Saturday

Faeries

I find it fairly monstrous that a forum (here if you're interested , but you can't log in if you're not a Seton student) that has no problem discussing the possibility of Satan founding Washington D.C.; that has no qualms about listing anyone except muslim terrorists (including big oil, neo conservatives, Jews, and a secret government organization that no one knows anything of...) as the real force behind 9/11; that this forum will then get such a laugh out of some poor soul trying to start a reasonable and intelligent debate about the existence of fairies. What is it about fairies that makes so called rational souls recoil in horror? We're Catholic, after all. I had thought that the Protestant ban on imagination was limited to just that, Protestants. Since when does the absence of proof (there has been no scientific documentation of fairies as a species) become proof (therefore fairies do not exist.)? I guess I just don't get the complete refusal to even talk about fairies existing hypothetically. As for me, I couldn't say for certain if I believe that fairies do exist currently or not. All I know is that at one point there had to be something, some reason for the stories to exist. How do you explain Native Americans, South Africans, English, Irish, Italians, Scandinavians, all coming up with the same idea: clever, crafty, dangerous, and spooky humanoid (uh-oh, here comes the Star Trek vocab) creatures? All I'm saying is let's please find a better explanation than "they were all strung out." Aha. It doesn't really matter to me that people don't tend to sight the "fair folk" these days. If we're speaking of their hypothetical existence, then it would be a stupid move on their part to come out of hiding, or hibernation, or wherever they are. Can you spell "labs"? Why don't we all come out of the "information" age induced stupor society seems to wrap around itself, and acknowledge that we will never know everything about the world we live in? "There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

9 comments:

sarah said...

You're giving them credit for philosophy? I think that went the way of imagination, Horatio.

Catherine_Creagan said...

hey. the quote worked (mostly) and I can't really change it to "science" or what have you

esther said...

hey, what's the url you tried to hyperlink? to BoL?

and can i just say, props to you (heck, the fam) for trying to at least have an honest conversation about faries. it's been disapointing that i havent been able to find that here ... oh well, just makes me more excited to come home so we can talk!

Father Barry said...

I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of the "there must be something to it, because look at all the cultures that have stories about them?" approach.

Cause it seems like that might make us argue to the existence of other things we probably don't want. Like multiple gods, or something along those lines.

I am disappointed that folks dismiss them so easily, though. Myself, I think they exist(ed), and think they're angels and demons. Not sure we need to create a seperate species for them, because I'm pretty sure we have plenty to explain their existence right now.

I think Lewis is right in That Hideous Strength when he says the past was a more appropriate situation for their appearances. The fact that people don't "seem 'em much nowadays" doesn't seem to argue for their non-existence...

-J.

Catherine_Creagan said...

Cultures came up with multiple gods because they knew some form of God had to exist. Besides, folklore dealing with fairies or creatures that much resemble fairies is very different from folklore dealing with deities. When treating with deities, it tends to be less in contact with humans than otherwise (Greek mythology being an exception...and notice that they didn't really have fairies, not like I'm talking about)
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense (to me) to characterize fairies as angels or demons. Read any story about them and I think you would be hard pressed to call them angelic; but then, they're hardly demonic in nature either, just bad tempered.
Est, the sight was www.setbb.com/setonhighschool

Father Barry said...

Demons don't have to be demonic - at least not on the surface. Bad-tempered, impish, or anything along those lines is certainly not angelic. No argument there. But I'm not quite willing to move it away from demons, either. Bleeding to death from paper cuts, for example. (Reminds me of more Lewis, but mostly Screwtape this time.)

I don't quite understand your objection to the "multiple gods" question, though. First, I'm not really sure I'd agree that coming up with deities happens in a way that suggests "less contact with humans." And if they come up with multiple gods to explain something they know must be true, why can't they come up with fairies to explain something they experience? Seems "fairly" similar. (Sometimes I hate myself...)

What would they be if they weren't angels or demons? Animals? Something irrational?

Catherine_Creagan said...

Who bleeds to death from paper cuts?
the multiple gods problem was that in most mythologies (norse, japanese, irish, welsh, african, and native american) the stories about gods are just that, stories. i.e., one day Odin was walking along and got his eye poked out. With fairies, it tends to be more along the lines of "aunt helga who lives down the lane accidentally splashed a troup of fairies with her washing and was sick for a week." if so many different cultures have so many similar personal experiences, that's what caught my attention.
so clearly fairies aren't angelic. but how do you get demonic? what about the fairies who help humans? who for some capricious reason of their own, decide to protect or further the welfare of, humans who befriend them? honestly, most of the time they act like children who never grow up rather than devils.

Father Barry said...

What are demons except for children that never grew up? (OK, that's a big of an exaggeration.)

I'm still not a fan of the "everyone says so" argument, but I'll let it slide for the moment. I think we're arguing a bit at cross purposes on that one.

But my question remains: what are fairies? I think there are only 3 options, and they won't fit into two of those. Which is why I end up on the "angels and demons" camp.

-J.

And I still disagree with you about the gods. I don't see much of a difference between Aunt Helga and Odin. 8-)

Catherine_Creagan said...

what a bore, i have to retype a comment; the computer ate it.

all i have to say is that radically different cultures coming up with multiple gods is to be expected. it is, in fact, someone's (i can't remember whose) argument for the existence of God. of course these guys aren't going to think of one God right off the bat. it was revealed to the Hebrews, and via Hebrews to folks like Akenaton.
my question is: why would all these disparate cultures have stories about crazy, capricious, mischievous, and spooky little beings? the stories about fairies in each culture are manifestly similar; i still hold this to be significant, and to have nothing to do with the gods.

about the angels and demons...well. we established that these little guys are anything but angelic. but how are they demonic? can devils do good? from what i remember St Thomas A saying, they can't. but fairies perform spontaneous acts of good will all the time. along with pranks and practical jokes. not to mention the fact that you can kill (and pretty easily too) a fairy.

i would say evidence of demons in the world would be much more along the lines of the Aztec gods: Huiztipoltzi and the like. drinker of blood and lord of darkness. i can't recall fairies ever demanding human sacrifice and blood to drink, even though they often have an exceedingly strange take on death.

Post a Comment