Atheist Sci-fi Fans?

serotonin_wraith
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Atheist Sci-fi Fans?

Any sci-fi fans here? I've heard some people say that their love of sci-fi helped them see through the lies of religion.

I probably would have come to atheism on my own, but I do think sci-fi helps. You get to explore new possibilities, see the universe differently or see what a scientific concept now could look like in the future.

Some shows explore the role of religion in alien cultures, and it's interesting to see how it mirrors what's here on Earth in the present. In later Stargate SG-1s there's the Ori, trying to spread their religious views throughout the galaxy, and killing anyone opposing them.

'Who Watches the Watchers' (Star Trek TNG) is another good one, showing how a species abandoned their belief in the supernatural.

I was watching one today which really stood out. In Sliders (a hit and miss show IMHO) a group of people travel to parallel Earths, and they end up one one where religion has taken over America. Darwin is considered evil, creation science is taught in all schools and abortion is illegal.

A group called the Rationalist Party (seriously!) tries to fight against it, but slowly and surely, they are being silenced. It really drove home the need to speak out, because if we don't, America could end up like the America in that episode, and while I'm not an American, I know that would have serious consequences for the rest of the world. That Sliders episode is here if anyone's interested- http://www.veoh.com/videos/v2234768hbn2pyy


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Have to admit I love

Have to admit I love religion in sci fi (its by far the best place for it). Can give some really good story lines.

 Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galatica (cylons looking for god, in fact they are often more religious than the humans)

 


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In the first episode of

In the first episode of Firefly the lead character is a Christian in a flashback war setting.  Later on it's quite apparent that he gave up the myth and became an Atheist.  Other episodes has River tearing up a Bible taking out the mistakes and trying to rearrange it to make a bit more sense and explains to the preacher how it needs a better scientific explanation.  There are a few other religion themed episodes which mock religious extremists.  Too bad the show was on Fox because it lasted only one season.


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Quote: In the first episode

Quote:
In the first episode of Firefly the lead character is a Christian in a flashback war setting.  Later on it's quite apparent that he gave up the myth and became an Atheist.  Other episodes has River tearing up a Bible taking out the mistakes and trying to rearrange it to make a bit more sense and explains to the preacher how it needs a better scientific explanation.  There are a few other religion themed episodes which mock religious extremists.  Too bad the show was on Fox because it lasted only one season.

Interesting factoid:  Firefly was cancelled because it was too popular.  To be more precise, it had a very large viewership, but the demographics were so spread out that advertisers weren't willing to pony up the money for a prime time spot when they were only going to be hitting a small portion of their target audience.

(Yes, this is gossip, but I heard this from an ad executive with a company that advertised during Firefly, so there's some credibility to it.)

I really liked Serenity, too.  It was everything that George Lucas was incapable of making the second Star Wars Trilogy.

As for sci fi, I wouldn't call myself a sci-fi buff, but I read it occasionally.  The single best work in sci-fi, if you ask me, is the entire Dune series of books, by Frank Herbert.  Not only is it an immense, and intricately detailed universe, but the political and psychological intrigue and manipulation is staggering.   It's one of those rare stories that is compelling without the sci-fi element, but needs to be sci-fi in order to happen.

For anyone who has read it, it's not hard to imagine Herbert as something of a prophet.  The spice economy (oil economy)?  The evil Baron Harkonnen (perhaps the US)?  The Emperor (Saudi Arabia).

Now, if only I knew who Paul was supposed to be...

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I love Battlestar Galactica

I love Battlestar Galactica because it's gritty, doesn't avoid difficult themes and is well acted.

Well, right up until the end of Series 3 that is.

*Sigh*

Anyway...

I am a big sci-fi fan in general. My favourite sci-fi books are Iain M. Banks' Culture novels.

 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Has anyone ever heard of

Has anyone ever heard of Warhammer 40,000? The background is an extremely deep one. It's based on a table-top strategy game, but the mythos is used in video games and books as well. The humans in the mythos are an extremely religious bunch, and it's strange, because I generally "pull" for the humans in the Warhammer 40k universe while decrying everything they would stand for in real life Sticking out tongue


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I recently read the book

I recently read the book "Only Begotten Daughter" a "classic" from about 1990. A jewish agnostic donates sperm and it somehow grows into a girl and she turns out to be Jesus's half-sister. Pretty blasphemous actually (at one point she tells an atheist that atheism make s the most logical sense and she'd be an atheist if she wasn't God's daughter (God is also female by the way.) Pretty sure the writer was atheist - he credited Richard Dawkins (I think the Blind Watchmaker.)

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It's kind of the opposit

It's kind of the opposite for me. I HATE science fiction movies, TV shows, books, and material. I am too attached to reality to stretch my brain into being able to enjoy the silly projections of the future that science fiction employs. The TV show "Firefly" was supposed to be an awesome show, created by an atheist and everything, but I thought it was terrible.  Hambydammit, you mentioned it being too popular and I just don't get it at all.  Call it a complete lack of imagination, or something, I just didn't think it was entertaining - although there were several great moments throughout the season.

I just can't get interested in Scilobites fighting Amneofrogans on the planet Xemgam. It's just ridiculous to me. But... most of the atheists I know love sci-fi, and a few of them became atheists through science fiction entertainments material.

Not for me.

that that is is that that is not is not is that it it is


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Hi JonInDenver and welcome

Hi JonInDenver and welcome to the forums.

When you get a minute, we'd love it if you'd hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions and Humor forum and introduce yourself. 

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I pretty much never read

I pretty much never read scifi books, but I love it on TV. And yea, can't wait for that next season of Battlestar Galactica. Though, I have to admit that the plot seems to have taken a turn for the worst, what with that last episode of season 3.

And religion in scifi is always good... except for when the story in question is an analogy to some kind of religious belief or story. That just gets on my nerves. 

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Dante626 wrote: Has anyone

Dante626 wrote:
Has anyone ever heard of Warhammer 40,000?

I played the table-top from awhile. The books tell stories and give a lot of info on the fluff, but most of it is in the rule books (on the 5th ed + codexs and other things). A lot of the bigger parts of the history created in the game come from older versions and out comes of players who play world wide campaigns.

A major event in that verse is the Heresy in which a portion of the marines (genetically engineered humans on good meds/steroids) broke off from the empire. The emperor as far as the Imperiam is concerned is god so yes religion is big in this game and thats just with the humans.

Oh there is politics in there too, the Tau are commies I think. "For the greater good."

 

 

Oh and for the topic yeah I'm into scifi. The sci-fi channal was lack crack for awhile and can't think of very many fav movies that aren't sci-fi.


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I used to love Babylon 5. A

I used to love Babylon 5. A few weeks back I saw some Babylon 5 movie on movies on demand so I rented it. I about threw up, the whole premise behind the movie was that they were in deep space and a demon had overcome this one guy on the ship. They brought a priest in to do an exorcism on him. The priest and the captian of the ship had this long talk about how nobody is believeing in god anymore (the capt. said she still did) and that science is making it very hard for the church. The guy went on about the god of the gaps stuff and the whole time they were trying to justify the belief in god despite the monumentous scientific advancement and life on other planets... I just turned it off after 10 minutes. Sad


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Medievalguy wrote: I used

Medievalguy wrote:
I used to love Babylon 5. A few weeks back I saw some Babylon 5 movie on movies on demand so I rented it. I about threw up, the whole premise behind the movie was that they were in deep space and a demon had overcome this one guy on the ship. They brought a priest in to do an exorcism on him. The priest and the captian of the ship had this long talk about how nobody is believeing in god anymore (the capt. said she still did) and that science is making it very hard for the church. The guy went on about the god of the gaps stuff and the whole time they were trying to justify the belief in god despite the monumentous scientific advancement and life on other planets... I just turned it off after 10 minutes. Sad

 

Saw the same thing and felt the same outrage. You could have skipped to about half way trough though and there is a second half with an entirely unrelated plot. Still, the worst religious Crap ever seen on a Sci fi show as far as i know. Babylon 5 has never been without the occasional religious mumbo jumbo, but never this bad. 

 

Back to the topick at hand. My favorite Sci-fi author is Larry Niven. "The Integral trees" and the "Ringworld" series of books have plots and most of all scenery youl never see outside of Sci-fi.

The ringworld series takes place on a ringworld like you can see in the first Halo game, just bigger. I think Niven actually came upp with the concept.

And The Integral trees takes place in a ring of oxygen ritch gass around a white dwarf, where huge trees float around and are populated by what was once humans.

 

"Everyone knows that God drives a Plymouth: "And He drove Adam And Eve from the Garden of Eden in His Fury."
And that Moses liked British cars: "The roar of Moses' Triumph was heard throughout the hills."
On the other hand, Jesus humbly drove a Honda but didn't brag about it, because in his own words: "I did not speak of my own Accord." "


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Hard to say.  The entire

Hard to say.  The entire Star Trek: Deep Space 9 was based upon some stupid religious prophecy.  It made the entire series unwatchable, well that and everything else about the show.

It's funny that Sci-fi shows can get away with so much that sitcoms involve present day humans can't.  So Kirk has sex with a green space alien, as long as he's not kissing a black woman (oh hey, he did that too).

Then perhaps we can get onto Star Wars 1-3 about how Anikin was some sort of messiah from a virgin birth.  It wasn't a believable story 2000 years ago and it isn't believable if it happens in a galaxy far, far away. 


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Kirk met 'god' too!  I

Kirk met 'god' too! 

I love DS9, I saw it as being more about war and political issues, rather than spiritual things. Or at least that was given just as much time as the spiritual side. The story of evil beings cast out of a higher realm and fighting back is a good story idea to me- very powerful. Believing it actually happened is silly, of course. Like Balaam's talking donkey, I don't believe that could ever happen, but I thought Shrek was good for a watch.

A good reason vs religion episode for DS9 would be season one's 'In the Hands of the Prophets'.

Star Trek also embraced evolution as a real thing. 'Dear Doctor' (Enterprise) and 'Threshold' (Voyager) are good examples of this. I hope in the future every human will accept it as real too. It makes me wonder what goes through the minds of creationists when they see episodes like that.

Firefly and BSG, also high on my list of likes.

 


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serotonin_wraith

serotonin_wraith wrote:

Star Trek also embraced evolution as a real thing. 'Dear Doctor' (Enterprise) and 'Threshold' (Voyager) are good examples of this.

 

Don't forget "Distant Origin" (Voyager), the episode about a species that had evolved from a branch of the dinosaurs. For political reasons they were not allowed to accept this theory, even though all the evidence suggested that it was true.


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I recall reading a Frank

I recall reading a Frank Herbert [Dune] interview where he stated the underlying message of most of his work was to warn against the fallacy of saviors.


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My favorite line from Star

My favorite line from Star Trek,

"What does God need with a starship?" -Kirk, movie 5.

Instead of starship substitute prayers, tithing, sacrifices, worship, etc.

It's really interesting that when Star Trek first came out they created the character of Chekov to appeal to the female audience.  It so happened the women found Spock the most attractive because he was logical, intelligent, rational and didn't get all emotional.  Somehow that appealed to sci-fi geeks everywhere. 


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lester ballard wrote: I

lester ballard wrote:
I recall reading a Frank Herbert [Dune] interview where he stated the underlying message of most of his work was to warn against the fallacy of saviors.

Yeah I always thought that's what is really about. Especially when it gets in to "Children of Dune".

"I, on the other hand, do not feel it necessary to construct a lofty meaning for myself. I prefer the style of the butterfly myself. I will eat what I want, flit about aimlessly, and enjoy the sunshine. Then, I will die. " - Nero, RRS Forum User


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Just watched the sliders

Just watched the sliders episode. Never seem it. I used to watch that show, but it was so bad an example of AH after the 2nd season I had given up.

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Dante626 wrote: Has anyone

Dante626 wrote:
Has anyone ever heard of Warhammer 40,000? The background is an extremely deep one. It's based on a table-top strategy game, but the mythos is used in video games and books as well. The humans in the mythos are an extremely religious bunch, and it's strange, because I generally "pull" for the humans in the Warhammer 40k universe while decrying everything they would stand for in real life :P

Hell yes. I'm a 40K geek and have been for many a year well actually since it first came out some time in 80's.  The Imperium are the biggest bunch of xenophoibc, totalitarian, religious zeolot, fascists in the game. But space marine are just too fucking coool.

I''m currently playing Dawn of War at the momment on the PC, which if you have not checked out is an awesome 40k RTS.

 


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Of course, 'Distant

Of course, 'Distant Origin'. How could I forget that one.

My favourite film would be Contact. Religion vs science when an alien transmission reaches Earth. I can understand how the main character feels when she's held back because of other people's unfounded beliefs. She is stopped from travelling to the alien world when it's known she's an atheist- similar to how a person without faith cannot be president in the US.

At the end, she's ironically attacked for having 'faith' in her journey. People couldn't accept what she'd said, yet at the same time the things they claimed about god had to be taken on faith too. Such a double standard.

I could talk for a ages about that film. Highly recommended.