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Roger Zelazny: The Agnostic's Prayer

by Ken Manheimer last modified Jun 23, 2023 08:55 AM
An excerpt from Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness, also called the Possibly Proper Death Litany, and framed to provide for equal-opportunity faith.
This excerpt from Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness (copied from the book's wikipedia page) is uttered by one of the main characters to shrive a man about to commit suicide for money for his family.  While the equivocation is absurd, that extremity viscerally reminds me of real intricacy and uncertainty that precise thinking can reveal in matters of both faith and science. Perhaps not too different than my own Real Faith - for better or worse. :-)

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to ensure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

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