Thursday, 7 January 2010

Beware of Mind Control, not Science Fiction

Things like this make me very angry indeed. I was directed to this link, a page stating BEWARE OF SCIENCE FICTION, which has a good old rant about books. Now, I like a rant about books now and again, but this made my blood boil.

The article talks about the negative 'anti religious' aspects of some of the finest works of speculative fiction that have ever been produced. It talks about Isaac Asimov being an atheist and how this is a bad thing, yet they don't take into consideration his Jewish upbringing. He was not ignorant of religion in any way, shape or form. In fact, Asimov wrote a Guide To The Bible once upon a time.

He was a learned, massively intelligent man who was not confrontational about his atheism- he simply didn't believe. I would love to have seen a response from the late Dr Asimov, the author of 470+ books that took in fiction, science, mathematics and all manner of other subjects, to this ill-conceived article.

The piece goes on to point out that people like Robert Heinlein, Gene Rodenberry, Carl Sagan and so on were all promoting atheism. They were not so much promoting it as stating a personal opinion, much like I'm doing here.

My personal opinion is that the use of the phrase 'evolution IS the pre-eminent science fiction' at the end of the article is extremely patronizing. I do not have a problem with religion. I have a problem with religious people trying to convince us that whatever doctrine they have been forced to learn parrot-fashion is in fact the One Truth, or whatever. I have a problem with articles like this, belittling the work of geniuses and peddling nonsense in the face of bare, honest fact.

It is articles such as these that continue to cast religion in a negative light. There are millions of intelligent, rational and faithful religious people all over the world that do not share the views of oddball evangelists, and it is those people that ultimately suffer from this sort of thing. Religion is not wrong, it is simply not to some peoples' taste.

Beware science fiction? No. Beware being brainwashed. Science fiction opens minds- it doesn't point them in a negative direction. Science fiction, in particular the work of the classic writers mentioned in that article, created works of imagination, fiction that took a look at the present world and put contemporary (at the time) situations into a fantastical setting, in order for the reader to take a fresh look at a current malaise or way of thinking, and how to build a better society for everyone. Hello? Sound familiar?

1 comment:

Chris Bowsman said...

My hope is that more and more of that nonsense is lost with each succeeding generation, and that our descendants will eventually think stories like that are more far-out then the most speculative of our fiction.