Tuesday, June 8, 2010

If I may be bold...

Or in other words... does anyone else have problems about letting a novel develop the way it wants, even if it takes some surprising turns that may make your friends uncomfortable?

Keep in mind that in real life I tend to be fairly... conservative. I'm not militant about a lot of my religious and moral beliefs, but they are there nevertheless. My backbone.

That doesn't translate or show up in what I write. *laughs nervously*

Wip#1 - Protagonist has an abstinence ring that pretty much messed up her life. I'm fairly sure that she is going to get together with the guy character. This could change as I write the novel, but yeah... currently, it is still there.

Wip#2 - Protagonist seems to be confused about her sexual identity. I've been noticing this a LOT as I'm writing the novel... especially as she is more attentive and concerned about her friend who is very out of the closet. I'm pretty sure the protagonist is straight, but um... all the same, I'm raising my eyebrows and wondering about her. She might be bi. :O

Neither of these wips are going to be too graphic with any content, because I want them to still fit in with the upper teen audience. But it may definitely introduce concepts that will not be very popular with some people out there.

The impulse is to start all over again and make the 'implied' as oblique as possible so I don't have to put embarrassing warnings up for critters. But then that would change the flavor of the books. It would be like this lemon chicken dinner I made the other day - what would happen if I removed the lemons from the meal.

I guess I'll start scripting those warnings now. :(

Science will apparently Win

I debated about posting this bit as it edges too close to sensitive 'do not tread' turf (religion). I decided to go on ahead, because it does touch on what I DWELL on as somebody who writes about aliens and far away universes.

In an interview read here, Stephen Hawking expressed the following:

"What could define God [is thinking of God] as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God," Hawking told Sawyer. "They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible."

When Sawyer asked if there was a way to reconcile religion and science, Hawking said, "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."

The first bit - I actually do agree with in part. I think that people try to humanize God too much, and they have through the back centuries. Take the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians - and others. They believed in gods, but imagined them in human form and exhibiting themselves in quite a human way. I feel we know God as he has deliberately made himself known to us... but it would be impossible to understand him and the rest of the story completely until we meet him face to face. Which, I hope we all do.

As to the second, I would say Hawking isn't completely correct though he is in the right neighborhood. Our ability to observe and reason is limited to what we can study via our five senses. Just because we can't see something, smell it, touch it... study it... that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Human beings instinctively feel that there must be something greater beyond us - and we have always been that way. Some peoples (native Americans) created gods from outer space - something, I'm sure Stephen Hawking would be interested in. Other peoples created a complex afterlife with various gods who all had nothing better to do than judge and control human beings on our planet. Other people saw their ancestors attain new abilities upon reaching the afterlife, turning around and becoming gods who could aid or injure humans on earth. Others believed in one God.

One thing they all have in common is they felt that there was a lot more out there that could not be viewed or reached, but they knew it was there.

So yes...

Religion is based on a natural instinct or calling, as well as culture and authority. Science is based on observation and reason.

They don't completely overlap and are frequently at odds... but that doesn't mean you have to adhere to either or instead of both. It is possible to be a scientist who also believes in a Greater Power beyond. And there is no shame in acknowledging limits to our human abilities. Stephen Hawking more than anyone else ought to realize that. :)

What does this have to do with writing?

Not much, except it reminded me anew the complication in being a Christian and writing proper science fiction or fantasy novels. It's miserably hard - and not just because readers immediately feel uncomfortable and criticize you for creating alien characters who worship a "Christian God". It's just that suddenly you start wondering if it is entirely proper creating a godlike race (and I have plenty of those) and placing them in a world where there is also an all powerful God. It's possible, but I guess I have it ingrained in my head that no being stands on equal footing with God. So I would be consciously trying to keep my characters from being too powerful... or acting too godly. Which would ruin my plots.

Random Question for the Day

If we are a post racial society, why does the census bureau still need to know what color your skin is?


1 comment:

  1. This post kind of reminds me of when we did a module on religion and science in philosophy class- that religion is based on spiritual truths whereas science is based on factual truths, so they can't really be compared and in that sense can't really clash.

    And the random question is very true.


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