August 7th, 2007

The Librarian

This must be my season of the quotable book ...

Some aspects of some belief systems are testable, of course -- the Grand Canyon is not evidence for Noah's flood, unless God is having a quiet joke at our expense, which admittedly would be a very Discworld thing to do. And if He is, then all bets are off, because His revealed word in [insert your preferred Holy Book] may well be a joke too. Other aspects are not testable: the deeper issues stray into intellectual territory where, in the end, you have to settle for whatever explanation your type of mind finds convincing, or just stop asking that kind of question.
But remember: what's most interesting about your beliefs, to anyone who does not share them, is not whether you're right -- it's that what you believe in is a window into the workings of your mind. "Ah, so you think like THAT, do you?"
This is where the great mystery of human existence leads, and where all explanations are true -- for a given value of "true".

From "The Science of Discworld III : Darwin's watch", by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen, c2005 (this one's been in the to-read heap for quite a while, waiting for my brain to be in the right mood ...)