• Olivia wrote a new post, Religion and Battlestar Galactica, on the site Skepchick 5 years, 10 months ago

    There’s a lot of overlap between nerd communities and skeptic communities. one of the reasons for this in my opinion is because a great deal of fantasy and sci fi takes a clear all or nothing approach to religion. […]

    • I would hate to give you too many spoilers, if you aren’t into the later seasons, so stop here if you don’t want my opinions to color yours. I agree with you though, the early seasons handle religion surprisingly well.

      But the religious aspects of BSG go rapidly downhill, becoming both increasingly important and very arbitrary. I think it would have worked if we understood more, but all the various things that happen keep getting tossed up as part of a ‘plan’ that isn’t just unfeasible, but absurd. It leaves you wondering “Why should it be this way, of all ways?”, and rather than reflecting either the mysterious nature of a God or God-like being, it just starts to seem like a way for the writers to cover up for not knowing where to go.

    • I was so excited at the end of the first season, and then the second season happened, and I felt like they went in the complete opposite direction from what they set up in terms of religion on the show. I hope you do another article on this after you see it because I’d love to read your own opinion.

    • For a great take on religion in science fiction I recommend an older show, Babylon 5. The writer, J. Michael Straczynski is an outspoken atheist, and wrote very compelling religious characters. Further, the religions of various alien races were very important to the overall story line. The late 90’s costumes, set design, and special effects may be a bit off-putting at first, but the story holds up very well. Just avoid reading anything about it, it’s a five year story, planned from the beginning. Spoilers are bad.

      • “The late 90?s costumes, set design, and special effects may be a bit off-putting”

        PFFFT

        At the least, it stands up pretty well to the present day, thankfully. Great show.

      • YES! I love BSG, but for the treatment of religion I would agree that B5 is simply outstanding.

    • The Dune series does a lot of interesting stuff with religion and the supernatural. Like the group of women who’ve been seeding messianic myths all over the galaxy to prepare for the Ubermench they’ve been breeding–but these women are actual sorceresses. Later there’s a god-emperor who is a huge prescient worm.

    • I really enjoyed the complex portrayal of religious belief on BSG, it becomes even more interesting as the seasons progress I think. And it doesn’t show atheists or believers in a consistently positive or negative light.

    • Then stuff got heavy in terms of real-world allegory involving religion when they shoehorned the BSG universe into what would eventually become Caprica.

    • Ronald Moore, who developed the series and wrote most of the episodes was also involved with Deep Space 9, another Sci-Fi show that explored religion and spirituality. To good effect, IMHO.

    • I want to say things about BSG and religion, but if you are only on the first season, I don’t want to post spoilers.

    • Season 1 was certainly the best one, and everything you wrote is highly agreeable when measured up to it…
      But you just GOT to come back when you are finished the series, and, er…..update us on any possible changes to your views 🙂

    • Wait, what?

      Avatar is a terrible movie, but there’s nothing spiritual in it. It’s all weird science.

      Also, prepare yourself to be disappointed towards the end.