Miskatonic University Press

Terry Pratchett on shades of grey

quotes

From Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett, in one of the conversations between the witch Granny Weatherwax and Omnian missionary Mightily-Praiseworthy-Are-Ye-Who-Exalteth-Om Oats.

“And that’s what your holy men discuss, is it?”

“Not usually. There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example.”

“And what do they think? Against it, are they?”

“It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of grey.”

“Nope.”

“Pardon?”

“There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”

“It’s a lot more complicated than that—”

“No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”

“Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes—”

“But they starts with thinking about people as things.”

This was the fourteenth Discworld book I reread this year. It’s one of the best, and that’s saying a lot.

See also Denton on Discworld, a short thing I wrote at work in a series on pandemic reading.