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Old September 9 2012, 08:14 PM   #75
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Re: I want Data back...

RandyS wrote: View Post
But fantasy is the whole point of storytelling. Particulalry in science fiction and it's related genres.

"Realism" is only appropriate for real life. Otherwise it's meaningless.
Actually a large part of the function of storytelling is to help us figure out how to think about and cope with real-life problems we may have to face. It's like play -- the reason children and young animals play is as practice for the real thing. Fiction serves a similar role -- seeing fictional characters have relationships, solve problems, cope with their emotions, and so on helps us learn or think about how to handle such matters for ourselves. It's part of how humans are socialized, how we learn our behavior and values -- by observing how other people behave and what they value, by learning from their example. And whether we realize it or not, we're all influenced by the examples of the fictional characters we spend so much of our lives watching.

So you're absolutely wrong. Fiction is not just a meaningless escape from reality. It's a significant influence in how we all learn to cope with reality from childhood onward. Scary movies help us explore how to face our fears in a safe context. Stories about people making tough decisions help us learn how to make our own decisions. Mystery stories help us practice our problem-solving skills. And tragedies help us rehearse how to deal with loss and pain, which are unavoidable parts of life.

NrobbieC wrote: View Post
As I said that's an interesting view but if B-4 was the way he was on purpose then he isn't exactly disabled in fact he's functioning properly. You can't be disabled if there's nothing to disable if that makes sense.
What are you talking about? Okay, I know Geordi had some weird line about how maybe B-4 was "meant" to be as crude as he was, but how would he know that? He was just blowing smoke. To all indications, B-4 was a failed prototype.

Besides, does it matter? You could just as validly argue that someone born with lower intelligence is not "broken," just different, and needs to be accepted as he or she is. So if you're right, if this is what B-4 is meant to be, then it would be an even more hideous thing to assume he had no right to exist or that you could just up and murder him because he wasn't smart enough for you.

(Although, yes, the word "disabled" is a problem because of its unfortunate implications. It does imply that someone is broken and incapable, which is exactly the wrong idea to convey. The irony is that it was embraced as a less offensive alternative to "handicapped," a word that had taken on derogatory connotations due to extensive bigotry -- and yet if you look at the literal meaning of the word, it's actually more insulting, since "disability" means a lack or failure of ability, while a handicap is simply an advantage given to balance the playing field.)
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