Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Atheist Heroes: H.P. Lovecraft

Best known as an author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, H.P. Lovecraft had an enduring interest in the quest for truth.  Paradoxically, the central theme in most of Lovecraft's works is that of forbidden knowledge.  In Lovecraft's works, the search for forbidden knowledge, drives many of the main characters. Typically, this knowledge proves Promethean in nature, either filling the seeker with regret from what they have learned, destroying them psychically, or completely destroying the person who holds the knowledge.

For Lovecraft, the quest for truth can be depressing:
"To the scientist there is the joy in pursuing truth which nearly counteracts the depressing revelations of truth." 
I agree with him to a point.  The truth can be depressing.  The lies of religion were much more comforting to me.  However, the truths of science can also be quite liberating.  For the scientists I know, their joy of discovery seems to far exceed any "depressing revelations" that they may encounter along the way.

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