Chapter 33: - Page 3 of 3

Free Thought

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Then you don’t believe in accidents?

Believing in accidents is like believing in miracles; both presuppose that God does not know the future.  What is an accident? An event that no one has at all foreseen.  What is a miracle? A contradiction, an overturning of natural laws.  Lack of foresight and contradiction in the Intelligence that rules the machinery of the world indicate two great defects.

Who are you? Ibarra again asked with some awe.

Have you ever studied?

I have had to believe greatly in God, because I have lost faith in men, answered the pilot, avoiding the question.

Ibarra thought he understood this hunted youth; he rejected human justice, he refused to recognize the right of man to judge his fellows, he protested against force and the superiority of some classes over others.

But nevertheless you must admit the necessity of human justice, however imperfect it may be, he answered.  God, in spite of the many ministers He may have on earth, cannot, or rather does not, pronounce His judgments clearly to settle the million conflicts that our passions excite.  It is proper, it is necessary, it is just, that man sometimes judge his fellows.

Yes, to do good, but not to do ill, to correct and to better, but not to destroy, for if his judgments are wrong he hasn’t the power to remedy the evil he has done.  But, he added with a change of tone, this discussion is beyond my powers and I’m detaining you, who are being waited for.  Don’t forget what I’ve just told you—you have enemies.  Take care of yourself for the good of our country. Saying this, he turned to go.

When shall I see you again? asked Ibarra.

Whenever you wish and always when I can be of service to you.  I am still your debtor.

Learn this Filipino word:

binilí ang tindá