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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hollywood and Secularist 'Faith'

Over at April's blog, one of the shows we've been discussing is 'Stargate Universe.' This post is prompted by the recent episode called 'Faith' (that link will eventually die, as the episodes roll off Hulu).

In case Gentle Reader isn't familiar with SGU, the premise is that a group of military and civilians setting up a remote base on some distant planet were overwhelmingly attacked by some enemies of humanity. In the final chaos, some of them managed to escape through the planet's "Stargate" -- but instead of ending up at a known location, such as Earth, they found themselves on an unknown ancient (and 'Ancient'), and severely damaged, spaceship, which doesn't have enough power to activate the Stargate through which they came so that they might return to Earth. The ship has been traveling for many tens of thouands of years, and is now very distant from our galaxy. On some pre-programmed schedule, it periodically drops out of "hyperspace" in a star system for a short time (generally about a day), which sometimes allows the reluctant passengers the opportunityto try to get themselves killed. They do a bang-up job of that on their own initiative while the ship is in "hyperspace."

In this episode, 'Destiny' (the ship) unexpectedly drops out of "hyperspace" in a star system that isn't supposed to be there. In this case, it's going to take the ship a few weeks to "slingshot" around the star and so position itself to resume the programmed journey.

The scientists onboard decide that the star is only a couple of hundred thousand years old, and that the sole planet (very earth-like, except apparently with no fauna) is "too old" for the star's age ... and, thus, that the star and planet must have been constructed by a race of technologically advanced space-aliens.

A group are detailed to take the lone working shuttle to the planet to explore it a bit during the interim while 'Destiny' circuits the star, and to gather foodstuffs to bring back to the ship. While on the planet during the month that 'Destiny' is out of range to reach with the shuttle, some of them decide to believe that the planet must have been placed there for their benefit, and that if they stay on the planet, rather than returning to the ship, the constructors of the star-system will return and graciously return them to Earth.
Cathy remarked: What about the effect on the characters who accepted the planet as a supernatural gift, intended for them ? Generally, people who believe they’ve seen God in action are changed, by the seeing, not just the action, whether they were believers before or not. Yet everything seemed very flat, like none of the actors, or even the director, felt anything about the story-line.

This prompted me to write up a few thoughts I'd had while watching the episode:

Ya' gotta keep in mind -- this was the Hollywood/leftist/secularist version of "faith" ... and their "supernatural" is all-too-natural and fully domesticated.

This unexpected planet wasn't put there by God, but by technologically advanced space-aliens; it wasn't put there by Being itself, but by mere beings like us, who happen to know more and happen to be more powerful than us.

Oddly enough, while leftists and secularists *refuse* to give Being itself the proper worshipful awe which is his due, they are always willing to improperly give that worshipful awe to mere beings like us, who happen to display more power. Thus, the recurrent leftist worship of dictators ... and mere street-thugs.

As for the "faith" of the characters that the planet was placed there specifically for their benefit, had I been there, I'd have asked, "What is the rational basis of this 'faith' and 'belief' upon which you propose we risk our lives?" We'd have quickly discovered that there is no basis, that we're not talking about 'faith,' but rather, wishful thinking. We'd have discovered that there isn't even a belief that the planet was placed there for them, but merely "I *want* this to be true, so I will pretend that it is."

Now, there may well have been rational reasons for the group to decide to abandon the ship and migrate to the planet, in spite of the unknowns. But "faith" wasn't among those reasons.

By "fully domesticated," I mean that that which secularists/leftists choose to worship as though it were God doesn't make (actual) moral demands upon its worshippers (and certainly not with regard to sexuality) ... though it may make all sorts of inhuman and inhumane demands (generally related to the display of power and force) to which they frequently are more than willing to comply.

Leftists/secularists are quite willing to worship mere beings like themselves, mere beings among other beings, for that but opens an avenue to self-worship. But, to worship God, to honor and worship Being itself, is to admit that oneself is not, and never can be, God; for Being itself is not yet another being among other beings.

8 comments:

cathy said...

Leftists/secularists are quite willing to worship mere beings like themselves, mere beings among other beings, for that but opens an avenue to self-worship. But, to worship God, to honor and worship Being itself, is to admit that oneself is not, and never can be, God; for Being itself is not yet another being among other beings.

I am so out of time, but this is so great! I was thinking about your comment at April's:

Oddly enough, while leftists and secularists *refuse* to give Being itself the proper worshipful awe which is his due, they are always willing to improperly give that worshipful awe to mere beings like us, who happen to display more power.

and it dawned on me -- If you are not humble before God, there is nothing to stop you from trying to make yourself a god before (and over) other men.

Far from earth-shattering, but it pleases me enormously to "get" something before you say it!

Later!

Oh -- wonderful synopses of the show, BTW!

Ilíon said...

"... If you are not humble before God, there is nothing to stop you from trying to make yourself a god before (and over) other men."

Exactly.

Ilíon said...

"Far from earth-shattering, but it pleases me enormously to "get" something before you say it!"

I'm a very tolerant "guru" ;-) in that I like my mindless dro ... er, readers to come to realizations on their own.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Y'know, when they started talking about this show--before we knew it was Stargate: Voyager-- I had a bad feeling. Reading Dirigible Trance's review of the characterizations, I decided it was standard, foolish Hollywood spit-on-stuff-I-value BS. Told my darling Elf as much, and refused to see it.

Well, last week he caught it on the Barack's TV.

Now he's refusing to have anything to do with something that would have such drek.....

(I get offended philosophically; he gets disgusted from bad writing.)

Ilíon said...

I don't know I'd say it's quite that bad (abd I can quite understand refusing to watch a show that's badly written). But, regardless of that, the sad thing is that this show is actually "quality TV" compared to most offerings.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Meh, wouldn't waste time watching something I wasn't fairly sure I'd like, or was important. Double-so if it tries to insult me and mine.

Reading, on the other hand.... between my fan fic addiction and reading scifi/urban fantasy, neither quality nor idiology are important! (sorry if poor spelling, not much time)

Drew said...

I started watching this show on casttv after you posted about it, and tonight I finally got to the "Faith" episode. It was interesting. I think one of the main problems with Hollywood faith, though, is that it tends to be mystical. In that episode, they didn't have any real solid reason to believe that the constructors of the planet had their best interests in mind. It was only somewhat reasonable and rather optimistic speculation -- not any firm proof.

They were basically trying to interpret Providence. It's similar to modern Charismatic theology (which I despise). A mystic sees his car fail to start one day and he thinks, "Well that's okay; God probably was saving me from a car wreck." It's POSSIBLE that God was saving him from a car wreck, but who knows? Maybe his car just broke down because he bought a cheap car, and maybe God didn't feel like intervening to prevent it from breaking down.

I remember another show I watched on NBC last year called Kings where the prophet Samuel communicated with God in a similar mystical manner. For example, he would watch the way an animal was flying or the wind was blowing. That's what ancient pagans used to do. When God really wants to communicate in the real world, he can certainly act more explicitly than that. Hollywood faith is thus not like traditional faith in the Bible, where we rely on the explicit text because it has been proven to contain historical records of Jesus's resurrection and such. In the eyes of Hollywood, all "faith" is basically blind faith. And that's the type portrayed on the Stargate Universe episode.

Ilíon said...

In the case of the SG:U people, it's not *just* that they had no "firm proof," it's that they have no evidence whatsoever for their "faith." Thus, their "faith" wasn't even "only somewhat reasonable," rather, it was wholly unreasonable.

In the case of the Christian and the failing car, his interpretation of the meaning of the failure is at least reasonable, given that God does care for his creatures. As you say, that he bought a cheap car is more reasonable, and his interpretation may be just sunny-side empty optimism … but, at least it’s not *contrary* to reason.

They were basically trying to interpret Providence.
Divine Providence for secularists