Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Small Gods - Terry Pratchett

If there is just one Discworld book that anyone should read, I would recommend this one: Small Gods. This is definitely one of the best Discworld books, and its subject is religion.

Brutha is a wanna-be priest and devout believer in Om. He is about the only true believer Om has. And that's what makes Brutha special, to a lot of people and supernatural entities. Om wants him because of the flame of belief, Vorbis and the Quisition because he will not question them, but what does Brutha want?

This is a book about religion, and its practices. Pratchett criticizes harshly both religion and the quest for power using religion, and rightly so. Even the story of Jesus Christ does not escape Terry's expert pen, and made me laugh! But this is something that readers should find out for themselves.

This is not a book to be read by fundies or anyone that cannot stand criticism to religion. Because Pratchett here, does show, through satire and comedy, the true nature of religion and gods. It is not we, the people, who need god(s); but god(s) and religion that need us. Because religions survive because of their followers, and devout believers. And this is the truth that Brutha will find in his journey and adventures. From devout believer to a kind of atheist Prophet, Brutha will be shown the truth about the nature not only of his god, but of all gods.

As for the rest, read the book. I highly recommend it. This is the best book I have read this year so far. There is not much more that I can say about the book, other than that I agree with Pratchett about his criticism of religion, about his attack on dogmatism, through the pages of Small Gods. Because gods are the product of people's imagination...

2 comments:

Patmos Pete said...

Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Spear said...

Hold on a second... is Patmos Pete using the internet, a modern invention, to expound a set of beliefs from the medieval period... or are my eyes deceiving me?

Clearly Pete's unaware that there is no such place as heaven, except in the fantasies of the indoctrinated gullible.

Clearly Pete's unaware of the fact that the earth accreted, it was not 'created'.

Clearly Pete's unaware that the sea is hydrogen and oxygen, and needs no gods to appear.

Clearly Pete's imagining fountains of waters because, aside from man-made ones, there are only geysers or blowholes that need no gods to operate.

What a redundant god Pete's must be... yet not only are we supposed to glory this ineffective being, but we're also supposed to fear it?

Fear its lack of ability and uselessness perhaps, because it's a non-answer, a non-explanation, a non-existent, imaginary being constructed solely for the purpose to bully the sheep into their pens for the slaughter.

For those of us who run free Pete, we look in on the fenced creatures with pity... but we know that while the fence seems high to you, it has no foundations and could easily be pushed over if you had the strength of character to try.

I hope you try one day - the universe is a fascinating place once you leave the backward god concept behind.