I have now started the story I’m working on for Project X four different ways. Finally, I have the right approach, I think. And a conceit I find interesting. To boil it down to its simplest form–do angels and devils work together to keep people monotheist? Here’s how I’ve been thinking of it. Say you’re playing baseball against your hated rival. You loathe those guys. You want to win. But if a group of people set up a football game in your outfield, doesn’t the fact that your rivalry is so heated, so serious, make it more likely that some folks from both teams will go try to stop the football game?
If you guys were just farting around, it’d be less of a bother if someone was using the outfield for something else. Right? If you didn’t believe that this field was only for baseball, that baseball was the only real game, again, it’d be less of a bother.
So, if it’s a question of keeping the field clear for only baseball, to keep the fans from knowing that there’s any other game than baseball–since, obviously, if they go off to play some other game, they are never going to get to the World Series celebration with you, where it’s all awesomeness and happiness, and, instead, must go to some terrible, shitty place, like possibly Pekin–what is permissible? Are the good guys allowed to do some minor evil? Are the bad guys allowed to do some minor good?
What happens to the good man called on to do minor evil? Can he justify it to himself for the greater good? Or does he wish there were just some way to let some folks play football if they want?
(This is kind of the reason I hate the idea that all religions are the same or that all paths lead to the same place. It still assumes that everyone is playing the same game with the same goals. But look at, let’s say, soccer (football) and football (football). Here you have very similar terms–there’s a ball, the game is called football, two opposing teams face each other and try to move that ball down a field, there’s a goal, etc. Do you think that, when a soccer ball has gone in the net, it has gone the same place a football has gone when it’s carried into the endzone? And that’s my point for religions. They don’t go the same places. To think they do means you’ve not really let go of the metaphor that everyone is secretly playing your game, they just don’t know it.)