There is a saying which I’ve seen variously attributed to African, Amerind and Asian wise men, which goes “I don’t know if it happened this way, but I know this story is true”.
A little while ago, I blogged on the back of a short story by Ursula le Guin called “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, which is most definitely “made up”. On the other hand, through an entirely fictional place and people, it conveys a really important truth about how I, at least, feel about morality, and in particular the utilitarian concept that the individual should be sacrificed for the greater good. It rests on the concept that the entire happiness of an otherwise idyllic, utopian society is founded on them keeping a vulnerable innocent in appalling conditions, and never even speaking a kind word to the victim – and, on learning of this truth about their society, some elect to walk away, then or later, despite leaving also all the positives of their society. (Read more)
Chris Eyre is an editor for Energion Publications and a retired solicitor.