By James Blish
Father Ruiz-Sanchez is a devoted man--a priest who's additionally a scientist, and a scientist who's additionally a man or woman. He has stumbled on no insoluble conflicts in his ideals or his ethics . . . till he's despatched to Lithia. There he comes upon a race of extraterrestrial beings who're admirable in each means with the exception of their overall reliance on chilly cause; they're incapable of religion or belief.Confronted with a profound clinical riddle and moral problem, Father Ruiz-Sanchez quickly reveals himself torn among the lessons of his religion, the lessons of his technology, and the internal promptings of his humanity. there's just one answer: He needs to settle for an old and unforgivable heresy--and threat the futures of either worlds . . .
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Additional info for A Case of Conscience (Del Rey Impact)
That's why I undertook the cloak-and-dagger stuff. " Ruiz-Sanchez wondered what Cleaver's reaction would be when he found, as he would very shortly now, that his purpose would have been accomplished without his having to lift a finger. Of course the dedicated man of science, working for the greater glory of man, could anticipate nothing but failure; that was the fallibility of man. But would Cleaver be able to understand, through his ordeal, what had happened to Ruiz-Sanchez when he had discovered the fallibility of God?
Take it with you. By the time you reach Earth, it will have hatched, and will be ready to grow up with you in your strange and marvelous world. " Appalled, Ruiz-Sanchez took the vase in trembling hands, as though he expected it to explode—as indeed he did. It shook with subdued flame in his grip. "Good-bye," Chtexa said. He turned and walked away, back toward the entrance to the path. Cleaver watched him go, shading his eyes. " the physicist said. "The Snake couldn't have made a bigger thing of it if he'd been handing you his own head on a platter.
There again, you're wrong, as you'd have known if you'd bothered to study the Lithians even perfunctorily. The Lithians are highly intelligent, and they already have many of the clues they need. " "So did I," Ruiz-Sanchez said. "And I've suggested to them a technique for accumulating iron that should prove to be pretty powerful. I had only to suggest it, and they were already halfway down to the bottom of it and traveling fast. " "If I were the UN I'd regard both actions as the plainest kind of treason," Cleaver said harshly.