Evil Certainty

From a 2019 essay by Parker Richards, "Philip Pullman's Unorthodox Liberalism", a quote (with greater context) from The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust, as one character says:

"... The other side's got an energy that our side en't got. Comes from their certainty about being right. If you got that certainty, you'll be willing to do anything to bring about the end you want. It's the oldest human problem, Lyra, an' it's the difference between good and evil. Evil can be unscrupulous, and good can't. Evil has nothing to stop it doing what it wants, while good has one hand tied behind its back. To do the things it needs to do to win, it'd have to become evil to do'em."

... just as in W. B. Yeats' poem "The Second Coming", where "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity." It's a fundamental asymmetry, and maybe it could be part of the definition of Good vs Evil?

And yet, somehow Good will triumph, ultimately — not by becoming Evil but by staying Good! (Is that what "faith" means?)

(cf My Religion (2000-11-06), Religion and Reverence (2001-07-08), Mantra - Widen the Skirts of Light (2018-01-06), 2019-11-07 - Within the System, For the System, With the System, ...) - ^z - 2019-12-09