Category Archives: Religion

Religion in Science Fiction

I’d like some opinions. I’m currently writing Journey to Ariadne part 6, and it includes a big monologue about secularism. One character is deeply religious, while the others are more moderate, follow another religion, or follow no religion at all. It’s not shocking, though some may think it’s a bit controversial.

So, my question is, if you see something controversial about religion in a science fiction novel, how do you feel about it? I have read many that take religion on a very wild ride, altering the religions and making their followers more fanatical. Others marginalise religion, saying it serves no purpose. What do you think about this? I look forward to your answers.

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Lots of Hate for Neil deGrasse Tyson

So, this happened.  I’m really curious about people’s thoughts.  I like Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I think he’s doing great things to help educate people on science and get people interested in astronomy.  However, he’s gotten a lot of conservative Christians angry.

So, Sir Isaac Newton was born December 25, 1642 (Julian calendar).  It’s a fact that can’t be changed.  Newton was a celebrated physicist.  I could see an astrophysicist wanting to celebrate his birthday.

So, December 25th was a Pagan holiday before it was Christmas. That’s a fact that can’t be changed, either.  What’s funny is that the traditions you see on Christmas aren’t even Christian traditions (the tree, presents, Santa.  And certainly not ham, because the Bible says pork should not be eaten).

Because Tyson is in the spotlight a lot, he gets vilified.  In my opinion, I don’t care one way or the other.  I’m not a Christian, and I don’t attack religion.  I like to get along with everyone.  But on the other hand, Tyson was just stating facts.  It’s how people interpret them that’s important.

Just my thought this morning. What do you think?  Happy Holidays, everyone.

One Seventeen-Year-Old Girl Can Influence Millions – Malala

I’ve been following TheFineBros channel for quite some time on YouTube, and most recently, they posted an episode of Teens React about Malala Yousafzai.  If you haven’t heard of her before, where have you been?  She’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner (2014), only 17 years old, and one of the bravest and most amazing young women in the world.  Watch the video.

I like how some of the teenagers say they feel bad about complaining about going to school.  Once many people see just how hard Malala fought to be able to go to school, they often realise how stupid their own complaints about going to school are.  Millions of kids, especially girls, don’t have the chance to go to school because of poverty, and in some cases, religious extremists.  The Taliban don’t want girls to go to school.  I find that unacceptable.

I’m a big supporter of education, and I strongly dislike it when I hear teenagers say how school is lame, and that only losers go to school.  Must be wonderful to be too cool for school, huh?  I have to wonder how their lack of job is going.  If people are fighting to go to school, why is it we have selfish brats who think they don’t need school in their lives?  If they don’t want to go to school and don’t even attempt to graduate, then why should we pay for their welfare cheques?  Sure, some kids are deprived of an education due to no fault of their own.  Those kids need the support to be able to get their education.  But I don’t feel sorry for those who shun education and end up on the street with a very sad existence.  They brought it upon themselves.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that there were a couple of Muslim teenagers in the video.  They shared stories about how they or their families were targeted, with people calling them terrorists.  What sickens me is how this whole ISIS issue is causing people to turn on Muslims in general and call them terrorists.  For your information, ISIS is an example of an extremist organisation.  They do not represent Muslims.  This is much the same as the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church.  They do not represent Christians.  I am an atheist, and people like Stalin, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong-Un do not represent atheists.  I have Muslim friends, I have Christian friends, I have Jewish friends, I have atheist friends.  Do I care?  Not at all.  In fact, religion doesn’t even enter our conversations.  We are friends, and we respect each other’s personal choices.  That’s the way it should be.  We should not have religious extremists or fundamentalists imposing their beliefs on us.

I don’t care about a person’s religion.  I care about the person.  I care about people’s well-being.  I care about people’s right to a good education.  I care about healthy, well-educated societies.  I care about people getting along and celebrating diversity, not going to war over their differences.  And you know what?  This is something I want to show in my writing.

My advice to the world is this:  Let’s stop all this bullshit and just try to get along.  Stop with the idiotic antagonistic garbage.

Will they listen?  Probably not.  But at least I’m trying to do my part.

A Reading Challenge of Biblical Proportions

I am going to read the Bible.  Yes, that’s right.  I’m sure some people I know will be surprised.  I’ll tell you the reason.

The Bible is one of the most popular best-selling books in history.  I often read popular books.  I’m reading one now.  So, for literary purposes, I’m going to read this rather lengthy piece of literature from a literary and entertainment point of view.  But I’m not going to review it.  However, since I’m calling this a challenge, I will write blog posts for each book I finish, and there are 66 of them.

I won’t be looking at this from a religious point of view.  I’m not going to evaluate Christianity.  I’m not trying to offend anyone or ruffle any feathers.  I’m just interested in seeing if any part of it is interesting.

But there’s another reason.  It’s actually for cultural reasons.  Writing a novel that will feature new religions requires some knowledge of existing religions.  And one of these religions will be started by a Christian in the book.  Consider this research.

The version I’ll be reading is the English Standard Version, the only one I could get for free on Amazon.  And to be honest, the last time I read any of the Bible, I found it quite boring.  We’ll see how age affects that, especially considering I’m more interested in culture and history now.

I’m not sure when I’ll start reading.  I have so many other books to read.  This will be a once-in-a-while kind of thing.  I don’t expect to be converted.

So, just to remind you, I’m reading this from a cultural, literary, and entertainment point of view.  Let’s see how it goes.

Keep Your Religion Out of Our Public Education

I’m a big supporter of education.  Good education.  I especially love science education.  Science is very important for many professions, including medicine, engineering, agriculture, and computers.  But when something threatens good education, I want to fight back.

In Manitoba, a candidate for the Winnipeg School Board is supporting teaching creationism in the science classroom.  Not only that, she advocates abstinence only sex education.  This kind of thing is heard of a lot in the United States, but rarely in Canada.  To Candace Maxymowich, I say keep your beliefs out of Canadian education.  They have no place in the classroom.

First of all, she’s supporting abstinence only sex education.  This is irresponsible.  Never mind the studies that have shown that this kind of sex education doesn’t work.  You don’t need the studies, you need to use common sense.  We’re talking about teenagers.  Telling teenagers not to have sex doesn’t work.  Nor is it really sex education.  While abstinence is the most effective way of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, telling teenagers not to have sex is likely to backfire.  At that age, they don’t always make the best decisions.  They will have sex.  Then what?  With education about contraceptives and birth control, they will at least be far more likely to have safe sex rather than unprotected sex.  Candace, what you advocate will lead to more pregnancies and STDs.

Secondly, something that I feel extremely strong about, is the teaching of creationism in science classes.  Never.  Creationists want the alternatives to evolution to be taught, and of course, that’s creationism or intelligent design.  Neither of these (basically the same thing) are science.  They do not use the scientific method, do not use all the evidence, and are simply not science.  I don’t want religion to take up valuable science class time.  It should not take up that time.  What Candace fails to understand is that there are many religions represented by the students.  Which creation story is to be used?  Of course, she intends for it to be her religion’s creation story.  Not everyone follows your religion, Ms. Maxymowich.  This shows you don’t understand what science is.

I’m all for creationism to be taught in school.  Yes, you read that correctly.  But not in science class.  Teach it in religious studies.  But you also have to teach about other religions, not just your version of Christianity.

Science and health are both extremely important.  They need to be taught responsibly.  Science needs to be taught using science. Keep religion out of it.  Sex education needs to be taught from a health point of view, not from a religious point of view.  Candace Maxymowich, your version of science and sex ed are not welcome.

Creationism on “Cosmos?” Unlikely

When I saw this news story, I couldn’t believe it.  Honestly, who would ever believe that creationism would find a place on Cosmos, a TV show dedicated to science?

Danny Falkner of Answers in Genesis complained about Neil deGrasse Tyson not discussing the creationists’ point of view.  Of course it wouldn’t be discussed.  As Cosmos is a science show, it wouldn’t be discussing something that is strictly religious.

Let’s take a look at what Falkner said.

Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all.

No surprise about this.  That’s because creationism isn’t science.  It’s religion.  Cosmos has nothing to do with religion.

The host of The Janet Mefford Show went on to say this:

Boy, but when you have so many scientists who simply do not accept Darwinian evolution, it seems to me that that might be something to throw in there, you know, the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’ but that’s not even allowed.

Please, provide us a list of scientists who don’t accept Darwinian evolution.  Evolution has never been successfully refuted or falsified.  It is accepted by the scientific community.

Falkner also says this:

I was struck in the first episode where he talked about science and how, you know, all ideas are discussed, you know, everything is up for discussion – it’s all on the table – and I thought to myself, ‘No, consideration of special creation is definitely not open for discussion, it would seem.’

Yes, science is all about discussing the ideas and investigating them.  Creation isn’t considered because it is not science.  It’s that simple.  Unicorns aren’t being considered, Santa Claus isn’t being considered, the Theory of Barbaric Lemons isn’t being considered, and my mother’s pickle recipe isn’t being considered.  They’re not science!  Actually, a pickle recipe is more scientific than the others, since it’s basically a kind of chemistry.

So why should creationism be featured on a strictly scientific show?  For the same reason creationism has no place in a science class.  It’s religion, not science.

What do you think?

Reviewing Religious Books

Religion is a touchy subject for many people.  Religious books are sacred to many people, and any negativity toward them is considered blasphemous, and likely to incite anger.  But as a literary subject, are they open for reviewing?

I think that those who don’t mind the backlash from either side of the fence can go ahead and review them.  But for me, I’d rather avoid that.  Because of one of the reading challenges I’m going to attempt, I will have to read The Bible. That’s a very long book that many people find difficult to finish.  I’ll approach it from a literary and cultural point of view, as I have no interest in the spiritual side of things.  However, I will not write a review.  I have no need to make people angry.

I’ve seen several reviews of religious books on Goodreads, and they were usually either extremely favourable or quite negative.  The positive ones are basically done by religious people who simply agree with what it has to say.  The negative ones are either mocking or actual analyses of the books based on how consistent it is, readability, and more.  Those people are often criticised angrily.

My question for you is this:  Would you attempt a review of a religious book?  Leave a comment.