Do science fiction and spirituality blend well together?

Do science fiction and spirituality blend well together?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 61.5%
  • No

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Maybe So

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • ?

    Votes: 2 15.4%

  • Total voters
    13

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
5,083
Location
Edinburgh
A broad definition of spirituality would be useful here - are you talking purely otherworldly - as in a belief in spirits/higher power/supreme being(s)?
Or meditation?
Or would you include ways of interacting with the world around you from other people to nature? I am thinking of humanism, of Bill and Ted's "Be Excellent to Each Other", of vegetarianism and veganism, of believing that nature is to be protected? (Or it is all there to be exploited by man - that too is a belief, though not one I like.)
Well, the literal dictionary definition of spirituality is:

"the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things."

It's a broad church and can be applied to many things.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Supporter
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
18,712
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
One thing we need to remember is that part of the strength of sff is the space for a reflective mirror, and that means spirtuality absolutely has a place in the canon. If we can't explore and, sometimes, challenge, then why are we here? It's not all for the blasters and thigh-high boots, surely? I wrote Abendau as much about exploring my own concept of existentialism as I did anything to do with space opera.
 

Montero

Senior Member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
2,908
Location
Up the clum
Well, the literal dictionary definition of spirituality is:

"the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things."

It's a broad church and can be applied to many things.
Watched "Pride" the other year (and re-watched it) and there is a lovely scene where one of the striking miners wives sings a folk song with the punchline of "Give us bread, but give us roses".

I think that defines spirituality for me - feed the body and the spirit.
 

Dan Jones

Der Vater absurder Geschichten
Supporter
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
3,244
Location
I am here to do the thing!
I can't think of a single genre of book that isn't compatible with exploring questions of spirituality, religiosity, and the big questions of human experience.

In fact SF seems in some way to be uniquely placed to push these questions farther than most genres; it can ponder whether these questions change over time as we reach far future scenarios, or whether they are replaced by something else, or whether, for all the advances in technology and endeavour, there are ancient truths that are so deeply embedded in our biologies and behaviours that no matter how many light years we travel, we cannot extricate them from ourselves?
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
25,396
Location
UK
Babylon 5 has strong spiritual themes, especially in terms of Minbari and Naarn philosophy, not least the concept that we are all the universe experiencing itself. And that's before we get into more overt plot elements, which I won't mention because I know one active member has just started watching it now and I don't want to post spoilers. :)
 

Montero

Senior Member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
2,908
Location
Up the clum
Yes. The Centauri are not what you'd call spiritual.

I do love the religious conference episode. Especially Delenn's expression on a couple of occasions.
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
3,776
Yes, BSG used it as the guiding principal for their journey, but it tended not to feature too heavily in the episodes.

DS9 used it far too much towards the end of the run, and the show finished poorly and disappointingly.
 

Guttersnipe

mortal ally
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,065
Location
Cloud Cuckoo Land
To paraphrase astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, there is something poetic and spiritual about knowing that we are made of stardust. If it works with science, it should work with science fiction.
 

Justin Swanton

Loving the view from up here.
Supporter
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
741
Location
Durban, South Africa
My own take is that 'spirituality' has become such a vague word, used for so many different things, that it no longer has any meaning. If "spirituality" is used to mean "preoccupation with religious beliefs and their practical consequences" then my answer is yes.
 

bretbernhoft

Bret Bernhoft
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Washington
I'm pleased to read all of the responses to the original question about whether science fiction and spirituality can mesh well together. I've been giving this query more time in my own mind, and I'm quite certain the answer is "Yes". Spirituality and science fiction can and do go well together.

What I currently exploring, is how the social sciences have made sense of sacredness in digital environments; in simulations. As well as how technology is used in a spiritually significant way by anyone, past or present.

What I've found is that countless users of technology and readers of science fiction understand that tech/tools can be spiritual, in some way for them. The trick now is for me to understand (more generally speaking) how this occurs for most people who experience "it".

In other words, I am seeking to understand the larger narrative of how science fiction and technology are spiritual for so many people. When I come to a clear answer, I will share within this forum.
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
1,787

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
3,776
Some of the questions I think related to spirituality ' what is our reason for existence', 'what happens when we die' and 'are we alone in the universe' I think are pretty much fundamental to scifi.
 

Similar threads


Top