Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#1
Another of those thoughts I mull over.

I have a solid vein of faith, and most of my work has this built-in message, either through metaphor or direct reflection on events/characters. Goodness wins.... and when it doesn't, it DOES by its loss as grief leads us back to goodness. (this is a developed concept, and not intending to get DEEP-er than general ideas).

I believe almost all literature has this in its core. Good vs Evil. God vs Devil. Moster vs. Man. 

Frankenstein. Dracula. Star Wars. Alien. You name it. 

One thing that I am curious about, while we accept this precept and create with it more or less built-in, isn't it a God thing that inspires all of that "combat" or protagonist vs antagonist? Perhaps not of one's conscious objective, but seems to be the beginning of that forever dilemma. 

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#2
Now for the second part of this "discussion": In "Jep" this quirky guy is "the last good man" and endures by way of following this inner voice, carrying his own cross (which is a great visual gag - I am turning it into a screenplay with a friend next). He also finds strength in scripture - the writer uses these moments to bring focus to the turning of collective conscience, inspired by goodness in itself.

So, the observation or wonder: Is the God topic dissuade general readership?

There comes a point in "Jep" where he slips into the metaphysical, and "scripture" speaks of some critical things in story.

My readership seems to have halved after this pivotal chapter. 

Making no assumption, but here's what I am wondering - if this were not scripture, but prophetic words alone, inspiring (Churchill like - pick your own inspiring orator) would the readership keep higher interest?

Then, if one insinuated any other thing, WIND, or hallucinogenics,  Beef-a-roni, whatever, were the foil to make these messages resonate, does this become more acceptable/readable/more real?

If so, why?

(yea, the things an ironic writer of la-de-da literary fiction wonders over.)  DrakanWine

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#3
You are coming from a really different place compared to some of the other writers here, I can say that much.  In fantasy and science fiction the religious guys are often the bad guys, regardless of what religion it is.

Morality isn't that tied to religion either.  Me, I like happy endings, but I would usually exemplify goodness with a character who wants others to be happy, while badness is the opposite, a villain who is a bully, a bigot, or a character so spoiled and self centered that they don't value others' feelings at all.  The MC not going to be the most good character in the story, because perfection doesn't come across as sympathetic or interesting.  An MC should have an ambition, a fear, a vice, a sense of humor, a bit of lust, a bit of angst, and ultimately they are going to need to do the dirty work of the story to protect others who are more innocent or weak.


You might get some interesting data if you talked to lungs, the writer of  https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/41852/the-last-ship-in-suzhou
That's a story that uses daoist scripture and dreamlike sequences.

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#5
I like to see these tropes done in other people's fiction, but I'm not as much of a fan of writing them.

The Man VS Monster one is my favorite trope to subvert. I love to write stories where Humans/Men are the real monsters, and whatever they considered to be their enemies actually hold a lot of positive values (compassion, kindness, ...)

Th basic Good vs Evil trope is always a safe bet, because readers will always root for the good character who goes against the evil warlord (as an example). But I don't like to play it safe, I like to experiment and have fun XD. Morally speaking, my protagonists are never all that different from my antagonists. They all hold the same key values, but what differs is how they choose to follow these values.

Religion never plays a big role in my stories because I myself believe in God and I'm afraid of 
a. Getting a lot of backlash
B. Portraying faith in a way only I can relate to (because at the end of the day it is very personal)

Someone else in the comments said that there is no relation between religion and morality. I think there is. I think certain values are anchored within given religions and nowhere else. The way a pagan sees the moon or nature, or the way a Christian, Jew or Muslim connects with other people, and the way an atheist does/sees any of that will be different (once again as an example).

So, tldr I guess, my characters, be it heroes or villains, don't play into any of the above-mentioned tropes because I write conflict in a different way. And they are all assumed to be atheists unless said otherwise due to how some of the things they do/did/will do which cannot align with most religious beliefs (just to be extra clear, I'm talking about murder, extortion and discrimination here).

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#7
You are asking too much of the readers.

Look, anyone that thinks about it logically realizes that the entire concept of 'good' revolves around the idea of Objective Morality. Without Objective Morality, 'good' ceases to exist, and can only be simulated with 'Nice'. Nice does not work as a moral precept. It never has, because it is not strong enough to beat evil.

Evil absolutely can be described objectively, but without an objective 'good', objective evil can become very, very flexible. That's why subjective morality, or even the precepts behind it or the assumption that any human is remotely smart enough to even realize subjectively whether his own actions are universally 'good', fails every single test. One man thinks 'good' is teaching children of 6 to protect themselves with firearms. Another one thinks it is an obomination to put a weapon in the hands of a child. Both are right via 'subjective morality', and both can be proven right by circumstances... one kid shoots himself by mistake, another one protects his family from a serial killer.

But two mutually contradictory facts cannot BOTH be right. They can only be situationally correct, and since no human can be possibly be omniscient, then there are situations where that moral decision will be absolutely wrong and basically immoral. Handing a child a dangerous weapon they cannot responsibly control is evil, while stripping the child of the only way to protect themselves and their family is also evil.

So, you put in objective morality. Yes, there are going to be situations where you are 'wrong'. but because it is objective, that does not make it 'immoral'. You save a drug-enslaved prostitute's life, help her get clean and turn her life around due to your objective moral code claiming that is the right thing to do. If she breaks down later, gets back in the life, and then winds up spreading a deadly STD that kills off a million people, it is NOT YOUR FAULT. You chose the moral choice, her own later actions were NOT your fault. With subjective morality, though., you should have known better.

The problem is, objective morality cannot be created or maintained by humans. It has to be led by a force that is incapable of wrongdoing or omniscient, or it becomes subjective. It does not need 'proof' of either the existence or nonexistence of such a deity, what it needs is such an entity to be the ultimate judge to take it out of the hands of subjective forces.

In other words, when a King tell you not to steal, it is only a sin when the king is watching. When God tells you not to steal, it is a sin always because god is always watching. This is a powerful psychological force for maintaining moral standards that are understood by everyone, without which civilization is virtually impossible. Even if it is a lie, it is a lie that all people understand... even if they do not agree with it, knowing that it will be dealt with consistently adds a strructure without which civilized behavior is impossible.

Heck, when you think about it deeply enough, you will realize that all of civilized behavior are simply falsehoods that people agree on. The word 'apple' means an apple rather than random grunts. Saying 'apple' does not produce the shiny fruit from midair, it is simply a soundf people agree means the fruit. A dollar bill or gold coin is meaningless if no one else thinks it has any value. An insult is only an insult if you have a common understanding that the word is supposed to be an insult.

In short, while there may be 'nice' without religion, Morality and the concept of 'good' is ABSOLUTELY tied to a shared concept of objective judgement... and objective judgement is meaningless without a conceptual judge that is above question. Without a God, there is no morality, there is only pleasant and unpleasant, and it is in constant inconsistent flux based upon opinions.

In other words, it is might makes right. The strongest person capable of enforcing their decisions is the only one who gets to decide what is moral and what is immoral. That is not morality, that is despotism.

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#8

Brian Wrote: You are asking too much of the readers.

Look, anyone that thinks about it logically realizes that the entire concept of 'good' revolves around the idea of Objective Morality. Without Objective Morality, 'good' ceases to exist, and can only be simulated with 'Nice'. Nice does not work as a moral precept. It never has, because it is not strong enough to beat evil.

Evil absolutely can be described objectively, but without an objective 'good', objective evil can become very, very flexible. That's why subjective morality, or even the precepts behind it or the assumption that any human is remotely smart enough to even realize subjectively whether his own actions are universally 'good', fails every single test. One man thinks 'good' is teaching children of 6 to protect themselves with firearms. Another one thinks it is an obomination to put a weapon in the hands of a child. Both are right via 'subjective morality', and both can be proven right by circumstances... one kid shoots himself by mistake, another one protects his family from a serial killer.

But two mutually contradictory facts cannot BOTH be right. They can only be situationally correct, and since no human can be possibly be omniscient, then there are situations where that moral decision will be absolutely wrong and basically immoral. Handing a child a dangerous weapon they cannot responsibly control is evil, while stripping the child of the only way to protect themselves and their family is also evil.

So, you put in objective morality. Yes, there are going to be situations where you are 'wrong'. but because it is objective, that does not make it 'immoral'. You save a drug-enslaved prostitute's life, help her get clean and turn her life around due to your objective moral code claiming that is the right thing to do. If she breaks down later, gets back in the life, and then winds up spreading a deadly STD that kills off a million people, it is NOT YOUR FAULT. You chose the moral choice, her own later actions were NOT your fault. With subjective morality, though., you should have known better.

The problem is, objective morality cannot be created or maintained by humans. It has to be led by a force that is incapable of wrongdoing or omniscient, or it becomes subjective. It does not need 'proof' of either the existence or nonexistence of such a deity, what it needs is such an entity to be the ultimate judge to take it out of the hands of subjective forces.

In other words, when a King tell you not to steal, it is only a sin when the king is watching. When God tells you not to steal, it is a sin always because god is always watching. This is a powerful psychological force for maintaining moral standards that are understood by everyone, without which civilization is virtually impossible. Even if it is a lie, it is a lie that all people understand... even if they do not agree with it, knowing that it will be dealt with consistently adds a strructure without which civilized behavior is impossible.

Heck, when you think about it deeply enough, you will realize that all of civilized behavior are simply falsehoods that people agree on. The word 'apple' means an apple rather than random grunts. Saying 'apple' does not produce the shiny fruit from midair, it is simply a soundf people agree means the fruit. A dollar bill or gold coin is meaningless if no one else thinks it has any value. An insult is only an insult if you have a common understanding that the word is supposed to be an insult.

In short, while there may be 'nice' without religion, Morality and the concept of 'good' is ABSOLUTELY tied to a shared concept of objective judgement... and objective judgement is meaningless without a conceptual judge that is above question. Without a God, there is no morality, there is only pleasant and unpleasant, and it is in constant inconsistent flux based upon opinions.

In other words, it is might makes right. The strongest person capable of enforcing their decisions is the only one who gets to decide what is moral and what is immoral. That is not morality, that is despotism.
This is an erroneous way of thinking as it assumes that subjective morality is any more culpable of making mistakes as "objective" morality.


If you hold the same values as a religious person, that do no have to do with practicing that religion, and you uphold yourself to your own values are they any lesser than that of someone who abides them through fear or reverence of their God(s)?

Similarly what is objective here, is your god better than this other god because your god is the real one thus your morals are objective and theirs are not. Look, anyone that thinks about it logically realizes that the entire concept of an objective morality relies on a subjective measure of belief. Without this subjective view this morality ceases to exist "objectively", and can only be simulated with a 'Nice' feeling. Nice does not work as a moral precept. It never has, because it is not strong enough to beat evil.


Man does not have to exist with an "objective" morality, in my opinion, subjective morality has shown itself to be just fine fulfilling the social contract, making sure people don't fall into nihilistic despair nor insane debauchery and cruel violence. 

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#9

Paradoxcloud Wrote: This is an erroneous way of thinking as it assumes that subjective morality is any more culpable of making mistakes as "objective" morality.

I specifically stated that that was not the case. Objective morality is absolutely as capable of mistakes as subjective morality. The difference is, two people can both understand objective morality, whereas subjective morality is, by it's very nature, subjective, and thus is not 'morality', it is simply opinion.


Paradoxcloud Wrote: If you hold the same values as a religious person, that do no have to do with practicing that religion, and you uphold yourself to your own values are they any lesser than that of someone who abides them through fear or reverence of their God(s)?


That is an entirely seperate question. If that religion does not exist, how can you hold yourself to the same values as a nonexistent measurement?
I never stated that you had to BELIEVE in the religion to uphold it's objective morality. It simply has to exist and have a standardized set of rules that many people agree with.


Paradoxcloud Wrote: Similarly what is objective here, is your god better than this other god because your god is the real one thus your morals are objective and theirs are not.


That's a semantic argument over the conception of Objectivity. Arguing about that could lead to an EST-style question of 'what is reality, are your senses really telling you the truth, etc. etc.' To avoid that argument, I am simply defining objective morality as 'morality that exists outside of a personality willing to enforce it', the simplest definition. Something that exists outside of a human's opinion.

I am NOT going to get suckered into an argument over whether or not the threat of hell is the same as the 'strongest guy in the neighborhood holding a sword over your head if you don't agree with his subjective morals' because then you'd have to argue whether or not god exists. In this case, 'objective' simply means something inalterable. And yes, I understand that individual churches will try and alter that morality when possible to obtain their goals. Objective morality is just as imperfect as humans are. It's virtue is it's consistency, not it's accuracy.


Paradoxcloud Wrote: Man does not have to exist with an "objective" morality, in my opinion, subjective morality has shown itself to be just fine fulfilling the social contract, making sure people don't fall into nihilistic despair nor insane debauchery and cruel violence.


Ehh, we might have to disagree on that. Historically, subjective morality, or specifically states that have intentionally and aggressively persecuted and rejected religion and religious morality, have a pretty poor track record for the way they treat their subjects. I could start listing examples, but in the last hundred years alone the list would take me hours and contain hundreds of examples of states that basically turned into monstrosities within a few years of... altering their morality to reflect politics or convenience rather than broadly-understood religious principals.

My biggest problem with subjective morality lies on where you draw the line. At what point do you stop yourself from doing things for 'someone's own good'?

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#10

Brian Wrote: I specifically stated that that was not the case. Objective morality is absolutely as capable of mistakes as subjective morality. The difference is, two people can both understand objective morality, whereas subjective morality is, by it's very nature, subjective, and thus is not 'morality', it is simply opinion.

In hindsight I worded that poorly. My emphasis should have been put on the distinction that you're making between what can be considered "objective" and what can is subjective. I'll touch on that in one of the replies below.


Brian Wrote: That is an entirely seperate question. If that religion does not exist, how can you hold yourself to the same values as a nonexistent measurement?

I don't believe this was poorly worded, but I'll specify regardless.

What I meant there was that one could take values such as those from, for example, the Judeo-Christian's ten commandments while ignoring the first through fourth (first through to the third if you're a catholic) as they have to do with practicing the faith. Not that one uses the values of a made up/non-existent religion.

Basically whether one abides by a rule to not kill or rob because of their faith or because of their own subjective belief, is it really any different?


Brian Wrote: I never stated that you had to BELIEVE in the religion to uphold it's objective morality. It simply has to exist and have a standardized set of rules that many people agree with.

This seems somewhat arbitrary. Why a religion specifically. I understand the absoluteness that a god or set of gods might provide, but it seems a bit outdated knowing that people can, under the right circumstances, make their own set of rules that they can abide by as a group. Additionally and maybe more convincingly is the existence of philosophical traditions and ideals that have existed for many hundreds if not thousands of years.

Brian Wrote: That's a semantic argument over the conception of Objectivity. Arguing about that could lead to an EST-style question of 'what is reality, are your senses really telling you the truth, etc. etc.' To avoid that argument, I am simply defining objective morality as 'morality that exists outside of a personality willing to enforce it', the simplest definition. Something that exists outside of a human's opinion.
While it is semantics I do think it's important to specify. As I mentioned in my joke our subjective realities shape our views on things, with that in mind how can possibly call one religion objective while another with similar qualities not. You'd need to set strict criteria to know such things and I don't know if such things can be defined for the subject at hand.


I do admit though that certain post modern reasoning seem like endless loops with little point to them, but I do believe this is very important to the crux of my argument and not simply semantics for semantics' sake.


Brian Wrote: I am NOT going to get suckered into an argument over whether or not the threat of hell is the same as the 'strongest guy in the neighborhood holding a sword over your head if you don't agree with his subjective morals' because then you'd have to argue whether or not god exists. In this case, 'objective' simply means something inalterable. And yes, I understand that individual churches will try and alter that morality when possible to obtain their goals. Objective morality is just as imperfect as humans are. It's virtue is it's consistency, not it's accuracy.
The case for an ultimatum/general coercion isn't necessary as the concept of a punishment for not following the rules isn't present in all forms of religion, but again, you'd have to pick which of these religions (and their message) you consider the objective one. In those cases I wouldn't make the connection per say, but I also wouldn't say that it's a bad example to bring up.



Brian Wrote: Ehh, we might have to disagree on that. Historically, subjective morality, or specifically states that have intentionally and aggressively persecuted and rejected religion and religious morality, have a pretty poor track record for the way they treat their subjects. I could start listing examples, but in the last hundred years alone the list would take me hours and contain hundreds of examples of states that basically turned into monstrosities within a few years of... altering their morality to reflect politics or convenience rather than broadly-understood religious principals.


I understand the hesitance and I agree completely. Recent-ish history hasn't exactly been kind for the message that I'm promoting, but, and without naming names, I'd say that there were internal issues of differing kinds that led to the atrocities that have been committed. These same issues have been present in highly religious societies as well so I would just call this a human issue rather than one based on morality or religion.

Just because you think something is right, doesn't mean that circumstances can't force you to do "things". We could talk about stricter adherence to beliefs or subjective principles, but I imagine that's going to just be a matter of opinion.


Brian Wrote: My biggest problem with subjective morality lies on where you draw the line. At what point do you stop yourself from doing things for 'someone's own good'?

Well I can only speak for myself, but I have never thought to spend my entire life venturing to help everyone and anyone that I could. While it might bring greater happiness to the world when compared to what I'm doing right now I also know that it would be a great burden that I likely could not and would not like bear.

On a more relevant societal scale I believe that your question is not one with a singular answer. People will decide what others can, should, and must do for one another while also trying to maintain the freedom to do what one wants to do themselves. How this decision is made is  dependent on many factors one of which is their belief and another are their own ideals.

Back on the personal level, I'd say it boils down to people being selfish, the word has a negative connotation, but it's what stops us from going out of our way to put the health and well being of others on an equivalent or higher level than our own.

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#11
the best way to show an idea, is to break it down into its components and show each separately. for example, work ethic is a thing that is usually part of the 'good' ethos, but is not unique to good. It could be the central unifying theme of conflict in a work of fiction, but even if it was then people could easily see a different virtue in that place. because how we write stories and how the reader understands them can be very different things indeed. 

so, we have a reluctant hero with a strong work ethic. he does not want to have to do these things, but they must be done. not doing them would lead to chaos and destruction. he could be in IT, construction, accounting, or just a regular adventurer with a sword. he has a task to do regardless. this work ethic can show as man vs self (must i get out of my bed this morning?), man vs man (wait, my coworker did what? and i have to fix it cause hes an idiot?), and man vs society (the new work standard is to do things with an extra step that cuts your productivity in half, but quotas remain the same). and when someone reads the tale of how the hero saved the world, they will attribute their virtue of choice to the hero, and their vice of choice to the villain. three readers will have at least 5 different interpretations of everything.

so, what happens if a lazy man reads a story of work ethic, and he has none? what virtue will he shove into that space? or will he reject the story entirely as he cannot relate to the hero? may he see the hero as an idiot fall guy for failing to be lazy enough? that is the problem with ethics in works of fiction, it requires a certain level of common ground with the reader. good and evil are too broad, but the parts that make those up can quickly be read differently by the reader. not all readers are from the same culture after all. compare a Korean manhwa story to a western narrative, and the difference in what a hero does is much more obvious.

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#12

sunandshadow Wrote: Morality isn't that tied to religion either.  Me, I like happy endings, but I would usually exemplify goodness with a character who wants others to be happy, while badness is the opposite, a villain who is a bully, a bigot, or a character so spoiled and self centered that they don't value others' feelings at all.  The MC not going to be the most good character in the story, because perfection doesn't come across as sympathetic or interesting
Ahh, the expected discussion - "religion". Keep in mind, God was/is not a religion. Religion is Man's construct surrounding the reverence and expression of devotion, often spinning wildly far from God. Jonestown... 9/11.... Christian Crusades....


Mine is more the existential question about God as the sublime "good". As "historical" as God is, it seems the original conflict that gives recurrent birth for millennia of stories.

By the way, in "Jep", one of the principal conspirators trying to KILL him is the Pastor from the church (The Third Prognosticarian Church) Jep and his wife attends. :)

Obviously, I am actually going where your question is going even in my writing - "religion", the human construct cannot bring peace nor love, etc.... but God does. This is why historical RELIGION has given birth to foul things in an aberrant mis-practice of faith, of lessons. 

The ethos of goodness had a birth. Certainly not Man invention - at least in my view. It is why Man continues to live in war and strife. And that lies central to themes of literature for ages. That's the thesis to this thought. 

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#13
Faith is the only Moral evil. It is the abdication of personal responsibility and the self enslavement to higher powers. It reduces a human being so they are no longer a moral actor. Faith makes a person immoral, and less than human. 

Morality isn't subjective, its a science. It is discernable and provable by logic and testing. The great crime of human existence is that religious authorities have claimed all moral teaching as divine purview stifling the education of people on Objective morality.  

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#14

LegionOfReason Wrote: Faith is the only Moral evil. It is the abdication of personal responsibility and the self enslavement to higher powers. It reduces a human being so they are no longer a moral actor. Faith makes a person immoral, and less than human. 

Morality isn't subjective, its a science. It is discernable and provable by logic and testing. The great crime of human existence is that religious authorities have claimed all moral teaching as divine purview stifling the education of people on Objective morality.
Might be time to rein this discussion in, folks.  While we're not talking about specific faiths yet, we're veering into territory that's likely to get this topic locked.  From the Rules:


Quote:
  1. Political and religious discussions are not allowed anywhere on the site. It just creates too many ill feelings, and our site is not the place to argue about these topics.
LegionOfReason, I'm not saying you are right and I am not saying you are wrong.  But you do realize that what you just said is something that is likely to spark "ill feelings" and contentious debate by those who do have faith?  I don't want to see Royal Road get turned into another site where flame wars erupt over politics and religion.  Maybe take this to PMs if y'all want to continue.

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#15

Dan Wrote: LegionOfReason, I'm not saying you are right and I am not saying you are wrong.  But you do realize that what you just said is something that is likely to spark "ill feelings" and contentious debate by those who do have faith?  I don't want to see Royal Road get turned into another site where flame wars erupt over politics and religion.


Faith isn't just religious. Political faith, personality cults, and religious faith are all forms of the same abdication of personal responsibility and abandonment of moral responsibility. If the truth hurts, that is ok as long as you learn. I am not talking about anyone's religion, nor any specific religion at all. I am not talking about anyone's politics, nor any political faction at all. 

If you didn't want to talk about morality, then you shouldn't be on a thread that started with faith and morality as the topics. If you get offended anytime someone mentions religion or politics in general, then don't be in those threads. Just skip it. There are plenty of other topics.  

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#16
I kinda think the beginning of man’s “forever dilemma,” aside from the drive to simply survive, is the desperate search for meaning, a desperate need for it. God is an outcome of both of these things—something which linked people together with common goals and common morals, making them more able to survive cooperatively, and which gave them a sense of meaning. So no, the concept of god itself is not core to the human struggle or to storytelling, but a product of both. Good and evil are also byproducts of this. By creating these concepts, we made it easier to exist as a social species and to satisfy our desperate need for meaning where no such thing actually exists. 

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#17

Dan Wrote: Might be time to rein this discussion in, folks.  While we're not talking about specific faiths yet, we're veering into territory that's likely to get this topic locked.  From the Rules:
Good point.


What's interesting - God is not religion, while he is swept up in Mankind's religion... Man is the failed being that diverts things.

But again, MY point, and question, (and it is NOT religion - as views of religion and misunderstanding of what faith actually is can run riot because of Man's motivations) but, can a can of Beef-a-roni replace scriptural reference as the protagonist's motivation and READERS WILL MORE READILY READ THAT than any reference to scripture?

I am of the mind, believe what you want, I believe what I believe and don't coerce anyone. But the question above is an interesting LITERARY question (couched in a humorous form).

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#18

KittraMcBriar Wrote: So no, the concept of god itself is not core to the human struggle or to storytelling, but a product of both. Good and evil are also byproducts of this. By creating these concepts, we made it easier to exist as a social species and to satisfy our desperate need for meaning where no such thing actually exists.
Thanks for this response. I agree with most of it - but mine is not a debate, just that this becomes a chicken n egg thing. If one believes in God, then good streams from this genesis - if one doesn't then yes, concepts created by Man to adapt and manage and seek higher purpose, whatever. 

So what truly came first is the question that cannot be resolved among people of varied views. But that was not my purpose.


You answered well to the morality question I think. Thx

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#19

Evieleyn Wrote: I like to see these tropes done in other people's fiction, but I'm not as much of a fan of writing them.

The Man VS Monster one is my favorite trope to subvert. I love to write stories where Humans/Men are the real monsters, and whatever they considered to be their enemies actually hold a lot of positive values (compassion, kindness, ...)

Th basic Good vs Evil trope is always a safe bet, because readers will always root for the good character who goes against the evil warlord (as an example). But I don't like to play it safe, I like to experiment and have fun XD. Morally speaking, my protagonists are never all that different from my antagonists. They all hold the same key values, but what differs is how they choose to follow these values.

Religion never plays a big role in my stories because I myself believe in God and I'm afraid of 
a. Getting a lot of backlash
B. Portraying faith in a way only I can relate to (because at the end of the day it is very personal)

Someone else in the comments said that there is no relation between religion and morality. I think there is. I think certain values are anchored within given religions and nowhere else. The way a pagan sees the moon or nature, or the way a Christian, Jew or Muslim connects with other people, and the way an atheist does/sees any of that will be different (once again as an example).

So, tldr I guess, my characters, be it heroes or villains, don't play into any of the above-mentioned tropes because I write conflict in a different way. And they are all assumed to be atheists unless said otherwise due to how some of the things they do/did/will do which cannot align with most religious beliefs (just to be extra clear, I'm talking about murder, extortion and discrimination here).
I like this honest reply a lot, thanks.


Playing it safe - yea, I get it. It is the easy default and reasonable as "God stories" have a small audience. Thus my question if the protagonist's motivation were created by anything OTHER than scripture and God, would it be more palatable to the general audience.

I think you answered as I believe - yes, because there is a readiness to either disbelieve or debate the existence... and in literature, THAT is unimportant as the CONTENT and MOTIVATIONS are the story. It's people who get stuck on that topic. 

I think part of the irony I explore in the story itself - when the pastor is one of the conspirators seeking to KILL him.... it is the duality of MAN I explore.

And goodness survives it.

I will read your stuff, thanks.

Re: Morality in your tale... Is this a standard?

#20

Paradoxcloud Wrote: Are you asking if god with a capital G is necessary for conflict with a message?

Because my answer to that question would be a big NO, but I’m not sure if that’s what you’re relly asking.
No, you are correct, that was not the intent of the question, and NO, Capital G nor lower case g are "necessary" when it comes to conflict in literature. I surmised in this existential question if the ethos of this dynamic has not been its inspiration for eons. 


But the actual question was about an audiences' rejection of God in story and replacing that "motivator" with some other inspirational/charismatic purpose/creator in the protagonist is more readily acceptable.

I believe this is the case as mankind does not easily adopt God, but would choose the beef-a-roni as the inspiration more readily. 

I find this interesting, is all. :)