Reality and Fantasy, a discussion.

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Reality and Fantasy, a discussion.

Postby Mytical » Jul 9 2007, 10:17

Ok we have some interesting topics going on, so I thought I would add one. When does something become a fantasy? Let me explain.

You hear two stories about somebody you personally never met. Both state that the person spent time under water, getting a chance to explore the debths. In both stories they saw various fish, a dolphin or two, and a shark (at a safe distance). The only thing that changed in the whole story was how they did it. In one they had some scuba gear on, and in the other they had a magical device that allowed them to breath under water. Obviously one is true, the other a fantasy. Here is my point. If no mention of how this was accomplished arrose, it would have been placed in the non-fiction category. Since it did, one version would be put in the fantasy category. At what point does a story cross over into fantasy?

Now I know the difference between fantasy and reality, and am not here to argue about that (or anything actually). I do, however, want to know what lines must be crossed for a story to go from Non-Fiction to fantasy.
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Postby The Mad Dragon » Jul 9 2007, 10:42

I would say anything that does not lie in the realm of realism.

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Postby Pol » Jul 9 2007, 11:01

Everything is fantasy, look at my life ;)

Never believe that here can be hardline dividing land of reality and fantasy or fantasy and science fiction or science and Corribus.
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Postby Ceres » Jul 9 2007, 11:08

@Pol
:rofl: You got a nice line out there!

Well, for me I think you could tell if the story is fantasy if it has out-of-this world objects, events, etc. In my opinion, if some or most of the story's component is unexplainable and/or unproven by the laws and theories that exist in our present world, then definitely its fantasy.

Uh, what I said made me think, what about religion? :D Anyways, don't mind it.
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Postby Ethric » Jul 9 2007, 11:09

It could also have been placed in the fantasy-category without mention of a magical device if you as the teller had told the story as a fantasy. "Once long ago in a far away land Flodo dived deep under water because he had lost his ring..." :D

A story crosses into fantasy once it incorporates elements that can't be done or explained by todays standards of reality, unless it is explained as being advanced tech from the future or aliens or whatnot, then it's science fiction. Myths and religious stories aren't included as they are their own category.
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Postby Mytical » Jul 9 2007, 12:12

Now here is the twist (you all knew it was coming didn't you).

What if the story was told by somebody who had never seen scuba gear before, but witnessed all the events? Even though it mentions 'magical device' does it then go back to non-fiction? Hehe
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Postby Orfinn » Jul 9 2007, 12:14

Reality is fantasy and fantasy is reality.

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Re: Reality and Fantasy, a discussion.

Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 9 2007, 12:30

Mytical wrote:and in the other they had a magical device that allowed them to breath under water.


You mean like scuba gear?! :D

Edit: Damn, you beat me to it.
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Postby Grumpy Old Wizard » Jul 9 2007, 12:30

Ethric wrote:A story crosses into fantasy once it incorporates elements that can't be done or explained by todays standards of reality, unless it is explained as being advanced tech from the future or aliens or whatnot, then it's science fiction.


I would modify that a bit to say that fantasy generally involves mystical or magical elements or creatures that are not commonly accepted as existing.

Are there fantasy stories that will one day be considered general fiction? For example did anyone see the "Ghost Hunters" program (reality TV) where the group intesitgated the Lisheen ruins in Ireland? Do you remember the thermal camera showing things that appeared to be following the team? The thing that stepped out from behind a tree and the face (seen by different team members in different locations?)

Click here for a link about the episode.

Maybe one day some things like the existance of ghosts or faeries/elementals will become generally accepted (again) and then stories that are now considered fantasy would not be fantasy anymore.

Same thing with science fiction. If UFOs become widely accepted as being alien spacecraft will stories that are considered to be science fiction today be just general fiction in years to come?

I guess what is fantasy/science fiction depends on your point of view.

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Postby Ethric » Jul 9 2007, 13:08

Thus the phrase "todays standards of reality". You weren't modifying but elaborating ;). And of course, said standard isn't a constant at any given time either, people and cultures have differing views,
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Postby Kristo » Jul 9 2007, 13:10

I can't help but think of this quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

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Postby Elvin » Jul 9 2007, 13:26

I don't think it is defined rather we know some of its aspects and its creators use their imagination as well as the 'cliches' that we are being bombarded with. Everybody has an idea of the books or films that are considered fantasy yet we don't have the same rules, lore or menagerie in each. I suppose it's primarily a creature of thought and creativity that has a life of its own usually based on a setting that is not familiar to us.

Primarily it is different from reality because it 'feels' different. Less mundane, adventurous, has more mystique and the like. Sci fi seems to follow almost the same road except the setting seems more in touch with reality as it is based on reality and the assumption 'what if.'
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Postby Corribus » Jul 9 2007, 15:05

Grumpy Old Wizard wrote:Maybe one day some things like the existance of ghosts or faeries/elementals will become generally accepted (again) and then stories that are now considered fantasy would not be fantasy anymore.

You can't be serious.
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Re: Reality and Fantasy, a discussion.

Postby Panda Tar » Jul 9 2007, 15:17

Mytical wrote:Now I know the difference between fantasy and reality, and am not here to argue about that (or anything actually). I do, however, want to know what lines must be crossed for a story to go from Non-Fiction to fantasy.


I'm not sure of what you mean at all, but here how it goes for me, in my point of view AND in my humble opinion :-D :

It depends on the writer or creator's will, the plot that is about to be created or written. You see, what is my fantasy? It's something that might happen or not. Fantasy for some can be reality for others, eh? What can always be fantasy is not for us to determine, I think, since we have, ourselves, settled what is real, what is insane, or what is crazyness, so we are not ready to understand that real and fantasy are not different, but pretty much the same thing.

If we say that a boy died and we say that he was taken by an angel. What would be fantasy? There are people who believe in angels, for instance, and completely normal being taken away by angels. Are those people crazy? Who are you to call them that if you don't understand what's going on within their minds?

A fiction book is a fantasy? Maybe. We can read a book and pretend that to be real. Not that it would happen, but it's a real book, it's a real history, with fantastic happenings.

Sexual fantasies are alike. They are a glimpse of what the most crazy thing you would do with your partner, but that can happen, yet, it would be a fantasy even after happened.

In short, I think there's no line between real and fantasy. They are the same thing. That is, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, so I won't discuss my thoughts - just throw in ideas. ;)
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Postby Ethric » Jul 9 2007, 15:31

Corribus wrote:
Grumpy Old Wizard wrote:Maybe one day some things like the existance of ghosts or faeries/elementals will become generally accepted (again) and then stories that are now considered fantasy would not be fantasy anymore.

You can't be serious.


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Postby Corribus » Jul 9 2007, 15:39

Why, do you prefer the inane delusions of the laughably superstitious?

EDIT: And being a moderator, I'd think you would set an example and refrain from resorting to subtle underhanded insults in order to make some obscure point. :disagree:
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Postby Ethric » Jul 9 2007, 16:16

I prefer not to mock out of hand that which I do not have certain knowledge of. I don't think ghosts and such are "real", or will be considered as such, but I can in no way be positively sure. If you on the other hand do feel positively sure, calling fellow forum members laughably superstitious with inane delusions merely for saying it might be so is nevertheless against forum rules. Which you should know.

And my subtle underhanded insult contrived to make the obscure point that people of a scientific bent do tend to be overly arrogant when dealing with those who in their view of reality allow for the possible existence of phenomena outside of the realms of currently known science. It is fair game to disagree vehemently, but then say so instead of attacking people by questioning their seriousness. So to be less underhanded about it: your arrogance in regards to views differing from your own is not to your credit, and if you can't discuss the subject without attacking the poster then do not post at all.

Now, back to the line between fantasy and reality and it's location.
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Postby Caradoc » Jul 9 2007, 17:22

An interesting question might be how unproven scientific theories such as quantum mechanics differ from unproven supernatural beliefs such as faeries. Both may be unconfirmed by direct observation yet self consistent and having explanatory power.

BTW: Though I'm pretty sure that 'ghosts' are not the spirits of the dead, it does seem there is some unexplained phenomenon there. The ghost theory is about as good as any alternative explanation I have heard.
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Postby Corribus » Jul 9 2007, 17:57

Ethric wrote:If you on the other hand do feel positively sure, calling fellow forum members laughably superstitious with inane delusions merely for saying it might be so is nevertheless against forum rules.

You feel justified in openly calling scientists (and me) arrogant and close-minded, so I feel it is equally fair for me to call people who believe in fairies inane and deluded. I am only following the example set by one of our moderators. Unless you are saying you are bound by different rules than the rest of us?

And my subtle underhanded insult contrived to make the obscure point that people of a scientific bent do tend to be overly arrogant when dealing with those who in their view of reality allow for the possible existence of phenomena outside of the realms of currently known science.

I'm closed-minded and arrogant because I don't believe in fairies, but it's perfectly reasonable and fair when a fundamentalist discards out of hand all the evidence for, say, evolution or the age of the earth. :disagree: Seems like an unfair double-standard to me.

It is fair game to disagree vehemently, but then say so instead of attacking people by questioning their seriousness.

I question anyone's seriousness when they state that one day fairies will one day be generally accepted. So what? I'm not allowed to question someone's seriousness? I did not come out and say "you dumb moron, you believe in fairies?" I am truthfully incredulous that anyone out there actually thinks that pixies will one day be as apparent as squirrels and dolphins. So, yes, I wanted to know if GOW is serious in that statement, and then you insult me.

So to be less underhanded about it: your arrogance in regards to views differing from your own is not to your credit,

I'm arrogant because I don't believe in fairies and ghosts and goblins and the boogey man?

and if you can't discuss the subject without attacking the poster then do not post at all.

You should perhaps follow your own advice, as you did as much to me.

Caradoc wrote:An interesting question might be how unproven scientific theories such as quantum mechanics differ from unproven supernatural beliefs such as faeries. Both may be unconfirmed by direct observation yet self consistent and having explanatory power.

We can directly, empirically observe the effects of quantum mechanics in countless ways. We cannot observe the effects of fairies. I'm not sure why you would call quantum mechanics "unproven". The line between fantasy and reality is not so blurry as you want to make it out to be.
Last edited by Corribus on Jul 9 2007, 18:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 9 2007, 18:02

Kristo wrote:I can't help but think of this quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


Unless you know how it works... which is kinda what magic is.


C wrote:so I feel it is equally fair for me to call people who believe in fairies inane and deluded.


But the world is full of fairies... they even have parades, with rainbow flags and ****. :devil:


I'm arrogant because I don't believe .... and the boogey man?


But I"M REAL....
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