2013-10-31 – People are up in arms about Rand Paul’s “plagiarism” of a Wikipedia article on the science fiction film Gattaca. I’m not going to join that chorus. He used bits and pieces. Who cares? The thing that interests me instead is his use of fiction to support his anti-abortion political views.
Yes. And this is not the first time that Paul has relied on fiction to support his views. Paul has made a particular study of the writings of novelist Ayn Rand. He was so into Ayn Rand that his wife thought it would be cute to call him Rand rather than Randy as a nickname (his full name is Randal). (I learned the facts in this paragraph from Wikipedia, which is not fiction, so they must be true.)
Rand is also a religious man, so some would say that he relies on another work of fiction, the Bible. I’ve written about fiction, particularly the Bible, as sources of truth before. So it is interesting to me that Paul, who I thoroughly disagree with, rests so much of his political philosophy on fiction.
Before I go on, I’d like to say that I do not consider it disrespectful to class the Bible as a work of fiction. This is a normal, but obviously controversial, classification in biblical scholarship. A good book to read on the subject is The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter. Classifying the Bible as literary fiction enables us to appreciate nuances in the text that fundamentalists miss and focuses us on the real truths in the Bible (the struggle of humanity to live a good life) rather than on fake truths (six days of creation).
I don’t think Paul would agree with me on this, but I don’t think he would deny that Gattaca is a work of fiction.
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While we are on the subject of truth, I just want to say that we are now 11 months away from the new truth holiday Diogenes Day, which will occur on October 1, 2014. I didn’t get much of a buzz about Diogenes Day this year, but I plan to work on raising people’s awareness of Diogenes Day in the next 11 months. Here are the links for those of you curious about Diogenes Day (I’m assuming you are new around here):
Diogenes Day (April 1)
90 More Shopping Days (July 3)
Diogenes Day Is Coming (Sept. 15)
Truth About Diogenes Day (Sept. 26)
Diogenes Day Is October 1 (Sept. 29)
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[UPDATE: Go to my Diogenes Day page to see these and other DD posts.]