Answering the Puritans Part 4b

In this series (click here for Part 1), I’m looking at 5 questions about arts based on something a Puritan wrote and giving some answers. To read my thoughts on the previous question, click here.

I said in my last post that when people assume fiction and lies are the same, they misunderstand what lies are.

Lies have several components. I won’t get into all of them since I don’t have the theology background to fully unpack the concept.

However, one important aspect of any lie is that the liar assumes recipients will believe the lie is completely true.

For example, if a man lies to his girlfriend, he wants her to believe whatever he says.

He may give a lie that won’t stand up to questioning.

But he hopes that the way he says the lie, the context he says it in, and other factors will make the lie seem true at least for a short while.

So, lies require words, actions and an atmosphere that makes recipients think the lies are true.

A fictional story does something very different. Recipients start by assuming the story is false.

For example, when readers get a new novel, they assume the plot is made up.

The story may contain elements from real life, have a realistic setting, or include historical events and figures.

Still, various factors create an understanding that the story’s fictional.

These factors include the fact the author presents the story as a novel, that readers got the novel from a place marketing it as fiction and that readers understand the concept that people write fictional stories to entertain.

So, fiction fits a different set of criteria than lies.

Since the term fiction applies to more than just storytelling (for example, a painting with unicorns and dragons depicts a fictional scene), we can apply this principle to many art forms.

Stay tuned for Part 5In the meantime, do you have any thoughts about this?

Let me know in the comments

2 thoughts on “Answering the Puritans Part 4b

  1. Pingback: Answering the Puritans Part 5 – G. Connor Salter

  2. Pingback: Answering the Puritans Part 4a – G. Connor Salter

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