What is the line between fiction and a lie?

Is sonething listed as fictiion (ie the book Tarzan) and a lie? Some say that, if something is not the truth, is a lie, others (like me) say that if something is called “fiction” is not a lie eventho it is not “the truth”. Is it wrong to read/write fiction (an untruth)?

A lie is meant to deceive another, usually for personal gain–for undue praise or to get out of paying the price for wrongdoing.

Fiction tells us truths through the medium of stories. No one who writes fiction, myself included, have any intention to deceive anyone. And those who read fiction know that the story is not “real” but made up. Still, we find lying offensive and fiction enjoyable because we know that to deceive is wrong but to tell a story to enlighten our understanding is not.

Years ago I was listening to a Protestant call-in radio program & the topic was Jesus’ parables. A woman called in saying that the parables were literally true because Jesus would never lie. The host tried to explain the difference between a lie & a parable - truth through the medium of a story - but couldn’t get through to her. :shrug:

It is certainly not wrong to read fiction. My favorite fiction is like what Della said - fiction that tells a truth. It would be a mistake to take fiction literally. One of my favorite authors (Zenna Henderson) wrote that occasionally deluded fans would write to her and beg her for information on finding the People. Can’t really blame them - the People are very attractive. I wouldn’t mind meeting them myself! :wink:

If writing intends to deceive, it is no longer fiction, but brainwashing :):slight_smile:

ICXC NIKA

I know what that radio host was going through because I’ve ran into that caller’s cousins, Catholic and Protestant! That is one of the reasons why I posted the question, it may just rattle their cages a bit and make them think. :smiley:

I am also a Zenna Handerson’s People fan, too. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover storys) also wrote about some women fans wanted her (Bradley) to take their “Amanzon Oath”. :shrug: I’d also would like to meat some of Handerson’s People too. :cool:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.