On a Facebook group that I'm part of, someone posted a link to something called Faith and Gaming Settings from a website called the Christian Gamers Guild. The post itself is excellent, and has some very good points about world view.
This provoked a bit of discussion within said Facebook group, and while it's pretty obvious where I stand on the whole argument (I'd be pretty hypocritical of me to come down any way but on the Pro Fantasy side, considering my gaming and writing) I do feel it's worth getting into a bit of a longer discussion about the philosophy of why.
Let's start with agreeing on a definition of fantasy. While the word in modern connotations is heavily linked to Sword & Sorcery types of entertainment, I'd argue that in a broader context, fantasy can really be any kind of fiction, especially if it's asking a "What if?" question and positing some element of reality different than our own.
Fantasy was the story of Icarus, and the human dream of flight, for centuries before it became reality.
Fantasy is an eight-year-old boy in his backyard with a bat and a ball, dreaming that he's driving in the winning run in the World Series for his team.
Fantasy is, dare I say it, a story about a man who finds a great treasure in a field, and sells everything he owns to go and buy the field.
Fantasy asks questions, posits answers, and lets us put ourselves in someone else's shoes. What if I could fly? What would I do if I found that treasure? It can be an escape, a teaching tool, and everything in between. It's a gift, and we are fools if we dismiss it as mere child's play, or worse, a tool of the enemy.