Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Hermead and the Pathetic Fallacy

The Hermead and the Pathetic Fallacy

The British critic John Ruskin coined the term "Pathetic Fallacy" in his book Modern Painters. Ruskin developed the Pathetic Fallacy as a literary term that describes the tendency for writers to attribute human emotions, characteristics, and conduct to Nature as a way of personifying inanimate objects.

I would relate this to what I would call the Theist Fallacy as well, which is the act of attributing consciousness to the vast universe. Consciousness is limited to the chemically-based organic functions of the brain.

I feel it is why most epics of the past ultimately fail in presenting accurate guiding principles of life, because in all of them the poet composed text to present a world view that assumes nature is controlled by a conscious creator. Any epic based on the Theist Fallacy fails as a valid cultural text because it presents a false view of the universe.

The Iliad and Odyssey, the Mahabharata, the Aeneid, the Divine Comedy, the Faerie Queene, and Paradise Lost all fail because they present a universe controlled by a conscious God that does not exist. The Canterbury Tales and the Plays of Shakespeare present a world view where a conscious God is irrelevant or imagined by its characters, so they better succeed as valid texts.

In the Hermead, my epic poem that presents the lives and ideas of ancient Greek philosophers, I swerve from the assumption of the Theist Fallacy, and present a world view without a conscious God, yet with conscious humans who explore that world and attempt to explain its substance and functions through mechanical processes. Based more on scientific research than theology, the Hermead presents a more accurate view of the world.

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