Interim ethics and Soul Reaver 2

Posted on Sep 19, 2022

The most captivating piece of dialogue I came across in a game is between Kain and Raziel in Soul Reaver 2:

Kain : There’s a third option, a monumental secret hidden in your very presence here. But it’s a secret you have to discover for yourself. Unearth your destiny, Raziel. It’s all laid out for you here.
Raziel : You said it yourself, Kain… there are only two sides to your coin.
Kain : Apparently so, but suppose you throw a coin enough times… suppose one day, it lands on its edge.

Back when I played the game I did not realise this (I doubt I would have been able to, it’s been almost 20 years, at the time I just thought it was an exceptionally well written game), but there is a theme there around forcing highly improbable events, something distinctly “Schweitzerian”, Schweitzer, Albert. The quest of the historical Jesus: A critical study of its progress from Reimarus to Wrede. A. and C. Black, 1910., quoting:

There is silence all around. The Baptist appears, and cries: ``Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’’ Soon after that comes Jesus, and in the knowledge that He is the coming Son of Man lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and He throws Himself upon it. Then it does turn ; and crushes Him. Instead of bringing in the eschatological conditions, He has destroyed them. The wheel rolls onward, and the mangled body of the one immeasurably great Man, who was strong enough to think of Himself as the spiritual ruler of mankind and to bend history to His purpose, is hanging upon it still. That is His victory and His reign.

Looks to me that for any serious historical progress, you need to force a Black Swan, i.e. pursue a highly improbable event, no matter what the cost, with an all consuming passion.