I've come to the conclusion that fiction is more useful in promoting a (moral) philosophy or world view or even just generating an interest/discussion in/about moral issues than ethics (as an academic field) is. Philosophy is too abstract and theoretical, even impersonal. Ethicists talk about how humans should behave towards one another and why and what kind of social ramifications there would be if everyone adopted a certain world view but fiction actually shows individuals relating to one another and moral decisions/world views played out in concrete examples. Philosophy deals with broad, social concerns but fiction deals with interactions between individuals and how broad social concerns affect everyday individuals. Not to mention that stories have and always have had a much broader appeal than philosophy which only appeals to intellectuals and people interested in the subject. I'm an atheist but I could see myself reading the Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye because it seems interesting (I also remember reading some of the books as a child) or any other pro-Christian novel but I couldn't see myself reading a non-fiction book about Christianity or why I should accept Jesus as my lord and savior. Realistically/unfortunately, most people who pick up a philosophy book advocating any given view are either a) interested in reading something that confirms their already existing world view or (and less common) b) interested in analysing opposing views so they'll be better equipped to critique those views in a debate. Would objectivism be as popular if Ayn Rand hadn't written Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead (forgive me if that sounds like a stupid question, I don't know a lot about Ayn Rand)? Do you agree? Is fiction a better vehicle for ethical commentary than ethics as an academic study is? What pros and cons do you see in either?