Essay: Fictional Conceits

I love science. I can't say it all comes easily to me, but I love the scientific method, as it is the best way we currently have to determine the nature of reality. But fiction does not always work well with it. Here are some of the conceits that I have to accept generally for the unified timeline concept I am using here to work. This doesn't all fit under science, but it seemed like a good umbrella topic.

1. Life is more-or-less a type of energy.
The nature of life is a very complex thing, and isn't quite a thing, but more of a collection of processes, or at least, that's how I understand it. A common concept in fiction is the life force, which is really treated more as an energy. Able to be transferred, absorbed, consumed, but not destroyed, per se. It sometimes acts as that which composes a soul, or a consciousness, and at other times is treated as a semi-physical manifestation of such entities. In pseudo-scientific storytelling, like in Star Trek, it can be detected by non-magical means.

2. The soul is a real thing.
There is no real evidence I am aware of for the existence of a soul. However, it is a common belief among many cultures, and thus is quite common in their stories, and so its use is required for the unified timeline. I will go into further detail in a later essay about the nature of death and afterlives. Further, the soul is a necessary unifier for entities, as it maintains through lines necessary for storytelling. As such, mind-body dualism is also a necessary condition.

3. Faster-than-light travel is possible.
Pretty much what it says. Just can't have your vast interstellar nations without 'em.

4. Gods exist.
For this timeline, I treat the idea of gods (the ones humans have worshiped) as "fact", in that I consider them fictional for the purposes of inclusion in the unified timeline. This is obviously a controversial position. My personal feeling is that there is no reason to believe any of them exist. Most people consider everyone else's gods to be fictional. I take no position of preference of one over any other, so I treat them all the same. I may do an essay on syncretism.

5. Being knocked unconscious is generally not a cause of deep concern.
Off the top of my head, I can't recall a fictional scenario I have included where the idea of being knocked unconscious has been a cause for concern for the brain's health. To tie it in to conceit #2, you could say, that for most people, the soul gives an additional layer of protection to the brain. I guess.

(in progress)

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