The concept of religion and the changes in it.


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Diego
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The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by Diego »

Greetings. I thought I would come back and just talk a little bit about some of the things that I have been reading. I am currently in a Star Trek book that discusses the issue of what is ultimately real, and how religion has to change when dealing with an entire universe, and the nonhuman species within it.

Of course, the interesting thing about the Dune universe is the fact that there do not appear to be nonhuman intelligent species, except for the worms themselves. So for that reason, religion would be radically different than it would be in Star Trek.

Anyway, my ultimate question here is to ask each of you what you personally believe would happen to religion in a future where people go into space. This is not per se relevant to any science fiction series, Star Trek, Dune universe, or anything else. The relevance is simply what each individual here might be thinking. I would very much like to see your responses when you are able to make them. I hope to hear from you all soon.
georgiedenbro
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by georgiedenbro »

Diego wrote:I am currently in a Star Trek book that discusses the issue of what is ultimately real
Assuming you mean 'factually true' when you say "ultimately real", then presumably any religion that make a point that is factually accurate it wouldn't have to change when we encounter new things. Any points a religion makes that are factually incorrect (or simply incoherent) will either be contradicted at some point or else will become impossible to believe rationally. That won't stop some people, of course, but it helps when something begins to actually look stupid, like people who deny scientific facts.
and how religion has to change when dealing with an entire universe, and the nonhuman species within it.
I don't know that it has to change, necessarily, but as Frank mentions in the Dune appendix it likely will. Or at least some religions will. In Simmons' 'Hyperion' series there is likewise a lot of shifting in future religion but the old ones do still stick around, albeit in smaller numbers. Another thing you might consider is that the non-human species may be discovered by us, but also may be created by us. In Dune there are already non-human intelligent species that are artificial, most notably the Tleilaxu, but there are probably others as well.

Religions currently seem to be a conservative force in the world, usually at odds with modernism/postmodernism and on the side of offering resistance to new ideas people get with the advent of new technology. But at some point maybe there will be new religions, or splinters of old ones, that become technologists rather than Luddites such as we have now. That would be my prediction about the next major religious change we'll see. Such a religion may even center around trans-humanism, which is another topic covered in the Hyperion series. Current religions seem focused on the human person such as we've known it for ages, but as soon as significant human modification begins to happen there will be a niche for a new religion based on augmenting the human body.
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Apjak
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by Apjak »

The future will be splinters of reform. and I think Frank Herbert would've agreed.
Every messiah I studied in history was a reformer and for good reason. Jesus wanted to reform the Rabbinate. He had a belief that it had become corrupted. The biblical movement had become corrupted. The same is true of Mohamed. He was a reformer. Zoroaster was a reformer.
Each of these individuals obviously was charismatic. Charismatic leaders are dangerous because people don't question them. They see the obvious thing that the charismatic leader is saying that this needs reforming. So they fall in the line behind the charismatic leader. And as I say, even if the charismatic leader is absolutely right and perfect in all of his judgements, eventually you get a power structure which accumulates, like filings accumulating in a magnet, all around the polarized places in this power structure.
I think the next step will probably be the splintering and reforming of certain "Scientific" movements into different philosophical dogmas. Especially as we get into less and less testable theories, see: in and beyond quantum mechanics. Maybe one day we'll have something like the "church" of the holographic simulation of reality.

Just remember:
All proofs inevitably lead to propositions which have no proof! All things are known because we want to believe in them.
I don't think the author should make the reader do that much work - Kevin J. Anderson
We think we've updated 'Dune' for a modern readership without dumbing it down.- Brian Herbert
There’s an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money(energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give. - Frank Herbert
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Freakzilla
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by Freakzilla »

georgiedenbro wrote:In Dune there are already non-human intelligent species that are artificial, most notably the Tleilaxu, but there are probably others as well.
I don't agree that the Tleilaxu are non-human. They're genetically tailored but they can still mate with humans, specifically the Bene Gesserit. If i were to consider any group to be non-human it would be the Guild Navigators, but they still originate from human stock.
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georgiedenbro
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by georgiedenbro »

Freakzilla wrote:
georgiedenbro wrote:In Dune there are already non-human intelligent species that are artificial, most notably the Tleilaxu, but there are probably others as well.
I don't agree that the Tleilaxu are non-human. They're genetically tailored but they can still mate with humans, specifically the Bene Gesserit. If i were to consider any group to be non-human it would be the Guild Navigators, but they still originate from human stock.
I guess what I meant by 'non-human' is that they are genetically quite far from ordinary human, even if they have some kind of sexual compatibility. Even the BG apparently couldn't make sense of their DNA, the way it was constructed. At the end of the day 'human' could be defined as being either (a) genetic drift/differences of a certain amount, or (b) physically having a difference appearance, such as different body shape, limbs, etc. There have been pre-human homonids on Earth with which we share many characteristics (like chimps, even) but the difference (DNA and visual) is enough that they are clearly different species. But even some ancestor like homo erectus is a separate species in the strict sense.

But I guess more so than the DNA aspect, I was thinking of it in terms of physical body structure. If a 'human-type' being was engineered that had four arms and wings, would it really make sense to call that create human any more, even if it was somehow sexually compatible with a human? Even animals like horses and zebras can breed with each other, so I don't think that should be the determining factor. I was also thinking of 'creatures' like chairdogs and wondering whether other such creations were made that were more intelligent. The old Empire people would go apeshit if they saw a totally engineered intelligent life form, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. At least, we're shown that they have the technology to make it exist. In the Scattering we have Futars who I think are explicitly hybrids of humans with something else (I forget what). In terms of the Tleilaxu I suppose my inclination is to assume that since they can change their shape at will that they don't conform to what we would call 'human anatomy.'
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Freakzilla
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by Freakzilla »

georgiedenbro wrote:In the Scattering we have Futars who I think are explicitly hybrids of humans with something else (I forget what).
Felines
georgiedenbro wrote:In terms of the Tleilaxu I suppose my inclination is to assume that since they can change their shape at will that they don't conform to what we would call 'human anatomy.'
This applies to Face Dancers of course, but not the masters. They are obviously human.
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georgiedenbro
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by georgiedenbro »

Freakzilla wrote: Felines
Thanks!
This applies to Face Dancers of course, but not the masters. They are obviously human.
Right. I should have specified.
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Freakzilla
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by Freakzilla »

I tend to think of the Face Dancers as biological robots, tools of the Masters who are the real Tleilaxu.
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georgiedenbro
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by georgiedenbro »

Freakzilla wrote:I tend to think of the Face Dancers as biological robots, tools of the Masters who are the real Tleilaxu.
I think they thought of them that way too. That is, until it was too late to realize they had progressed beyond that.
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distrans
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by distrans »

In 2010, Hawking co-wrote a book with Leonard Mlodinow, titled “The Grand Design.” In the book, he wrote: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” In an interview with ABC News, he said: “One can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, but science makes God unnecessary.”
georgiedenbro
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by georgiedenbro »

distrans wrote:In 2010, Hawking co-wrote a book with Leonard Mlodinow, titled “The Grand Design.” In the book, he wrote: “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” In an interview with ABC News, he said: “One can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, but science makes God unnecessary.”
Tell that to Ship.
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distrans
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Re: The concept of religion and the changes in it.

Post by distrans »

:D

"There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win, because it works."

https://www.alternet.org/16-stephen-haw ... ing-quotes
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