Friday, September 08, 2006

Religion in SF

I've been reading quite a bit lately, mostly SF, and one thing I've found that really disturbs me is the fact that a lot of SF, even the stuff set tens of thousands of years in the future has the human race still worshipping gods.

As many of you are probably aware, I'm an atheist. I don't really have much use for religion, although I am fascinated by it. It distresses me to think that we might not outgrow our superstitions even when we go to the stars (assuming we don't kill ourselves off.) I'm sure some people might be offended by that statement, but oh well, this is my blog.

21st century Americans look back at the Greeks, Romans, and other ancient peoples and often laugh at their polytheistic religions, as if Judeo-Christian beliefs are somehow better. The simple fact is that they're not. If you really cut the fat away, they're just silly superstitions as well. Much of the Old Testament is stolen from those earlier religions that people now look down their noses at.

It frightens me to think that we can't outgrow this. Here in America, there's been a definite increase in religious beliefs as a result of recent events. Yes, most Americans really do laugh at the Muslim faith...thinking it's somehow less than their own beliefs. Take some time to look it makes just as much sense as what the Christian right is trying to cram down our throats.

Evolution has come under attack quite a bit since dubya came to power, especially with the argument that "Intelligent Design" should be taught in science classes, even though there's limited science to it. It's simply faith wrapped up in science...but completly untestable, which is the primary requirement for any scientific theory.

But, back to where I started...I find it completely unfathomable that ten thousand years down the road we'll still be worshipping gods. The worship of gods has caused more death on this planet than any other man-made artifice. If we as a species don't chose to grow up, there will be no future for the human race.


Spencer said...

ten thousand years down the road will still witness religion and its shortcomings. it all boils down to my god has a bigger dick than your god. unfortunately, religion does bring people together, even if it means bloodshed...and divisiveness. although you may not adhere to a religion, i know you have buddhist qualities as well as islamic thoughts. i do concur with you regarding the religious right in any country...hiding behind religion for all the wrong things is definitely not good.

J Erwine said...

I've always considered myself quite Taoist...

E.Jim Shannon said...

It's just that out of religion comes great bad guys and other f$cked up people.

There are so many ways you can use religion as a backdrop to a story.

J Erwine said...

Jim-I certainly agree with you, as is pretty evident based on the cover of my novel, but it just bothers me that so many writers assume that religion will still play such a large role in our future. Most of these authors are rationalists, and quite a few of them are atheists, so I would hope that they'd see things differently.

Still, in some ways, they are just reflecting our world. The majority of people aren't rationalists, and would rather accept things that make no sense as opposed to believing that we really are on our own.