Rod has been discussing Terry Pratchett’s Bromeliad trilogy over at his joint, and makes this comment:
The other day, when I posted enthusiastically about Terry Pratchett’s novels The Bromeliad Trilogy, one reader said he’s hesitated to read them to his young children because their critique of religion is so strong. The reader didn’t want to undermine his children’s faith; presumably he will hold out on exposing them to the book until they’re better formed in their faith. The further I get into the first volume with my kids, the more I understand this concern.
But there’s a funny thing about those books. The nomes of the Store — and my apologies to those who don’t know what I’m talking about, but whaddyagonnado — are notable less for what they believe than for what they don’t believe. It’s true that they have sacred stories about the origins of their little world and how that world works, including an account of what happens to them when they die, but the plot of the first book turns chiefly on their refusal to believe in Outside — that is, their insistence that what they can’t see and haven’t directly encountered doesn’t exist. Like someone else I mentioned recently, they know for a fact that what they perceive is “all there is.” So it seems to me that, as Rod says, the books provide a general critique of epistemic closure — and they work especially well (though Terry Pratchett might be horrified to hear it) as a diagnosis of the pathologies of the more stringent atheists.