Why Fiction? (2)

Going back to the last point I made in my blog yesterday, the job of fiction is to reveal the human soul.

I was recently in a meeting of men who were discussing the need for greater emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in our school curricula. While I didn’t disagree, I made the point that it is the arts that teach about the non-quantifiable aspects of human life. As a fiction writer, I am an artist. I deal with the uncountable, unmeasurable facets of human experience, which STEM cannot, by its nature, address.  I focus on actualities such as love, freedom, nobility, the laws of logic, patriotism, charity, and justice. Schools of thought that deny the existence of the uncountable (e.g., nominalism) see all this as fantasy and delusion.

As a man who loves his children and would give up his life to save them from danger, I dismiss philosophies that deny the reality of the uncountable. As an artist and fiction writer, my job is to explore the very real world of the spirit or psyche or soul. I do it by telling stories that illustrate human experience. Think of them as parables created to portray the human dilemma. The stories are not “true” in the sense of being drawn from measurable fact. But to the degree that they show the nature of the human spirit, they are more true than the countable material facts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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