A good book, if a little long winded, and story is still not concluded. till Book2.
Some people talk down to children, as if they assume a small body houses a small intellect. Some people talk past them, bludgeoning them with unfamiliar words until the kids accept what they can’t understand. Chance or Providence, whichever you prefer, had sent Bridger a sensayer who treated the child as an equal intelligence, just blessed with newness, ready for difficult things, so long as they were presented honestly.
Child “The Major and the soldiers and Mycroft told me what war is like. They say it’s the second worst thing in the world.”.
Man: “That’s an interesting definition. What did they say is the worst thing?”
Child: “Not having anything worth fighting for in the first place.”
Bridger smiled at last, and I felt the warmth of the conclusion spread through myself as well. I am no sensayer. In Caryle’s place I would have just said that death is bad, and that of course he should bring Pointer back. But that would have brought a world of pain upon the child. Do you still not see it, reader? The moral consequences ten steps further along, which Carlyle forsees as clearly as signposts on a road? If Bridger had brought Pointer back on the theory that it’s always better to be alive than dead, then what about the other plastic corpses lost somewhere in the trench dust? He should bring them back. What about Emma Platz? Lesley’s Parents? The recently deceased sensayer Carlyle replaced? What about the stranger who died yesterday in a hospital on the far side of the world? Or every stranger, every death, back to the dawn of time? Soon the nightmare guilt that sometimes kept me up at night would kindle in the boy, and make him feel that every soul that ever died was on his conscience for not resurrecting them. But this way, deciding based on what the soldier personally would want, Bridger could bring Pointer back and still reserve the possibility of death being okay, and not take up the burden (yet) of saving all of us. At this point I sent my silent signal to Thisbe and the Major that I thought this sensayer could be trusted.
“But what if there’s a God?” Only a child could ask so bluntly, reader.
I will spare you the next part. You may assume that Carlyle stayed with Bridger in the garden for another hour, leading him through the hypotheticals of Nirvana, Gehenna, Guinee, Mictlan, Hell, of nothingness, of reincarnation, or souls returning, souls merging, souls evaporating, no souls at all, presenting many options and leaving many open doors. Their conclusions were neither solely Bridger’s nor solely Carlyle’s, but discoveries made striding hand in hand through theology’s well-trodden ground.
Voltaire was also a Deist, which means they believed that all religions are different understandings of the same universal God. Who made the world but doesn’t really care what name or names He’s called by.”
“Late in life Voltaire built a small church on their estate. They put an inscription over the entrance, Deo Erexit Voltaire: built for God by Voltaire. After so many churches built to saints, they said, it was about time someone built one to God. In a sense it’s the high temple of Deism, strange as it sounds to say that a religion which combines most all religions could have a high temple’