The video link for today’s service is below. Don’t miss Sarah Reid
playing piano for us! And remember to get the kids in for the story by Gail.
Youth Room Things to think about:
In Sophie’s World, many bizarre things occur to Sophie during her journey. She keeps finding postcards referencing her all addressed to a girl named Hilde Knag; she wakes up to find that a necklace from a dream is in her hand; Hilde’s unseen father keeps popping up in her life; a dog suddenly begins to speak; she finds the exact fare she needs right when she needs it; the list goes on. We come to find out that these things have happened because Sophie is a character in a book written by Hilde’s father to Hilde for her birthday. Albert Knag, a fledgling writer and a member of the UN’s peacekeeping forces, wanted to use the book not only to wish his daughter a happy birthday, but to also teach her about philosophy, a subject that he has much knowledge and passion for. To some extent, by reading the book, you would have grown attached to Sophie and the other characters in her world, so did learning that she was a fictional character created by an already fictional character change the way you viewed her? By reading Sophie’s World, you had created a mental image of this character, maybe even the way their voices sounded, the way they moved, etc, like making a little movie in your head that corresponded with what you were reading. Did Sophie, Alberto, Hilde, and the rest begin to exist for you at those moments? What is existence?
“For someone to exist,” you might say, “They need to really be here, they need to physically be in the world.” And that’s defintely one way to look at it. But let me take you through a little thought experiment right quick. Let’s say that there is a man that lives in Belize. He lives in a small fishing town, helps in his parent’s shop, and loves Harry Potter. He’s read all the books and seen all the movies, as I’m pretty sure you have. He has never heard of Lubbock and has no concept of you, but he knows what Harry, Ron, and Hermione look like in his mind’s eye. He knows how they speak, what they like, what they dislike, and what they’ve been through in their lives. You may physically exist in the world, but wouldn’t it be fair to say that Harry Potter exists more for him than you do?
You’ve all played games, read books, seen movies, etc and found yourselves attached to certain characters, maybe even written your own stories about these characters. They fully exist in your mind as living beings that have identifiable traits and characteristics. Can you say the same for someone that lives on the other side of the globe? It’s fair to say that the vast majority of the seven billion people on this planet are just abstract concepts to us, we have no idea what they like or what they want to do with their lives. But we know all that about Harry Potter, Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, or Luke Skywalker. And, if we know these characters so well, don’t they exist to us moreso than people who “really” exist, aka share our same physical reality? What about Sophie, then? She exists as fiction within fiction, but we have gotten to know her personally. Does she exist any less as a result of the twist in the story?
With all that said, I know you guys definitely exist, and I hope it all makes sense to you. We miss you guys, and we would love to hear from you. What have you been up to? How is school going? Have you started up P90x to pass the time? We want to know! Drop us a line, tell us what’s up, lets us know your favorite literary or cinematic character(s) and what you like about them. What are your thoughts on existence? Once again, we’d love to hear from you guys, so feel free to email us any time. Anyway, take care, be safe, WASH YOUR HANDS, and I’ll talk to you next time.
Believing in the Nonexistent: An Introduction to Fictional Realism