atheism

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by pole85, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. pole85

    pole85 First Technician

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    Has any churches or religious groups ever made a big deal about the fact that Lister and Rimmer are both atheist? just wondering :evil:
     
  2. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I don't think Lister and Rimmer have ever made "a big deal" out of it for that matter. Also isn't Lister a Pantheist?
     
  3. Baxters_Hooch

    Baxters_Hooch Supply Officer

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    The only time the show's ever really touched on it is in Waiting for God (I think that's the one) where Rimmer and Lister argue and Rimmer says he believes in Aliens not God. Other than that there's never really been much expression about it from either of them!
     
  4. pole85

    pole85 First Technician

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    i believe he as been referred to as both. It was barely mentioned on the show for either of them. just wondering if it had any impact
     
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    I don't think it's considered especially revolutionary for a science fiction show to present its characters as being without faith. The science part tends to lean that way. The only reaction one might expect is to the satire - but since the Cat faith has been explored only slightly within the show it's no wonder it never placed bit on the controversy radar.
     
  6. SixthDwarfer

    SixthDwarfer Supply Officer

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    The most religion we got were, ironically, the made up ones for the show. By that I mean the Cat people and the Church of Cloister the Stupid and Kryten and other robots devoutly following the teachings of the Electronic Bible.
     
  7. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I dont see why it should bother religious people that Lister is an atheist, or a pantheist ,or a frying pantheist for that matter:-), (although its all a bit contradictry ,hmmm) anymore than it would bother me ( a non religious person) The satire in Waiting for god doesn't actualy attack one specific faith, though some of the lines obviously hold some truths from real life events. personaly , i allways loved that episode (even if Rob and Doug dont) for the classic lines like -
    LISTER: This is terrible, holy wars! , killing !, they're just using religion as an excuse to be extremely crappy to each other.
    TALKIE TOSTER: So what else is new ? and
    LISTER: Im not a god ! i've just been... misquoted. great lines :-) Also in better than life, the news reader talkes about the missing page from the Bible. 'If genuine it belongs at the beginning of the Bible and is believed to read -' to my darling candy, all characters portrayed within this book are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead are purely coincidental'- the page has been universally condemed by church leaders' Now, that is not actualy a million miles from the truth. when the Bible was first 'translated' into english, the church leaders were under a lot of legal pressure to include such a page (apart from the 'to my darling candy' bit,obviously ;-)) i wont go into my personal thoughts on that as i really dont want to offend anyone.i will allways respect peoples religions and beliefs as long as it doesn't effect me or others in a negative way. i have muslim, christian, buddhist and a Quaker friend and i doubt that any of them would be offended by any of the above RD lines, thats not to say that there are not some that would be. but my mother is friends with a priest who loves the simpsons, especialy the religious jokes,so it just goes to show that one shouldn't expect all religious people to be so anal about everything or expect us to agree with all of what they say. nor should we expect religious folk to not have a sense of humour. don't get me wrong, i know all to well that there are some...well okay a lot who get way to preachy and often lean towards dictatorship and discrimination (which , for me,can never be ignored), but as with most things in life it is usually the ones with the more extreme views that tend to shout louder- thus stand out more and ruin it for the majority of people who use religion to better themselves and to help others.
     
  8. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I had allways thought it to be a much later legal issue, i hadn't actually ment to say 'when the Bible was FIRST translated...' i shouldn't of said that (T'was a genuin mistake) but i will really have to check my sourses and if i am wrong then i sincerly apologize to you and everyone else reading this forum :eek:ops:
     
  9. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I HAD heard/read of Aelfric, but dont be too impressed, im certainly no expert (obviously ;-))
    im trying to find one of the books where i got this information from. i have a friend who will point me back in the right direction though. im fairly certain that the subject of legal issues with the Bible was also coverd in a tv documentry, but again, i cant remember which one at this point. ...God (no pun intended :-)) im being no help at all am i ? i dont think it was 'who wrote the Bible' or any docu's as recent as that. DAAAGH its really bugging me now...need to be 100% certain or im gonna feel like a total goit !

    *head explodes (kryten style)*
     
  10. Baxters_Hooch

    Baxters_Hooch Supply Officer

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    Both of those are quite critical of religion as a concept I reckon... maybe Rob and Doug are also atheists? I am an atheist btw, I don't think it's a big deal but some people do.
     
  11. goldy_T_O_T

    goldy_T_O_T Deck Sergeant

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    And you had to open up a can of worms. I think the show is perfectly fine with out expressing as to what exactly people believe and how. Its fine the way it is and universally it’s a show any one can like and laugh at. Then there's the Canadian show called Little Mosk on the prairie. A show that tries to be funny with loads or religious over tones but fails miserably. But I wonder what its even still on the air? :P
     
  12. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Frankly I'm bored to death of Richard Dawkins writing book after book after book on how there isn't a God and paying for adverts on busses to ram it down people's throats. His preaching is as annoying to me as any "thouh shalt" religion has ever been and he's become in a very real sense the real world incarnation of his good friend Douglas Adam's creation; Oolon Colluphid.

    I'm glad Red Dwarf doesnt feel the need to discuss the issue or preach about it, just as I'm glad the show has never had to awkwardly focus on race. The times when Red Dwarf has made religious statements such as the Cat episode they've been handled as mere statements of empirical fact (i.e how religion can be twisted as an excuse to be extremely crappy to each other) and left at that.

    I'm happy for that to continue.
     
  13. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    Um...you know that's not ALL his books are about, right? (And also that you don't have to read them. He's still outnumbered by sales of the Bible regardless.) God or no God, evolution theory is fascinating, and The Blind Watchmaker is an incredibly accessible step-by-step through the process.

    That's ridiculous. The Monty Hall problem's just a basic bit of statistics. You're talking about a type of person, and the idea that ALL hardline atheists are of one disposition is as insulting as saying that all those with faith are stubborn morons.

    Sometimes using the facts isn't an excuse. The idea that atheists who prosthelytize are doing it strictly for ego and the need to be right is like saying the same of all Christians who seek to spread 'the word'. The record is clear, in that faith has seen all manner of cruelty and persecution in its various names. Knowing this, saying so, and seeking for it to not happen isn't automatically a cover story for some obsessive need to be in the right.

    But since faith doesn't make everyone happy - or good - and often makes them the opposite, and since there's no shortage of street preachers and religious buildings, isn't espousing atheism only a balancing act within the culture?

    I don't think there's a single atheist protestor who genuinely thinks that the problem is that people 'don't get' evolution. Ignoring the fact that evolution's not massively complicated to follow as a concept, it's not an intellectual, smart-versus-stupid conflict at all. I've no idea how you can boil it down to "You mean you don't GET evolution?!" Comprehension isn't close to being the key issue.

    It would be fairer to say that the person being told the Monty Hall problem totally understands the logic of that problem...and then tells you that it's not true. They understand it, there's no problem there, but now they don't want to buy into it. Because, while it makes sense, it doesn't FEEL right to them.

    But since that analogy still somehow hinges on intellect, I'd say it was still an unbalanced way to look at it.
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    No, the record is absolutely clear on the amount done 'in the name of'. How many religious wars? How many persecutions of populations and genocides? And that's before you smaller and look at the drowned witches, the murdered gays, the women executed. You might know some lovely religious people - I certainly do, and they're far from rare - but the book of religious history is written in part, and unquestionably, in blood.

    Tally up the number of deaths brought about in the name of one god or another. Not saying it's the only thing, nor the worst thing (though there's an argument for that), but that's too large to ignore or dismiss. Certainly it's legitimate to cite as a reason why mankind's faiths aren't necessarily beneficial to the species.

    And yes of course tolerance is the answer. To pretty much everything in life, really. But it's not just the atheist hardliners who need to be taught that. Arguably, they're last in line, since they're not the ones protesting funerals of gay men or planting bombs.

    I think you're ignoring a lot of historical and contemporary religious strife here, but also the fact that faith isn't simply marking teams in these conflicts. A population raised on strong belief becomes easier to manipulate. While leaders may only be after territory or power, the populace that allows them to take it - that helps them to - is persuaded. And in many instances their faith aids in that manipulation. Shawn of that palliative, it's arguable that many violent conflicts would have been harder to make happen. A population apathetic to faith is less likely to warmonger than one that that takes having a god on their side seriously.

    And, in small groups, the same is true. Nobody ever burned a cross on a lawn thinking that god had no role to play in it.

    More than that - they are encouraged to do so. A non-Christian President doesn't get elected in America, and that's a very mild example. Laws drawn from religious texts are, in general, anti-democratic and anti-equality. The faith IS the country in many parts of the world. And that's extremely dangerous.

    To campaign an atheist agenda includes an insistence that religion should not govern a population. That's a massively reasonable point. If you don't want to eat pork, fair enough. To lock people up for doing it isn't on.

    Who needs to write a book arguing that poverty is bad? That apathy is dangerous? (And let's not miss the irony that arguing the atheist case is categorically anti-apathy, anti-status-quo, and a campaign for understanding over uncertainty. Apathy is one of the things that allows misunderstanding and misinformation to grow, and allows church and state to grow together.)

    The motive 'Let's not allow a mythical deity to justify our cruelty and murder' is hardly spurious. I can't see how that argument, on its merits, makes anyone look bad. "You should have more facts and clear choice" isn't being mean to anyone.

    Sure. But offering up facts and information that contradict what a person many believe isn't the same as dictating their life choices. That's not oppression. Governing to a faith your population has never been able to question is.

    Telling people that they should look for evidence in life, to drawn their own conclusions from the facts available, is not an act of cruelty. It's what they teach on school every day.

    Wrong. Entirely wrong. There are a huge number of evolution scientists working in the field who also consider themselves creationists. And they have a perfect grasp of the theory. There's a difference between the myriad forms of creationism and the All In Six Days story.

    Plenty of believers will present coherent arguments. And that has to be respected, even if I've yet to hear and argument for proof. No, not every creationist is failing to understand something.

    What is dangerous, what is sad, is those who didn't know they COULD question. And that's where the atheism protest begins. Because not every child is raised to believe they can work it out for themselves. They are presented with whatever god as a pure, unquestionable fact, at an age where it becomes almost hardwired in. Facts that cannot be questioned - where, even subtly, the very act of questioning is considered sinful or blasphemy.

    Under those circumstances - and it's not just heavy-duty, on-the-nose, 'Carrie' stuff I'm talking about, I'm referring just as much to the understated and insidious, the kind of cultural rearing that made our great-grandparents think different of blacks or homosexuals despite considering themselves broadminded - it's not hard to argue that the presentation of a wider viewpoint is a moral duty.

    Some people fear hell because they've never realised they don't have to. That it's a choice. Bad enough that such a fear - rather than an interest in your fellow man - drive your actions. But at least you should elected for that to be the case.

    We'd never call a baby 'Republican' before it became old enough to chose its political opinions. But 'Christian children' are born every day. They didn't get a choice in that. But in their growing years they will come to a set of cultural values that come from that starting point rather than an open one. Again, it's not unreasonable to suggest that this is unfair fair to the child. And so long as faiths use the 'but if we don't start them out right, they'll go to hell' method self-perpetuation, it's not something they themselves are balancing. As such, outside influences have a duty to.

    This is a very good analogy. But, really, I don't think it's fair to suggest that simple infuriation is the reason there are objections.

    (This is an interesting discussion, by the way. I hope it's not mistaken for anything more. The debate interests me and is worthy of exploration.)
     
  15. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Whilst i agree that SOME atheists can be, at times, unnecessarily rude, nasty and even preachy, from my own experiences, i've seen more discrimination from SOME religious folk. i have personely seen a gay friend in floods of tears after being told that he is a sinner and has some kind of mental illness that needs to be cured !!!. My best friend knows a couple who were literaly dissowend by their own familys, for being in love and deciding to live together without signing that ever so popular legal document (marriage certificate). A man in a town (crewe) near to where i live, stands on a box, preaching at people in the street,( aparently im going to die if i dont let a certain someone into my life) lovely ! Unfortunatly it is behaviour like this that leads to some of my own friends being discriminated against, even though they,themselves dont believe or interpet their teachings in that same twisted way. it sometimes seems like a visious circle to me. obviously there are good and bad in all walks of life. and maby even a bit of both in us all, but as i have said i have allways respected peoples beliefs unless they PERSONELY effect others in a negative way. and sadly SOME often do. I agree that religion has been wrongly blamed,in some ways, for certain conflicts, but its impossible to ignore the fact that many terrible things continue to happen directly because of religion. whether it be extremist christians bombing abortion clinics or Bin Ladan claiming to be carrying out his 'religious dutys' , although i supose the latter could be seen as more of a manipulation of a religious comunity, as has been mentioned .


    I shan't go back to the legal issues of the Bible, as its irrelevant to the discussion ( as is, possibly, much of this post) and to peoples rightly entitled to,beleifs. i know i may have seemed like i was taking my self too seriously before, but id just hate to think that i could've given out some false information.
    Anyway, on a lighter note ( A minor to be precise :-)) I have not read The curious incident of the dog in the night, so was wondering, if this monty hall problem is similar to that scene in Jim Hendesons LABYRINTH with those funny two headed creature things guarding the two doors? i love those two guys:-)

    please feel free to ignore that last bit;-)
     
  16. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Yes.

    Your right that most people don't have to read them. I actually do as it happens but that's another matter. It's not that what Dawkins writes isn't extremely well argued and intelligent, its more, as JMC says, that he seems to be one of those people who is almost evangelical in trying to convert people to atheism.
    Personally, I find that as repugnant as religious zealotry. If people want to believe that the world is composed entirely of blue triangles and build a religion about it it doesn't bother me and I certainly wouldn't see the need to put up adverts on bus shelters decrying it but then if I was part of the church of blue triangles I wouldn't feel it necessary to shout about it either. That's just me.

    Yes. Although the author of the Bible only felt the need to write it once...well apart from the new testament where it all gets a bit schizophrenic :-)
     
  17. Baxters_Hooch

    Baxters_Hooch Supply Officer

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    I think I fully agree with everything you just said (possibly ignoring the last bit!). The way that hard-line religious folk treat people of other persuasions and beliefs can sometimes be disgraceful and really has no parallel outside religion. But at the same time, it is important to recognise, as you do, that that's only a small percentage and most religious folk are perfectly good people.

    This is obviously an interesting conversation but it looked dangerously close to turning into an argument earlier which isn't good on a forum about Red Dwarf. Let's not be like the hard-liners of either side, let's all be nice to each other!
     
  18. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Yes, I believe the original posters question has been answered anyway. the answer was "no".
     
  19. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    I have absolutely no idea what you mean by this. Sir, you fascinate me!
     
  20. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Just that dreaded "w" word that the Cat is so afraid of in Queeg. I suppose I don't technically have to do that either...although to go down that road would be getting all free-willy, and I never much liked movies about Killer Whales :-)
     

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