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What matters more historical facts or historical fiction passed off as facts?

What matters more; historical facts or historical fiction passed off as facts?

  • Historical facts backed by documentation

    Votes: 10 83.3%
  • Historical fiction that was passed off as facts

    Votes: 2 16.7%

  • Total voters
    12

The_Patriot

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This is an offshoot of the Columbus Day thread. What matters more to you; historical facts backed by documentation or historical fiction passed off as facts?
 

Ned Racine

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This is an offshoot of the Columbus Day thread. What matters more to you; historical facts backed by documentation or historical fiction passed off as facts?

Doesn't it seem odd to you that some at this point in time are at all concerned with Columbus and his legacy (??) I mean, why not go back further and think how lovely the World would have been if ONLY those Frankish Knights hadn't halted the First Jihad at Tours(??) or if the Mongols had made it all the way to Paris, or if the Aztecs were still ripping out Human hearts and Caking the Temple walls with blood and enjoying a few select delicasies
 

The_Patriot

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Doesn't it seem odd to you that some at this point in time are at all concerned with Columbus and his legacy (??) I mean, why not go back further and think how lovely the World would have been if ONLY those Frankish Knights hadn't halted the First Jihad at Tours(??) or if the Mongols had made it all the way to Paris, or if the Aztecs were still ripping out Human hearts and Caking the Temple walls with blood and enjoying a few select delicasies

This doesn't really have to do with my question, but it is an interesting thought.
 

Fiddytree

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In what regard?
 

tacomancer

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Is this in regards to names, dates, and events? (X person went to Y and did Z at such and such a time frame).

Or are we talking about the interpretation of those events? (X event is historically important because ...). The reason I ask is that the second category is hard to pin down factually as it intermingles fact with opinion.
 

earthworm

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And who determines what is fact, what is fiction?
Its to the point that I believe nothing, but that man is a SOB.
 

The_Patriot

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Is this in regards to names, dates, and events? (X person went to Y and did Z at such and such a time frame).

Or are we talking about the interpretation of those events? (X event is historically important because ...). The reason I ask is that the second category is hard to pin down factually as it intermingles fact with opinion.

Either/or since it's up to you on how you want to reply.
 

Fiddytree

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Well, that doesn't really answer the question I had. Here is why.

Are we talking about myself, where what I would like to know when picking up a scholar's book or article? I would like to see that author's true attempt to convey the truth of his narrative to the best of his or her ability.

Are we talking about a young school child? Do I want the young child to know that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, that much of Washington D.C. was built by the hands of slaves without due respect, that many Africans and African Americans fought in our wars proudly without receiving their due respect from their white peers, that the citizenry was not expected to be as politically involved as they are now, that certain Presidents didn't want certain groups of people to even be born? Or would I have them learn about Honest Abe, how George Washington couldn't tell a lie, that we live in a good country where freedom and liberty are deeply treasured?

Do we tell the good facts, the bad facts, or the historical fictions? I would like my child to start off with a positive, if not somewhat fictionalized beginning so I could steadily approach my child to see the complications of history and how we do not have to accept all that transpired, but that we also cannot entirely demonize it. When children are young they are easily manipulated, when they grow older, they have a disproportionate attraction to the ideal, then eventually, they are able to face the complications of reality. History challenges people at every turn in their lives, and we must be careful with how we challenge them.
 
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The_Patriot

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Well, that doesn't really answer the question I had. Here is why.

Are we talking about myself, where what I would like to know when picking up a scholar's book or article? I would like to see that author's true attempt to convey the truth of his narrative to the best of his or her ability.

Are we talking about a young school child? Do I want the young child to know that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, that much of Washington D.C. was built by the hands of slaves without due respect, that many Africans and African Americans fought in our wars proudly without receiving their due respect from their white peers, that the citizenry was not expected to be as politically involved as they are now, that certain Presidents didn't want certain groups of people to even be born? Or would I have them learn about Honest Abe, how George Washington couldn't tell a lie, that we live in a good country where freedom and liberty are deeply treasured?

Do we tell the good facts, the bad facts, or the historical fictions? I would like my child to start off with a positive, if not somewhat fictionalized beginning so I could steadily approach my child to see the complications of history and how we do not have to accept all that transpired, but that we also cannot entirely demonize it. When children are young they are easily manipulated, when they grow older, they have a disproportionate attraction to the ideal, then eventually, they are able to face the complications of reality. History challenges people at every turn in their lives, and we must be careful with how we challenge them.

I'm the opposite of what you want to do in regards to kids learning about history. I believe that by telling them the whole truth allows them to decide what lessons should be learned from history. It develops critical thinking and gives them the tools to question everything. Your method is currently used, up until the bad stuff, and it's not developing critical thinking and students questioning. A student that questions everything will employ tools to analyze statements made to them and root out what is true and what isn't. A good example would be a student hearing you say that America is a good country where freedom and liberty are treasured and questioning it. What makes America a good country? Does America truly treasure freedom and liberty when there are laws that control behavior and movements of the people? This is all critical thinking and questioning of the status quo. Nowdays students just accept the spoonfed history without question and never critically think about the things they are taught.

That is unless I misunderstood the intent of your reply.
 
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tacomancer

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The problem is that there is not enough time to tell everyone everything. We have to decide what is important. Also, complexity should only be added as a child is able to comprehend it.
 
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The_Patriot

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The problem is that there is not enough time to tell everyone everything. We have to decide what is important.

Are you saying the historical fiction passed off as fact is important?
 

tacomancer

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Are you saying the historical fiction passed off as fact is important?

No. I am saying that we have to hit the highlights. Here is an analogy of what I mean.

We have a book and we have various summaries of the book that are shorter and leave out some detail.

If a person has a lot of time, they will read the book. If they have less time, they will read one of the summaries.
 
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The_Patriot

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No. I am saying that we have to hit the highlights.

Yet, many of the historical fictions are passed off as highlights like the sheer ignorance of John Adam's or Andrew Jackson's presidency.
 

tacomancer

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Yet, many of the historical fictions are passed off as highlights like the sheer ignorance of John Adam's or Andrew Jackson's presidency.

Ignorance is not the same thing as fiction and is irrelevant to my point. My assumption is that the summary is faithful to the original.
 
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tacomancer

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The_Patriot

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This would a case of a lack of information though. Which is ignorance, but its not a lie.

Semantics so do you have anything to add of substance besides this semantics argument?
 

tacomancer

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Semantics so do you have anything to add of substance besides this semantics argument?

Its not semantics. A lack of information and false information are two very different things. False information is untruthful while a lack of information neither true nor untrue, but null.
 

The_Patriot

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Its not semantics. A lack of information and false information are two very different things. False information is untruthful while a lack of information neither true nor untrue.

So you have nothing to add that is on topic. Thank you for replies.
 

tacomancer

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So you have nothing to add that is on topic. Thank you for replies.

I have plenty to add in pointing out the falseness of your idea that these two things are semantics. This distinction is important to help understand some of the meaning behind Fiddy's post.
 

The_Patriot

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I have plenty to add in pointing out the falseness of your idea that these two things are semantics. This distinction is important to help understand some of the meaning behind Fiddy's post.

A lie is the intent to deceive by giving out false information ie historical fiction is an intent to deceive. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge which having false information is a lack of knowledge since it's not the true knowledge. Got anything else to add on the semantics front or are you actually going to actually answer the question posed in the thread? You've had plenty of oppertunity to answer it and you haven't. Trust me, Fiddy can handle himself instead of you hijacking his position.
 
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tacomancer

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A lie is the intent to deceive and by giving out false information ie historical fiction is an intent to deceive. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge which having false information is a lack of knowledge since it's not the truth. Got anything else to add on the semantics front or are you actually going to actually answer the question posed in the thread? You've had plenty of oppertunity to answer it and you haven't. Trust me, Fiddy can handle himself instead of you hijacking his position.

Personally I think we should tell the truth whenever possible as a general principal. However, you seem to have a very warped idea of what truth actually is, as you seem to want to equate ignorance and untruth. (and that is a word we are going to have to nail down if we ever want a fruitful discussion)
 

The_Patriot

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Personally I think we should tell the truth whenever possible as a general principal. However, you seem to have a very warped idea of what truth actually is. (and that is a word we are going to have to nail down if we ever want a fruitful discussion)

What is your definition of the truth?
 
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