Last weekend, there was an interesting conversation taking place on the TV show The Good Wife.
The brief setup for other non-viewers: Maddie Hayward (played by Maura Tierney) is running for Governor against Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) and she used to be friends with Florrick’s wife Alicia (Julianna Margulies).
It’s an idea most atheists probably find pretty familiar, if not resonant: vulnerable believers, scared and alone, taking comfort in imagining a benefactor or guardian figure, a surrogate parent of fantasy who they come to believe is real.
The concept goes literal in Guillermo del Toro’s Mama when two kidnapped children, found living feral in the woods five years later, come to live with their uncle. Psychologists, witnessing the girls’ interactions with their invisible protector, theorize that Victoria and Lily invented Mama to help them cope with their trauma, terror, and abandonment. [Read more...]