Thursday, 23 August 2007

Do I want to be associated with these people?

One of the disconcerting effects that emerges from LibraryThing is that my library occasionally groups me with some folks who hold political or religious opinions radically different from mine. I suppose this is inevitable, really. I keep quite a number of G. K. Chesterton's books because I like reading them, not because I actually agree with Chesterton's views or beliefs. His patriotic nostalgia and eccentric heroes ring an emotional bell with me, even though I can't align myself with the positions they take him to.

On the other hand, perhaps my osmotic theory of knowledge will also work with beliefs: if I have shelves full of books by opinionated conservative Catholics, will I wake up one day to find myself signed up to the U.S. Republican Party or the Society of St Pius the Nth? I hope not: but maybe I need to get out to the bookshop and buy some books by Bishop Spong to balance out all that C. S. Lewis!

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