Acts of faith

They come to you brandishing what they claim to be an undoubtable historical work, in which they have absolute faith — faith much like that of any believer — which proves your misguidance. Ask them if that work is extant and they will grudgingly admit that the original has not survived. Ask if his student’s work survived, and once more we learn, no, not so. So what is our source? Various students of the student, who passed the information on to others that we don’t know much about, who then edited their versions of the work, resulting in significant differences between editions.  

But no matter, the faithless have discovered remarkable faith, akin to that of any believer. We must not consider that the lost work completed over a century after the events they intended to portray, written for the ruler and his courts, comes to us via a work penned two hundred years after the same alleged events. Nor should we be moved to consider the historical criticisms of the work, noted in much detail in the introduction of the English translation of one of the late transmissions of the work. We must not note the opinions of the author’s contemporaries. We must not probe the use of anonymous sources, or ask about contemporaneous writers or means of verification.

No, for this work is a book of faith. A counter revelation. A substitute for the Book of the believers, employed to dismantle their faith piece by piece. It must become truth, and the measure against which all else is measured. It must become a book about which there is no doubt, despite a plethora of misgivings, because it is a weapon in the armoury of the today’s knights of the realm. And now, you too must answer their questions, as they demand to know where you stand, in relation to alleged tales transmitted to us via anonymous sources, via a book that history failed to preserve, despite political alliances and allegiances. Yes, for the militant faithless, this is the book you must believe in, if you can muster such an act of faith.

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