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For all those literal-minded people who insist that parents who do FC are 'lying' to children...

(9 Posts)
edam Sun 22-Feb-09 10:09:39

Was reminded of this brilliant summary of the role of myth and legend by Terry Pratchett yesterday.

"You're saying humans need ... fantasies to make life bearable."

"NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE."

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers?"

"YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES."

"So we can believe the big ones?"

"YES. JUSTICE. DUTY. MERCY. THAT SORT OF THING."

"They're not the same at all!"

"REALLY? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET YOU ACT, LIKE THERE WAS SOME SORT OF RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED."

* (Capitals because I've cut and pasted from the text online rather than write it all out myself - one of the characters in this discussion is Death who always peaks in caps. The other is his granddaughter, Susan.)

HecateQueenOfGhosts Sun 22-Feb-09 13:49:17

soooooo..life is shit and unfair and the only way to get through it is to exist in a state of total delusion?

Yup. Sounds right.
grin

janeite Sun 22-Feb-09 13:52:41

I LOVE Death - such a fantastic character!

edam Sun 22-Feb-09 14:24:30

that's not quite the way I read it, Hecate... grin

Love the line about humanity being the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

cornsilk Sun 22-Feb-09 14:27:40

Not quite the same but...humans have created myths and idols for many years. Greek myths, egyptian gods etc. I think that fantasy or a belief in something is a real human need.

edam Sun 22-Feb-09 14:29:07

quite, Cornsilk - that's why I find the puritanical 'FC is a lie' brigade quite so strange.

janeite Sun 22-Feb-09 14:44:53

I agree re: real human need. Otherwise there would be no point in Shakespeare, in cinema, even in (gulp) "In The Night Garden".

Stories are what separate us from slugs, I guess. I am firmly on the side of Father Christmas.

Plenty of other parents gladly tell their children there is a God. Tis all the smae - stories to create magic and meaning in the world.

dilemma456 Mon 23-Feb-09 13:12:21

Message withdrawn

AMumInScotland Mon 23-Feb-09 13:24:12

I like Death - he has a soft spot for cats, which makes him a good guy in my book grin.

Personally, I didn't do FC with DS because for him it would have been a lie - he was always very concerned with any story to know if it was real or pretend, and I would not have been able to leave it as a grey area where he could "half-believe" it the way that many children seem to.

But he loves Terry Pratchett and other fantasy, so I don't think I harmed him any.

I would never say that any other parent's decision to do FC meant that they were lying to their children, many people seem to be happy with it as a "nice idea" where truth/lie is meaningless.

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