I wouldn't call myself a Harry Potter fan, exactly, but I have enjoyed the movies with my family and respect J.K. Rowling's gift of imagination, especially in the details; an enchanted pen that writes one thing while the reporter says another, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, Floo Powder, etc...
I love the Weasley family, and one detail that I found especially delightful was the Weasley's magical tent. This is an ordinary looking canvas camping tent that turns out to be far bigger on the inside than on the outside. It was not only a fun imaginary detail, but it made perfect sense, in a way. It fit something, or was like meeting someone and swearing you had met them before. It took me only a minute to figure out why I responded to the idea of the Weasley's magic tent so strongly.
It's because people, every one of us, are just like that tent. We are all much bigger on the inside than we appear on the outside. This is the one salient fact about human life, and the one fact that scientific materialism can't seem to get it's brain around. I have had protracted combox arguments with avowed materialists who swore up and down that neither they nor I really had a free mind and will. My first response has mainly been, "Then, why in the name of Grandpa's bunyons are we arguing? What is the point, if neither of us has a free mind? Why labor so doggedly to convince me of the truth when there is no truth outside our own respective brains?"
My other response is to just gasp at the totality of their delusion. It's one thing to argue that there are no such things as magic tents. It's another, though, to make the argument vehemently from the doorway of your own magic tent.
We all have direct knowledge of free will by our own experience. It's a fact we take as much for granted as breathing. To have become so enamored, so thoroughly swayed by a theory (a theory as thin as water) that you will deny the reality of your own inner life rather than question it, is simply staggering. It takes one's breath away. There can be no logical back-and-forth with someone under such a delusion. The problem isn't in their logic, it's that their logic moves in such a tight, impenetrable circle that it leaves out everything it is meant to explain.
Chesterton, reliably states it better;
"The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.
The madman's explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory. Or, to speak more strictly, the insane explanation, if not conclusive, is at least unanswerable...
Nevertheless he is wrong. But if we attempt to trace his error in exact terms, we shall not find it quite so easy as we had supposed. Perhaps the nearest we can get to expressing it is to say this: that his mind moves in a perfect but narrow circle. A small circle is quite as infinite as a large circle; but, though it is quite as infinite, it is not so large. In the same way the insane explanation is quite as complete as the sane one, but it is not so large. A bullet is quite as round as the world, but it is not the world. There is such a thing as a narrow universality; there is such a thing as a small and cramped eternity; you may see it in many modern religions. Now, speaking quite externally and empirically, we may say that the strongest and most unmistakable mark of madness is this combination between a logical completeness and a spiritual contraction. The lunatic's theory explains a large number of things, but it does not explain them in a large way." - from Orthodoxy
Nine times out of ten, it is not a problem in logic that lies at the root of such delusion, and so logic won't be the cure. It is a kind of spiritual sickness or blindness. Jesus seemed particularly sympathetic to blind people, though, which might be comforting. There is always hope, and the hope is, as ever, in the action of the Holy Spirit and not in our power to persuade.
This idea of the Magic Tent (St. Paul referred to his body as a tent, too, I recall) is what is lacking in all the modern and merely material theories of commerce and governance. They all leave out completely the fact that human beings are much bigger and more complex on the inside than they are on the outside, and they can't give up figuring only on the outside... and so they fail.
I only bring it up because it fits nicely between the two parts of this series on the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the Modern World.