effective guilt can be? "It works
perfectly, even when the law can't reach them. It has become anchored in their
hearts. It will always be with them. This devilish quality is a quality that gets your people squirming at my command. Whenever they feel the slightest love for each other, apart from the bit that I authorize, they tear each other apart inside, and they do it in your name, because the Emperor decreed it through the church. This, Mr. God, works much better than shame, and in addition to it. It's the most effective, self-enforcing, devastatingly defeating weapon that has ever been created by my agents against your most noble design, Mr God. It truly makes the Emperor's law, the word of God."
With having said this, the miner stood up and started to walk towards the lunch counter again, but the captain motioned him to come back and sit down again.
"You forget the Renaissance, Mr. Devil," said the captain. "The Renaissance was a feast of love. They sang songs about Agape, divine love, and they created beautiful art, beautiful music, even beautiful cities for one another; they created schools of science and discovery; and they created technologies. They shut down the dark ages. Human beings were no longer serves and slaves."
"I had hoped you wouldn't bring that one up," said Mr. Devil quietly. "That's an embarrassment. I drifted off to sleep and look what happened. I told my agents to watch this rascal, this Dante fellow. But who listens to me? He was busy giving Italy the most beautiful language in the whole world, but my agents said this
didn't matter, we own all the banks, the gold, the credit; we own the economy, we own the people's heart; they even kicked Dante out of Florence, just to please me. They made 40% profit on their investments in those days. My agents felt they disserved a medal for their fine work. I'm glad I didn't reward them, since it all backfired. All of their wonderful dastardly plans backfired. The economies collapsed when the banks collapsed, the people collapsed, then came the
black death plaque and half of Europe died. Sure there was a feast to be had, but that's what got people to look at Plato and Socrates again. My agents gave you the Renaissance, Mr. God. They screwed up. They didn't watch out. They screwed up one tiny bit and you took advantage of it. Still, you can't call this a victory. Your so-called victory doesn't count, because it didn't
last. It didn't last, because you didn't do a damn thing to earn it. Your victory didn't reach their heart.
Your Renaissance never reached that deep. My laws remained firmly in control. They were still the laws of the world.
Guilt was still enforced by my law which degreed that no one is allowed to love more than one person in their lifetime. Your great Golden Renaissance didn't change that. It didn't reach deep
enough to touch them. The pioneers of your Renaissance didn't actually intent it
to reach that deep. And so, since it had no foundation, it simply fizzed away
like so many bubbles from a glass of champagne. My agents helped of course. Religious wars work wonders if you want to kill a good thing. My agents killed your Renaissance in short order.
It was easy, since it wasn't rooted in people's hearts. My agents created the Reformation and the Counter Reformation all at the same time.
Did you know that? It took a bit of doing of course, but we had willing helpers like Hobbes and others like him, and you, Mr. God helped us too."