Having watched the faithful defend their religions - against atheists and other faiths - I'm struck by the resemblance to Star Trek fan debates. What, I ask, is the difference? A sample:
For me, there is no obvious behavioural difference between arguments about Star Trek and those about the scriptures of mainstream religion – except perhaps that the former franchise has better character development, a more egalitarian ethos, and more up-to-date philosophical conundrums.
Both franchises use stories to explore morality, politics, ontology; both combine make-believe with the desires and anxieties of real life; both are money-making enterprises which have at times compromised intelligent writing for marketability. (I say this as a Star Trek fan.) And most importantly, both franchises see many of their devotees defending dubious narratives, by refusing to step outside the fictional universe, and give worldly explanations for literary contradictions or inconsistencies.
The point is not that religion is therefore a fiction; that this comparison constitutes definitive proof against the Christian bible, Muslim Koran or Jewish Tanakh. The point is one of rational questioning, and the doubt this promotes. (Or ought to.)
Can the faithful give good reasons why their apologetics are any different to those of Trekkers?(Photo: DeziDesire)