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  1. Ryan.Sh6w
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    Ryan.Sh6w New Member

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    A real life example of abstract philosiphy

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan.Sh6w, Jun 20, 2011.

    I have a philosophical idea that I'm basing a short story around. I don't want to give away to much about the setting just yet, but I'm looking for some input to help get my creative juices flowing.

    What I'd like to illustrate is that somehow inaction can be better than action. For example, you're given a mystery box and the choice to open it or never open it. For the purposes of my story I'd like to believe choosing to not open it would be better.

    My protagonist will be facing a similar decision, and what I would like to think of is an event from his past in which my character took decisive action where it would have been better to take none.

    I'll give an example (that I don't want to use). Imagine my character's wife was in a coma and he had the choice of pulling the plug. By pulling the plug (decisive action) there is a predictable outcome. By not pulling the plug there is both the possibility of her waking up or remaining in the coma forever. Both scenarios are equally likely but the decisive action kills hope while inaction does not.

    On that note I hope I'm being clear, but would anyone have any ideas along these lines? What would be some pivotal events in which inaction would be better?

    Thanks for the help in advance,

    - Ryan
     
  2. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I think you have a good story idea for this short story. I suggest that you sit down and think about the ideas that will surround your main plot. Please do not ask for validation from other people. You should try free writing about the setting and then once you are done with it, do your first draft and then you can ask us what we think about the story. So far, this is a brilliant story Imagery you have thus far.
     
  3. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    There was a twilight zone story where a couple that is facing financial trouble is given a box with a button. They are told that if they push the button, someone, somewhere, and that they do not know will die. In return they will be given a million dollars. They at first try to destroy the box to get rid of the temptation but it simply re-appeared in the kitchen then they begin to fight over pushing the button. In the end they do it. They get their million dollars and the box is picked up and given to some one, somewhere that they do not know. It implied that the next person to get the box might push the button and end their lives.

    Not sure if this helps, but you might do some kind of twist on the human condition.

    If you are looking for something real life read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    It surprised me how many people would actually crank it up to voltage levels that would kill some one.
     
  4. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Conflict scenarios/ blood-feuds spring to mind.

    By choosing not to return a blow, by choosing not to exact (further) revenge there's a good chance things turn out better than they might otherwise have. But here the inaction is only (morally) meaningful if an active choice has been made not to retaliate...if you were unable to retaliate because you were concussed, then the inaction is not morally laudable (or cannot be judged on moral grounds).

    The choosing of a certain course might be said to represent an action in itself...and in some circumstances, action which is taken wholly instinctively or in blind obedience, in the absence of a choice having been made, might be seen - by some - to equate with inaction (in a moral, thinking being). In this way of thinking, the action lies more in the choosing than in the doing.

    Good luck.
     
  5. James Scarborough
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    James Scarborough Member

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    Read Shakespeare's Hamlet. Maybe it will give you some inspiration:

    To be, or not to be--that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
    And by opposing end them.
     
  6. Ryan.Sh6w
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    Ryan.Sh6w New Member

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    Hey all, thanks for the suggestions. I think I figured out the example I'll use and I'm looking forward to posting it.

    Cheers
     

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