Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Alexander McCall Smith I
What if we really did kill God, what then? Would we all be rationally committed to the greater good, or would savagery be the norm? To kill God: the idea was absurd. If God existed, then he should be above being killed, by definition. But if he was just something in which we believed, or hoped, perhaps, killing him may be an act of cruelty that would rebound upon us; like telling small children that fairies were impossible, that Jack never had a beanstalk; or telling a teenager love was an illusion, a chemical response to a chemical situation. There were things, she thought, which were probably true, but which we simply should not always acknowledge as true: novels, for example - always false, elaborately constructed deceptions, but we believed them to be true while we were reading them; we had to, as otherwise there was no point. One would read, and all the time as one read, one would say, mentally, He didn't really.
Isabel Dalhousie muses, in her charming philosophical way, in Alexander McCall Smith's latest book in the Dalhousie series: The Comfort of Saturdays.