Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Proper Use Of Fantasy

Tales of fiction and fantasy are very useful, of course, as they probably have been throughtout the history of human awareness. Perhaps as social simulators, to help grasp complex social situations or as a fuel to curiosity, stories have always been the mainstay of cultural transmission between generations. No problem with fiction.

Strong beliefs in legends is another matter.

And, when fantasy provides its answers to the most fundamental questions, twists the perceptions into delusions, or makes an enemy of every non-believer, there's something very wrong. Misuse. Storytelling should be used for inspiration, practice grounds, acquiring patterns and models, behavioral simulator, whatever, anything but for faith.

I don't think there's any one book that should be taken at face value. There is no tale that can encapsulate all the answers to the big philosophical and scientific questions, they are not known yet. And in some ways they might never be. So we're going to have to wing it, as we go along, and for this I suggest reading a lot of science, fiction and fantasy.

And as Scrubious Pip would say, "Think for yourselves!"