Roger’s Version

Updike, John

Knopf, 1984

pp. 80 - 81

Conversation between Roger (divinity prof, doubter) and Dale (science student, believer). Dale: “The Devil is doubt. He's what makes us reject the gifts God gives us, makes us spurn the life we've been given. Did you know, suicide is the second cause of death among teenagers, second only to automobile accidents, which are often a kind of suicide also?” Roger: “Funny, I would have said, looking at recent history and, for that matter, at some of our present-day ayatollahs and Fuhrers, the opposite. The Devil is the absence of doubt. He's what pushes people into suicide bombings, into setting up extermination camps. Doubt may give your dinner a funny taste, but it's faith that goes out and kills.”