Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blind Hate

We had some folks over for dinner a couple nights ago and they got to selling me on TV shows.  They particularly thought that Wendy and I should watch Battlestar Galactica together though there was one big hesitation; they figured that since the show takes a turn towards religion in the last season that I might hate it. Our guests, it turns out, have been subject to some of my more vitriolic rants about religion and they assumed I would not be willing to tolerate a show that made a big deal out of mysticism.

My answer, though, was a question.  "Is the religion in the show true?"

That is the key; the truth of the matter.  I design fantasy game worlds all the time and they do not come from a real world scientific background.  In the beginning often starts with anthropomorphic, omniscient deities rather than a large kapow.  The difference is that in my fantasy worlds gods are REAL.  They do interfere with mortals, grant wishes, smite their enemies, and cause all kinds of problems.  Magicians in made up worlds aren't entertainers or charlatans; they can actually cast fireballs to incinerate their enemies!

My dislike of religion isn't anything to do with me thinking that universes that evolve out of abstract mathematical principles rather than Angry Man in the Sky have more inherent legitimacy; if there really is an Angry Man in the Sky I want to know about it and I damn sure will believe in him.  Legitimacy comes from truth, and the best tool we have been able to devise to figure out the truth is science.  Someday we may come up with a better tool, in which case I will happily use that.  Results concern me far more than methods.

So I guess I will like Battlestart Galactica if the religion in the show reflects reality.  The universe that show exists in is completely different from our own though it has many striking resemblances.  I don't actually know how the show plays out as yet but I assume in their universe the religion is based on something real; whether or not that makes for a good story is another thing entirely.


  1. I have the entire show on DVD if you want to borrow it. A lot of people do get turned off by the ending for a variety of reasons. Personally I liked it.

    Without getting into too much detail I suspect you'll be enraged and fine with the way they handle religion. I don't know which one will overpower you.

  2. "Results concern me far more than methods." Aha. I have just discovered the same thing about myself in regards to knitting.

  3. It's actually really important that you don't know if the religion in the show is real or not. Don't let anyone spoil that for you. The tension it creates in the viewer (or in me at least) was one of the best parts of the show.