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Thread: Your opinion: Why do we need fiction?

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    Perspective Chae's Avatar
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    Default Your opinion: Why do we need fiction?

    Meaning stories of all kinds in all sorts of common (or uncommon, private) media outlets. Why do you think that fiction is necessary to you and the life of others?


     
    As a first point, fiction occupies the role of the role. That means: It serves as a tool of orientation. Whether that's during our time when we grow up or in later instances. To me, reading or watching stories on the Internet or TV would be a source of knowing "where I stand", so to say, so it has a lot to do with identity and fitting in. I know I compare myself to an illusion, yet I relate to characters that way. Part of "the role" is also displaying role models. Whether those are positive or negative ones does not matter as much as what the gist is, and what I - we as a collective - can learn from it, especially as fiction draws and crosses conscious boundaries in all possible senses of the word.

    A second function of fictional contents as I experience it is insight into human nature and psychology. The way we write, draw, narrate, and how reality surrounds that as well as builds the textual body via the human perception. It also helps me to imagine and spin things around in my own mind by their incentive. It's like the story lives in and through me. That's why I can't watch a movie made out of a book, I already created my own world while reading. Sometimes I like to write prose in private which seems to have its roots in other "fictions" or people I know, so it's interesting to see how everything intertwines, sort of by chance, within my thinking.

    Thirdly, and that combines paragraph one and two, fiction is cathartic, i.e. helps us see new points of view to heal. I found an example that's very touching and a reminder of how much we need fictional contexts to broaden our horizon.

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    I don't really get into much fiction anymore but it's usually used as a way to escape or for catharsis, or to explore experiences and emotions that we might not otherwise get to.

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    People need to dream and express themselves - it is meaningful in itself, but it also allows you to explore realms you might not quite be able to in actuality. It heightens emotions, and allows ideas to be conveyed that might not otherwise show themselves.
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    It's a good reminder that you should spend time doing something completely unimportant and inconsequential just because you can.

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    - Fiction is art, art is culture. Culture is what makes us different from animals.
    I guess you could say telling stories is what makes us human. IMO even our ego, our subjective view that there is something in our head that qualifies as the "me" is a story that we tell ourselves. Without that we would not be able to function as what we call a human being or a person.

    - Science Fiction is a starting point for real science. Like mobile phones in Star Trek or interstellar exploration in Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" in 1865

    - Serves as a reflection of our society (for example 1984) and popular science like
    Jurassic Park (Human Genome Project in the 80s and 90s),
    Limitless and Lucy (Neurology, Human Brain Project 90s - now),
    Matrix, Ghost in the Shell, Ex Machina (Artificial Intelligence),
    Minority Report (Big Data)
    I'd like to add that these movies like to overestimate the accomplishments and dangers of some scientific fields. Especially when it comes to the Human Genome Project. But that overestimation is in fact the reflection of our society. It's what the masses see and what the media portrays. New and exciting fields and early accomplishments may lead to inappropriate hype that ultimately ends in our works of fiction. These works can be seen or read by later generations and show them our values, hopes and fears.

    - and as a reminder: The boy in the striped pajamas, Downfall, Shindler's List
    Last edited by Cosmic Teapot; 04-20-2017 at 10:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chae View Post
    Meaning stories of all kinds in all sorts of common (or uncommon, private) media outlets. Why do you think that fiction is necessary to you and the life of others?
    Well, for starters it's the best way to explore philosophical concepts. Fiction is philosophy in my mind. This insight even impressed my professors in college. I told them that, if we boil it all down every work of fiction is also, at base, a work of philosophy. I think they just clapped along to get along (pretty sure they were a bunch of Alpha's) but some things transcend typology and one of em' is truth. At base, I'm right. J.R.R. Tolkien ought to be considered in the same ranks and Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. The big-N wasn't theistic but he might as well have been, and Tolkien wasn't exactly a protestant but you get the idea as it were. In a sense the three would hate each other but, in another sense, they'd all be best buddies drinking away at a local pub relating their ideas to each other in a way that inspired mirth amongst them all.

    Furthermore Identity>Culture>Politics. Fiction=Culture. Therefore Identity>Fiction>Politics. What everyone therefore tends to both read and identify with *will* affect policy in the political arena. To get really cynical about it all Fiction=Religion which most definitely equals politics, fiction, and identity. So yeah, it is SUPREMELY important. One could say it is the most important thing as it is, as stated, essentially synonymous with culture and that flows directly from identity (which is the MOST important thing when all is said and done).

    So yeah, very friggin' important. Just as important as any significant works of philosophy and religion. I'd rate Plato's "The Republic" in the same strata as "The Holy Bible" and "The Lord of the Rings". You really won't "understand" European people until you get why those three things are loved on so hard by those people. Ya just won't. Period. End of argument. If you hate any of them on a visceral level then you're essentially in a blood feud with them and the only answer to blood feuds is bullets. As I don't like where that goes I implore anyone to try and "get" them as it were. I am so sick of the endless slaughter...

    I mean, my side will win, or at the very least make your victory Pyrrhic and that your history books *will* record that very word and concept as apt will be in itself a very bitterly ironic pill to swallow for even in our death you appropriate our concepts, language, and history but you get the point. Even in our failure we *will* be remembered in fiction. As either a servant of the divine or the demonic will make little difference. We're either the ultimate evil or the ultimate good... or a primordial force, a "precursor" civilization. In it all, we're pretty damned important, as all significant fiction ultimately is

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    Human society is inherently evil and soulless, and rigged for the worst of the worst to win and the best of the best to lose. It's Satan's game. Fiction transports you to another world that gives you a natural break from that, it's a way to fight evil. The natural world is beautiful, humans can be beautiful. Society is ugly. And fiction can make the ugly beautiful. We can't truly make the ugly beautiful without work and effort, but fiction can perhaps inspire us to do that. And good fiction probably has stopped me from killing myself.
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    To answer your question one would need to demarcate fiction from what is not fiction. The process might show you the answer or at least why the answer isn't clear cut.

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    I feel like an echo here, but yes...

    Escapism.

    It also enhances creativity and empathy. It can create interesting ways of conveying an idea, which can be more captivating to an audience.

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    "Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it."
    -Lloyd Alexander

    “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
    -Neil Gaiman, paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton

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