Faith and TV dinners (was: DETOUR)
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 22:50:16 +0000
>There was a time not too many generations ago where what we are doing now
>would be a flight of fancy good only for cheap pulp SF magazines.
>What you dimiss out of hand today might be tomorrows dejourity.
Sure. Even so, there is a difference between
science fiction and science. I have nothing
against flights of fancy, works of fiction,
speculative science, fantasy, etc. But there's
something deeply wrong when someone puts
geology and Tolkien's middle earth on the same
footing, or Star Trek and physics. And that's
what religious believers do. The precise
difference between an atheist like me and a
religious believer is that I take their mythos
as just one of many others, where they want to
elevate theirs above all others. That is not
an act of imagination, or even of suspended
disbelief, but of faith.
Revelation came close to being excluded from
the canon. There are other imaginative and
eschatalogical apocrypha, but people are
enraptured (hee, hee) by Revelation rather
than Baruch precisely because the former is
IN and the latter is OUT. There is an
experiment for you. Ask Christians if they
believe Revelation belongs in the Bible.
Then ask them if Baruch does. Then ask them
why the first is and the second isn't. See
if the answers indicate that they are
imaginative consumers of eschatological
myth, or that they simply adhere to the
selection that some church council set down
many centuries past.
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