Fantasy has its place

Discussions about holding onto your faith and beliefs, whether by staying LDS or by exploring and participating in other churches or faiths. The belief in any higher power (including God, Christ, Buddha, or Jedi) is true in this forum. Be kind to others.
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moksha
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Fantasy has its place

Post by moksha » Thu Feb 17, 2022 5:44 am

How many of you are fans of science fiction and fantasy writings and movies?

Okay, I've got my hand up. These writings and movies have brought joy to my life. Whether following the intrepid band of the fellowship through the depths of Moria, crossing the plains of the Land with Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, or watching the Severian travel back in time after drinking from the cosmic brook flowing through the universes, I have been a lover of these genres.

What if we extended this to religion and let its nourishing fantasy aspects enrich us while letting its harsh and commercial aspects drain off of us like water on a duck's back?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Fifi de la Vergne
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Thu Feb 17, 2022 9:15 am

I love this post, Moksha.

A friend told me she was struggling with Christmas after concluding that the Nativity story had very little basis in history. My response was that it is still a lovely story, and has as much meaning for me as A Christmas Carol or The Lord of the Rings -- neither of which is based on factual history. There is still truth and beauty in all three: the hope and wonder in the story of a birth; the renewal of hope in the story of a bitter, selfish old man who sheds his cynicism and opens his heart to his fellow beings, and the hope that great evil can be overcome by small, humble people who persevere against impossible odds.
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

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wtfluff
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by wtfluff » Thu Feb 17, 2022 9:48 am

<<< The ghost of L. Ron Hubbard has entered the thread >>>
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

The Beauty of Gray

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moksha
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by moksha » Thu Feb 17, 2022 2:12 pm

Hubbard seemed a bit of a hack, but his friend Robert Heinlein had some books that really captured my imagination. The Library of Congress named Stranger in a Strange Land as one of the 88 books that shaped America. Later on, they added 12 more to bring it to an even 100. On that supplementary list was the Book of Mormon and Slaughterhouse-Five, both of which I've read.

Bravo to what Fifi said.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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deacon blues
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by deacon blues » Thu Jul 21, 2022 3:27 pm

Coming to this late, but putting my two bits worth: LOTR is in my top five, and Stranger in a Strange Land is in my top 10. Ayn Rand affected me when I first read her stuff. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur Clarke are all favorites. I haven't been able to get into Harry Potter or Hunger Games as much.
Moksha's fantasy has a particular type of whimsy I have always enjoyed. :lol:
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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Just This Guy
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by Just This Guy » Thu Aug 11, 2022 10:49 am

I have been a huge sci-fi fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up on the classic Episodes of Star Trek TOS, before TNG started. Also watched the Star Wars moves MANY times as a kid.

Today, I have been working through The Expanse. Both TV show and novels. I am also working on Terry Pratchett's Disc World series.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Aug 15, 2022 10:44 am

As I exited TSCC and learned more about tribalism and the evolution of gods and religions, it changed how I saw a lot of the fantasy SciFi. Dune is a good example. Having read it back in JHS and HS, it was a total different experience than now. I can see the influence Herbert had in his life as he describes a possible far future for humanity. Basically cycles of letting machines take over, fighting back for human control only to relinquish it back to powers of tribes and religions. It's a cycle I would like too broken in my lifetime, but tribalism is very much wired into our genetics and it will be hard to break away from that and it will likely lead to our extinction.

Shows like Star Trek give us a future where we are mostly altruistic. But Dune, The Expanse, Raised by Wolves and others suggest tribalism will be with us long into our future. "Don't Look Up" showed us what we are living in right now. Shows like West World show our possible future struggle with AI, really not that far off from what we see today with digital social manipulation and data gathering, storing and individual digital profile evolution. Most humans are quite willing to give up freedom and support strong leadership that prays on their fears, bias and tribality world views. We love prophets and dictators, just look at our history. Watch the series "How to Make a Tyrant" on Netflix.

It's an interesting perspective, those of us that lived much of our lives under a lie and so much control, then escape it. It helps me empathize with people trapped in those institutions and systems, at the same time the anger against those systems and the harm they do to individuals and society. What's also interesting is that those folks stuck in a culty institution can watch movies that portray their very situation, only with a different name, but they can feel okay with theirs...because it's theirs! It really boggles my mind! But then, I experienced it. Anyone else experience this new form of cogdis? This fascination and head scratching with "How the hell did I ever believe all that crap?!"
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Hagoth
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by Hagoth » Wed Sep 21, 2022 5:44 am

All I know is if the Book of Mormon had spoken to me with anything like the power of 2001: A Space Odyssey, when I was reading both in 9th grade, I probably wouldn't be here talking to you folks today.

Same for Where the Wild Things Are in 2nd grade.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Ghost
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by Ghost » Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:11 am

moksha wrote:
Thu Feb 17, 2022 5:44 am
Severian
The Book of the New Sun is my favorite science fiction work. I don't read nearly as much fantasy as I did as a kid but I still read a fair amount of SF.

One thing I liked when I was in high school was Orson Scott Card's science fiction take on the Book of Mormon (the "Homecoming" series). It was interesting that he actually gave his characters some depth and motivations, in contrast with the shallow way everyone is portrayed in the actual Book of Mormon. Which made it confusing when my family got that Living Scriptures cartoon (only the free one, of course) that made all the Book of Mormon characters extremely cartoonish, with Orson Scott Card's name there in the credits.

(I liked many other OSC novels as well but that series seems most relevant to this discussion.)

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moksha
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by moksha » Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:42 pm

Ghost wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:11 am
moksha wrote:
Thu Feb 17, 2022 5:44 am
Severian
The Book of the New Sun is my favorite science fiction work. I don't read nearly as much fantasy as I did as a kid but I still read a fair amount of SF.
Gene Wolfe was one of the best writers with that series being his most outstanding work. Have you also read Urth of the New Sun?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Ghost
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by Ghost » Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:15 pm

Yes, I thought Urth was kind of an unnecessary sequel, interesting in parts and maybe a little too out there in others. Maybe I would feel differently were I to read it again. (It's been many years.)

I probably don't honor Wolfe's legacy as faithfully as I could, as I almost never eat Pringles.

Jack Vance's Dying Earth is another "series" that I'm fond of.

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moksha
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Re: Fantasy has its place

Post by moksha » Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:39 am

Ghost wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:15 pm
Yes, I thought Urth was kind of an unnecessary sequel, interesting in parts and maybe a little too out there in others. Maybe I would feel differently were I to read it again. (It's been many years.)
Urth of the New Sun seemed to tie everything together for me, especially because I read The Shadow of the Torturer and waited a year or more for each subsequent book to be released. Learned a lot of new words from reading Wolfe.

I almost didn't read it because of the title, but I randomly opened a page and read it and immediately realized the brilliance of the writing. I think Wolfe gets overlooked as the master writer of the 20th Century because he wrote science fiction.

Wonder if someone could weave this into religion since it involved the redemption of the Urth? If not a Christ figure, then Severian could be a Frodo figure.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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