Religion and Science Fiction

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Religion and Science Fiction

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/religion-extraterrestrials-jesus-save-klingons/

Here is an interesting article that has been posted before, but I think it needs more discussion as religion relates to science fiction.

If we, the science fiction community, want to create real alien worlds then I wonder if we’ve represented the role of religion in alien worlds a disservice. If we consider how dominant religion is in our lives and our history, then it is likely that aliens could be effected in the same way. Notice I used the word ‘could be’ because there may be aliens that have NO religion. I’ll leave that debate for another day.

In science fiction, the ‘other guy’ is often depicted as aggressive, warmongering or bloodthirsty. If we assume a similar motivation to us, why wouldn’t the alien civilizations be driven by their religion.  How often do we depict the invading motivations driven by religious fervor? Or regarding the aliens being invaded, are they vulnerable because of a peaceful religion that drives them.

I think science fiction could do more depicting alien motivations to be from a religious perspective and acknowledge that it might be their only motivation. In my series Gemini, the protagonists are a peaceful race of aliens that are driven by their religious beliefs; a religion that about them, for them and somewhat exclusive of the possibility of others. By simply asking a question, they are attacked and forced to deal with an invasion from another planet, which ultimately proves much of their religion wrong. They could either reject reality and go back to their religion or change it to include what is real.

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2 thoughts on “Religion and Science Fiction

  1. Sci-fi could depict religion more. I find it unlikely that any culture would have no religion if you look at the broad and complete definition of how religion functions in a culture. It can be a description of things/events that are invisible to the eye of not easily understandable (I.e., to give rhyme & reason to seeming chaos). It can also be a form of government chastising those behaviors deemed undesirable (unhealthy for the clan/culture) and rewarding/supporting those behaviors that are good for the self or clan/community. Every civilization has this, yes?

  2. Also, historically, how frequently is religion a sole motivation for the action of any civilization. It’s more frequently been an altruistic excuse to justify war/large scale community sacrifice/exploration in the pursuit of wealth and power.

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