Was their reliance upon the tenets of faith enforced by anything but the starkest ignorance?

< Previous | Next >

NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
The sentence "Was their reliance upon the tenets of faith enforced by anything but the starkest ignorance?" is a bit confusing to me. It sounds to have the same function of "Wasn't their reliance upon the tenets of faith enforced by anything but the starkest ignorance?"

Because the title of the author's book is "The End of Faith," so in his mind, it is exactly that the starkest ignorance of the people of faith led to the erroneous manipulation of the plague bacillus.

It boils to my understanding of the question sentence "Was their reliance upon the tenets of faith enforced by anything but the starkest ignorance?" Does it really function as "Wasn't their reliance upon the tenets of faith enforced by anything but the starkest ignorance?"

Thanks in advance

*******************
Can there be any doubt that the beleaguered Christians of the fourteenth century were longing for knowledge (that is, beliefs that are both true and valid) about the plague, about its cause and mode of transmission, and hoping, thereby, to find an effective means by which to combat it? Was their reliance upon the tenets of faith enforced by anything but the starkest ignorance? If it had been known, for instance, that this pestilence was being delivered by merchant ships—that rats were climbing ashore from every hold and that upon each rat were legions of fleas carrying the plague bacillus—would the faithful have thought their energies best spent cutting the tongues out of blasphemers, silencing bells, dressing in bright colors, and making liberal use of enemas?

-Sam Harris

Source: The End of Faith (PDF)
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Some other examples may provide the clue you need:


    Was she beautiful? (A question)
    Wasn't she beautiful? (An affirmation)

    Was he dressed impeccably? (A question)
    Wasn't he dressed impeccably? (An affirmation)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top