Realism, is a way of seeing things as they are. If you are able to measure them and quantify them, independent of people’s simple thoughts on the topic. It has its uses in the world, as it helps put forward the evidence-backed approach to the exploration of our world through science.
In the case where things are not only just true because you believe in them, but you can test out the theory and accurately measure the potential outcome. As someone who has studied biology myself, I feel there is great beneficent to the experimental method and approach to life. As it can be used to test out ideas and see how well they operate in the real world.
But when, what is too much realism? When does it become careless and harmful?
One of the signs is if realism simply becomes a disguise for cynicism and nihilism. Where it becomes often much nicer to say you are simply being “realistic” compared to just being pessimistic and not seeing the point in matters. As it can be very hard to quantify what the point of many things is. For some saying that they are realistic becomes a shield against admitting that they do not fully see the point in life, and do not want to explore that much deeper and more difficult issue.
While this is not always the case. Careless realism can come at the cost of a sense of romance and adventure in life. As you cannot measure beauty, love and enjoyment scientifically, they are and always will be in the eye of the beholder. But even if they are not scientifically tested and may not be “Real” in that sense save in the changes in neurotransmitter concentrations, they are very much worth believing in regardless, due to how much colour they bring to life.
Potential is also something that is hard to quantify and thus can be ignored in cases of careless realism. You cannot measure an idea’s potential easily, and sometimes even if you are able to look at the odds of success, it can simply paralyze you from acting on your ideas, as there is only a small chance it may work realistically speaking. Being “Realistic” can potentially also cover for simply accepting your lot in life, instead of trying and striving for something more, even if there is no garment that it will work. However, if you do not act on something, due to its apparent odds, or take chances and push yourself further, how can you ever truly know something’s potential?
It can also prevent the rather enjoyable escapism of indulging in fantasy from time to time. And allowing yourself to tell yourself the stories that make life so much more enjoyable, and to allow yourself to truly how wonderful things can be, even if they are only abstract, fantastical or subjective things.
So, while it is good to have a grounding in reality. It is also wise to think of possibilities and wonder at fantastical subjective things, even if they are unable to be scientifically measured. After all, if we do not occasionally believe in something that is not real, how will it become?