Liu Cixin

“First let me thank all of you for your honesty,” Chang Weisi said, and then turned to Zhang Beihai. “Excellent, Comrade Zhang. Tell us, on what do you base your confidence?” Zhang Beihai stood up, but Chang Weisi motioned for him to sit down. “This is not a formal meeting,” he said. “It’s just a heart-to-heart chat.” Still standing at attention, Zhang Beihai said, “Commander, I can’t answer your question sufficiently in just a few words, because building faith is a long and complicated process. First of all, I’d like to make note of the mistaken thinking among the troops at the present time. We all know that prior to the Trisolar Crisis, we had been advocating for the examination of the future of war from scientific and rational perspectives, and a powerful inertia has sustained this mentality to the present day. This is particularly the case in the present space force, where it has been exacerbated by the influx of a large number of academics and scientists. If we use this mentality to contemplate an interstellar war four centuries in the future, we’ll never be able to establish faith in a victory.” “What Comrade Zhang Beihai says is peculiar,” a colonel said. “Is steadfast faith not built upon science and reason? No faith is solid that is not founded on objective fact.” “Then let’s take another look at science and reason. Our own science and reason, remember. The Trisolarans’ advanced development tells us that our science is no more than a child collecting shells on the beach who hasn’t even seen the ocean of truth. The facts we see under the guidance of our science and reason may not be the true, objective facts. And since that’s the case, we need to learn how to selectively ignore them. We should see how things change as they develop, and we shouldn’t write off the future through technological determinism and mechanical materialism.” “Excellent,” Chang Weisi said, and nodded at him to continue. “We must establish faith in victory, a faith that is the foundation of military duty and dignity! When the Chinese military once faced a powerful enemy under extremely poor conditions, it established a firm faith in victory through a sense of responsibility to the people and the motherland. I believe that today, a sense of responsibility to the human race and to Earth civilization can encourage the same faith.”


Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
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The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2) The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin
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