Mild Delusions, Odd Obsessions

Responding to my post “A Conversation With God”, Udhay Shankar N points me to an essay by Mr Lizard which begins:

Presented for your consideration: Two gentlemen, both with what one might term a mild delusion—they are deeply involved with people who don’t exist. Both spend a lot of money on this obsession. Both can recite, at length, the putative words, thoughts, and deeds of their fictional obsessions. Both have allowed the ideals expressed by these non-existent beings to shape their lives, and both proudly proclaim their allegiance in a sect of followers. Despite this odd obsession, both men hold down jobs, have families, pay taxes, and commit no more than trivial crimes, such as jaywalking, or speeding, or ripping the tags off of mattresses.

One of these men, though, has a serious problem—he won’t acknowledge the fictitious nature of his fantasy friend. The other one has no such difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy.

Yet, in our society, the former is considered normal and healthy—while the latter is, at best, a figure of mockery, at worst, a reviled outcast.

The former man, you see, is a ‘Christian’, and the fictitious being he admires is called ‘God’. The latter is a ‘Trekker’ and his fictional focus is called ‘Mr. Spock’.

Read the full thing. Religious people should not get too upset about that essay—no doubt whichever God they believe in will punish both Mr Lizard and me for our heresy. Heh.