The value of fiction and subjectivity

I was having a conversation with someone I usually like, but (s)he kind of pissed me off, and I’ve been trying to analyze why I’m pissed off and what differences of worldview we may have that are leading to my pissed off feelings.  Perhaps I felt that my own values and worldview were being undermined.

I’ve been exploring both Greek mythology and also reading articles attempting to reconstruct what the religious practices are in the Legend of Zelda game series.  While the friend said there is some value in exploring traditional mythology because at least we get to explore another time period or culture’s prejudices, (s)he insists there is absolutely no value in reconstructing a fictional religion.

My friend also tells me that mythology is “not true.”

My response tended to be that I am exploring both traditional and fictional mythology in an attempt to self-explore and understand myself better.  Yes, it’s all very subjective, and in reconstructing a fictional religion we are dealing with very subjective matters, but what’s not to value in that?  Isn’t it fulfilling to explore our subjective universes?

The argument boiled down to the whole endeavor in reconstructing a fictional religion is worthless because it’s subjective and will only reflect modern prejudices which are uninteresting.  Something is just screaming out to me that I have a completely different worldview and set of values from my friend, which is all well and fine as far as it goes, I’m just trying to understand what the differences are.

I know the friend’s worldview revolves around there being objective truth in religious matters and objective values, and if there are no objective values or eternal life then life is meaningless and we may as well all die right now which sounds very dark to me.  I tend to think that even if the world is meaningless, it’s not meaningless to us as human beings because we have an instinct to construct meaning, and I’m happy to enjoy that for what it is.

What I’m interested in is discussing and/or pondering is why it might be meaningful to explore a reconstructed fictional religion since that is what is insisted has absolutely no value.  I know this is something I’m happy exploring right now, so that is basically a good enough reason for me.  It also helps me learn something about what values I do hold, and certain symbols are fun to meditate on or associate with different aspects of myself or the world.

I suppose all of this is connected to the legitimacy of pop culture paganism.  What are your thoughts on these matters?

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