Science Fiction and Faith

Joseph Otterstrom, Northeastern State U
“Limitation of the Finite Mind: Why SF still embraces Faith”

family watched Battlestar Galactica all the way through
daughter watched end where Pres. Adama lives out life in peace and said, “I don’t get it.”

This is a problem within sff and comm
Many times our sff shows delve into faith (irrational/illogical thought) and we lose our audiences.
But it’s a continual pattern.

Eureka… most serialized of dramas.
Christmas episode ends with maybe there is a santa claus

B5 Sheridan coming back to life…

Clear example and interesting twist on these tropes
Battlestar Galactica

Look at it through Campbell’s functional def of mythology

Battlestar Galactica polytheistic v monotheistic religion is subdued to faith

Irrational/unknowable but can still experience

The Alien Messiah … creature/character/person suddenly comes forth and saves us all
Starman, Luke Skywalker, Terminator movies
This awakens the sense of awe and reminds us that the impossible is possible.

Not the messianic figure found in each…
How we as an audience connect to the opposite of the messianic figure. The person who undergoes the journey of faith.

Not just AI, but Artificial conscious
Further validation of moral argument

Current state of AI and AC
Intro to AC depictions
Context: conversation on science and spirituality
Models (deptictions in science, sf and theo)
Examples of AC in sotries/movies
3 laws of robotics
intro to moral argument (Lewis)

Kurzweil 2006 The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
Chappie, human consciousness downloaded into robot
Our Final Invention: AI and the End of the Human Era, Barrat 2015
Musk and Hawking–dangerous
“Robots Can’t Dance” Carstensen
“Why SF helps engineering”

From ORU, 2015

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