Why does Worldbuilding Stack Exchange allow irrational ontological questions i.e. contrary to scientific reasoning as espoused by Saint Thomas Aquinas?
World-building is about exploration, not about rational limits along the line of the world as we know it.
This branching out can be messy and frustrating at times. It is that phase in brainstorming where brand new avenues are investigated. This can be baffling, frustrating and in the end when looking backwards pointless after all.
This is the price of breaking through boundaries of current thinking into the unlimited unknown. If you have suggestions making the process more efficient, please put it forward at meta site.
But in any case the process needs to stay effective and free as well because you never know what you will find further along the (admittedly initially unlikely) road. (Many of us enjoy this uncertainty during the chase)
Perhaps you'll find this answer convincing - if the others aren't good enough, which I think they are - given that it comes from someone who has probably been the biggest advocate of hard-science, the inclusion of scientific reasoning into any situation possible, and rigorous answers designed to be up to the standard - if not to a higher standard, if possible - of the science sites.
Have you ever read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and/or other works by Tolkien? I have. I love it. I actually think that it's the single most impressive work of fiction I have ever read.
See, Tolkien didn't merely stick a plot somewhere. He stuck a plot in an actual world. This means developing all the aspects of the setting to the extent of details in the real world.
Let me give you some examples:
- Languages. It might interest you to know that Tolkien created many languages for his books. The Elves have their own language - in fact, they have many languages, which reflects the fact that not everyone in a given race is the same. Many writers overlook that.
- History. Tolkien came up with the idea of Ages long periods of time in the history of the world. He wrote detailed timelines of all of these ages, showing the evolution of Arda. It's quite incredible.
- Cartography. Tolkien's maps are absolutely incredible. They show places and kingdoms in Middle Earth (and beyond, into other continents). The maps let you realize the relationships between people and events. They add one more touch of realism to the stories.
- Deities. "Deities" is the best term I can come up with to describe some of the higher beings in Arda and beyond. The key example is, of course, Eru Ilúvatar, the creator. The Maiar and Valar are more beings that do not obey the laws of science.
Many things in the whole Tolkien compendium do not agree with science. There are deities, magic, and creatures that could never evolve on Earth (I hope!). Yet I think that many people would agree that Tolkien's universe is an incredible example of a beautifully built world. No science needed.
It is for this idea - that great worlds do not need to obey the laws of science - that we allow - and cherish - questions that are "contrary to scientific reasoning".
Worldbuilding is about building fictional worlds, right?
That means the questions should be amenable to rational debate, and the initial posters should do some basic research first. Yet sometimes questions get closed and sometimes the answers fill the gaps.
Here are some closed questions:
- Further Down Into the Depths -- four-figure accuracy is pointless and the question cannot be answered with the given data.
- The Lake Mongolia -- the effects are impossible to calculate.
- What reason would keep an aircraft from flying higher than 250 feet? -- again I find it hard to reconcile two-figure accuracy with the open question.
Others remained open and attracted answers and views, despite being similarly hard to answer:
- Can I map the location of my convenient store inside a wormhole? -- assuming the wormhole networks are just "FTL shortcuts", what is there to map other than the entry points?
- Forced re-entry of all man-made satellites in short moment notice -- the poster doesn't seem to realize just how much junk there is in space.
- Could medieval age people have built a missile? -- the distinction between guided missile, unguided artillery rocket, and guided space launch system seems unclear to the poster. No research on Chinese fireworks.
I wonder if our challenges produce many of the bad questions, as people try to ask questions without having a world to build ...