THE EXISTENTIAL HORROR OF STORYBOOK CHARACTERS


Chris Date might mean well in trying to give God supreme glory, but his comparison of people to characters in a novel is some of the most depressing imagery I’ve ever heard.

We’re all just characters in a story. So yes, bad things will happen to all of us, some of us will spend eternity in hell, but that’s the way it is – all for the sake of the storyline.

So yes, be ripped apart and put back together again, over and over like Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy. Be ever helpless yet always conscious of the disgust, pain and horror of being a headcrab-zombie in Half-Life. Be given ‘the most tragic backstory ever’ like Sgt Calhoun in Wreck-It Ralph.

It makes for a more engaging story! Who are you, O mere figments of imagination, to complain about the plot?

Except for the key difference – we feel all the suffering that characters in a book or film or videogame DO NOT. Characters in a story aren’t REAL, they don’t THINK, they aren’t SELF-AWARE, they don’t FEEL. We are NOT mere figments of imagination!

I find it amazing that Chris Date doesn’t have a sudden realization of the existential horror his own analogy entails. Good for him that he’s an annihilationist, at least that solves the issue of eternally suffering ‘novel characters’ for nothing they ever could choose otherwise.

And the kicker? The kicker???

The existential horror you feel was causally determined for you to feel.

Chris Date’s Self-Defeating Doctrine of Transcendence

He transcends us, the relationship I’ve often compared God and creation to is to an author and his novel. You know, the entire story inside an authors novel is right there in the hands of the author, it’s not like the author is in the timeline of the story. The author has written the story and the author is not in some sort of cause-and-effect type chain; causing the characters in the story to do what they do, he’s…foreordaining…if you will, that the characters in the story do exactly that they do but if you were to ask that character “why did you do this or that?” they’re going to tell you, “because I wanted to, that was what I wanted to do, that was the decision that I thought was the best given all the factors involved”.


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