It’s all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything.

Ab Aeterno • season 6 • episode 9

Mikel, 22 – Gilmer, Texas (USA) :

Jacob and Richard on the beach, Jacob revealing why he brings people to the island:

That man that sent you to kill me believes that everyone is corruptible because it’s in their very nature to sin. I bring people here to prove him wrong. And when they get here, their past doesn’t matter.
Richard asks, “Before you brought my ship, there were others?
Yes, many,” Jacob replies.
What happened to them–
They’re all dead.
Well if you brought them here, why didn’t you help them?
Because I wanted them to help themselves: to know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It’s all MEANINGLESS if I have to force them to do anything. Why should I have to step in?

For me, this exchange had major spiritual and moral significance. As a non-religious humanist, I philosophically strive to argue humanity has the capacity to good for the sake of good. At the time, Jacob was seen as an archetypal analogy for God, the benevolent force for good. For us, the people, Jacob has no roadmap or greater plan for divine intervention. If we are to become capable of making the right choices, it must be of our own accord, not because we coerced or threatened with eternal damnation by the Bible or other ancient tomes. Jacob says here that what we do is all about choice, not blind institutionalized faith.

This statement has reaffirmed my belief that if any unseen benevolent force exists out there, in the best interest of human-kind, it would be more like Jacob and less like every other man-made religious constructs.

This statement has literally changed the way I look at the world today, and for me, that makes Lost legitimate literature.