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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The whole "Knowledge- good or bad?" question

elaen32
Gondor

Mar 17 2013, 10:28am


Views: 180
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The whole "Knowledge- good or bad?" question [In reply to] Can't Post

is one which is so fundamental to much of Tolkien's work and of course to humanity as a whole. The destruction of nature for technological "advance" was a topic seemingly close to Tolkien's heart and is more relevant than ever today. I feel that he was very ambivalent- seeing the beautiful things which could arise, as well as the destructive. This translates into his, IMO, somewhat ambivalent view of the Noldor as striving for beauty,but also causing, inadvertently, great evil (due to the input of Messrs Melkor & Sauron respectively) as a result of the creation of the Silmarils and the Rings. In Arda, I feel that Eru is aware of this dichotomy, but his plan through the Music, is that the two will balance out- the fact that it takes millenia to cast out Melkor and then further millenia to destroy Sauron, would possibly be irrelevant to Eru, since he is outside of time and of Arda. Sorry if this all sounds a bit simplistic- I am relatively new to the Silmarillion and do not know it that well yet.
In our own world, as you say, there are two sides to most human discovery and knowledge- nuclear science led to atomic weaponry, but also to many medical applications which save lives; the isolation and discovery of certain viruses and the development of vaccines to them v the perversion of these discoveries into biological weapons. As you say, it all boils down to choice in how knowledge is used, but it is interesting to speculate whether these real world "evil uses" would have happened in the way that they did, without WorldWar II. Tolkien despised allegory-true, but any writer worth their salt is bound to be influenced by their own world and times.

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"

Subject User Time
Silmarilion Discussion, Chapter 6: "...and the Unchaining of Melkor" 2 of 2 telain Send a private message to telain Mar 11 2013, 4:42pm
    Unleashing the beast CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 13 2013, 5:55pm
        how well do we really know Melkor? telain Send a private message to telain Mar 16 2013, 11:02pm
            Melkor Choice and naivete of the Valar Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 17 2013, 1:38am
                Melkor's dark music and Nienna's healing telain Send a private message to telain Mar 17 2013, 11:34pm
                    Pride and pity CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 18 2013, 12:49am
                        I get your thoughts CG! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 18 2013, 1:19am
                    Some thoughts on Nienna and Olorin and pity Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 18 2013, 1:12am
                        I'm always learning something new here CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 18 2013, 2:04am
                            Clueless? Hardly! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 18 2013, 3:15am
    My thoughts Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Mar 14 2013, 7:07pm
        how did Aule get in this chapter? Oh, yes... telain Send a private message to telain Mar 16 2013, 11:39pm
            The whole "Knowledge- good or bad?" question elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Mar 17 2013, 10:28am
    my thoughts Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 16 2013, 12:30am
        Free will Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 16 2013, 4:40am
            then how does this apply to the gift of men? Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 16 2013, 11:09am
                It's not easy for us Mortals to see it as a gift, is it? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 3:45pm
                    as you've described it.. Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 16 2013, 4:06pm
                        Scratching head, flipping though text- Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 4:49pm
                            I think the "gift" is not connected to "free will". Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 16 2013, 9:40pm
                                Did not intend to imply control Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 10:13pm
        Feanor is a pit of smouldering coals... telain Send a private message to telain Mar 16 2013, 11:52pm
    Hello all, my first post about Sil, but I have been following :) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 2:01am
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Mar 18 2013, 7:35am

 
 
 

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