Monday, June 09, 2008

Alzheimer helps atheist appreciate God ... yes, really

Who would have thought that atheist science fiction writer Terry Pratchett, who was angry with God for not existing, would grow to appreciate God though his Alzheimer disease?

As the London Times's Robert Watts tells it,
The 60-year-old creator of the Discworld series has spoken of an unexplained experience shortly after his diagnosis with the condition.

“I’m certainly not a man of faith, but as I was rushing down the stairs one day . . . it was very strange. And I say this reluctantly, because I am trying to deal with this situation in as hardheaded a way as I can. I suddenly knew that everything was okay, that what I was doing was right, and I didn’t know why,” Pratchett said.

“It was a thought that all the right things are happening in the circumstances; and I thought, ‘Well, that’s all right then.’ I don’t actually believe in anyone who could have put that in my head – unless it was my dad, and he’s been dead a few years.”

- Robert Watts, (June 8, 2008) "Alzheimer's leads atheist Tery Pratchett to appreciate God"
I am so glad for Terry, because he has surely helped thousands by describing his illness as merely an "embuggerance".

He is, of course, right. Brain diseases are - like heart, liver, and kidney diseases - an embuggerance, to be sure. But like other diseases they can be fought, dealt with. Unfortunately, too many people have been encouraged to give up hope unnecessarily, so it is good to see pioneers like Terry leading the way.

But it seems he had a little Help, and good for him.

See also Alzheimer not an immediate mental death sentence