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Switch to Forum Live View Is there any issue in modern life than can't be reduced to a moral position without God?
9 years ago  ::  May 07, 2009 - 6:38PM #91
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,212

May 7, 2009 -- 8:57AM, Kiauma wrote:


My goodness, you are a devoted Atheist!  :)


I don't see that Atheist society is a given for most of his stories.  In contrast, I see that many of his characters are about an Atheist in a very religious society.   A significant amount of his stories do not reference religion at all, but those stories are simply not concerned with religion 



Been an atheist all my life.  Never saw a reason to change in spite of immersion in religious music, and a strong interest in finding out why other people believe the crap they have faith in. 


Very few of his stories are concerned with religion, but those that don't are written with atheism assumed for all the major characters.  When religion is mentioned at all it is as a odd affectation of some character.  Tolerated as perhaps a hobby would be, but of no importance to the stoty.  

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9 years ago  ::  May 08, 2009 - 4:39AM #92
Eudaimonist
Posts: 2,036

May 7, 2009 -- 6:21PM, Jcarlinbn wrote:

The book or the movie?



The book, of course.  The movie was Verhoeven spitting on the book.  (I've read/seen both.)


An interesting feature of the book was that you couldn't even vote unless you had completed a tour of duty in service of the society.


Interesting? I'd call it disturbing. I suppose the reason I asked my question is that I found the pro-military intervention, anti-warprotester messages in this book totally out of step with the more hippie-like Stranger in a Strange Land.


If you are talking about the movie, I didn't see it. And won't.


Wise move.  As much as I might disagee with Heinlein's political and ethical views in that novel, the movie was a crime.  No one should ever make a movie of a novel with the intent to spit on it.


Verhoeven had essentially called Heinlein a fascist, which I think is unfair.


eudaimonia,


Mark

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9 years ago  ::  May 08, 2009 - 10:47AM #93
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,212

May 8, 2009 -- 4:39AM, Eudaimonist wrote:


Interesting? I'd call it disturbing. I suppose the reason I asked my question is that I found the pro-military intervention, anti-warprotester messages in this book totally out of step with the more hippie-like Stranger in a Strange Land.


eudaimonia,


Mark 


 


As I am not a pacifist, or even against capital punishment (please don't revoke my atheist card!) none of it bothers me.  Since Heinlein was career Navy until TB interfered it is not surprising he was not against a just war.  


As for that gentle hippie in Stranger I can count at least 6 people who "disappeared" for doing things Mike didn't like including trying to convert him to a religion.  I thought the last was a bit extreme, but I can think of a few preachers that I would like to see disappear.

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9 years ago  ::  May 08, 2009 - 11:00AM #94
Kiauma
Posts: 27

May 7, 2009 -- 6:38PM, Jcarlinbn wrote:


Been an atheist all my life.  Never saw a reason to change in spite of immersion in religious music, and a strong interest in finding out why other people believe the crap they have faith in. 


Very few of his stories are concerned with religion, but those that don't are written with atheism assumed for all the major characters.  When religion is mentioned at all it is as a odd affectation of some character.  Tolerated as perhaps a hobby would be, but of no importance to the stoty.  




So you're saying religion is of no importance to stories such as Stranger, Job, 5th Column, Revolt in 2100, and the stories that don't mention religion are about Atheism?   They have men in them too - they must be about masculinity.  All of them.


You still haven't answered my question about the presence of  transcendent consciousness, psychic and telekinetic powers, life after death, and hierarchy of Angels all serving 'The Boss' in Stranger.  In point of fact, you seem to have completely dodged it.


Come now - you don't seem to have any trouble judging others - surely an opinion on that should be no trouble.   :)

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9 years ago  ::  May 08, 2009 - 4:47PM #95
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,212

May 8, 2009 -- 11:00AM, Kiauma wrote:


So you're saying religion is of no importance to stories such as Stranger, Job, 5th Column, Revolt in 2100, and the stories that don't mention religion are about Atheism?   They have men in them too - they must be about masculinity.  All of them. 



I specifically noted the above as being about and anti-religion.  The rest of his books are not about atheism, any more than a story about fish is about water.  The atheism is assumed as a basis for behavior and Heinlein felt no need to examine it.  But if you read the stories looking for moral and emotional justification for behavior, it is there if you look for it, you will find nothing that smacks of God or religious beliefs.  Lots of self reliance, duty to self and to others, the importance of self development for the betterment of humankind and a total lack of reliance on or praise for God.  

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9 years ago  ::  May 08, 2009 - 5:51PM #96
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,212

May 7, 2009 -- 8:57AM, Kiauma wrote:


Most disturbingly, is the transcendent consciousness, psychic and telekinetic powers, life after death, and hierarchy of Angels all serving 'The Boss' in Stranger.   Tell me JCarlin, how this is so 'Atheistic'? 



The transcendent consciousness, psychic and telekinetic powers, and life after death were based on the natural characteristics of the Martian Race.  There is no indication either on Mars or on Earth that any of these were mediated by God.  


From some of his other books and stories it is apparent that Heinlein at least entertained the possibility of latent ESP and telekinetic capabilities that are developable in humans.  One works ones ass off to develop them.  There is no indication that prayer helps.  Incidentally a recent Scientific American e-article notes that musicians sync brain waves.  If this isn't ESP I would like to hear your definition.  Oh, the SciAm article didn't mention prayer either.   


As for the heirarchy of angels serving Jubal, they were quite human, if extremely capable as all Heinlein's major female characters are.  As I remember all had children by the end of the book.  Sounds pretty human to me.  


The "Angels," Digby and others mentioned in the book are clearly a lampoon.  There is no indication that Heinlein had any belief in the reality of "The Boss" or the angels.  The whole angel sequence was a rip-off of Twain's Letters From the Earth.    


As for theistic themes,  I doubt that there is a God in Heaven, that wouldn't have a childish accident if Hesh overheard Mike say "All who Grok are God."

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9 years ago  ::  May 11, 2009 - 10:37AM #97
Eudaimonist
Posts: 2,036

May 8, 2009 -- 10:47AM, Jcarlinbn wrote:

As I am not a pacifist, or even against capital punishment (please don't revoke my atheist card!) none of it bothers me.  Since Heinlein was career Navy until TB interfered it is not surprising he was not against a just war.



I'm not a pacifist either. I don't have a problem with Starship Troopers regarding just wars.  My problem is that if you were a human living in the time of Starship Troopers, the only way you could vote against an unjust war would be to submit to a national service process where you might be forced to fight in the very war that you judged to be unjust.  If you were unwilling to do this, you would be a mere voteless civilian, and powerless to topple a corrupt government.


Is no one else disturbed by this?



eudaimonia,


Mark

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9 years ago  ::  May 11, 2009 - 6:45PM #98
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,212

May 11, 2009 -- 10:37AM, Eudaimonist wrote:


My problem is that if you were a human living in the time of Starship Troopers, the only way you could vote against an unjust war would be to submit to a national service process where you might be forced to fight in the very war that you judged to be unjust.  



eudaimonia,


Mark 



On page 143 in a discussion of a "History and Moral Philosophy" (mandatory) class in OCS.


Throughout history men have labored to place the sovereign franchise in the hands that would guard it well and use it wisely, for the benefit of all.  [snip failed examples]Under our system every voter and officeholder is a man who has demonstrated through voluntary and difficult service that he places the welfare of the group ahead of personal advantage




Assuming that you were old, wise and responsible enough to vote against an unjust war, you would have volunteered at 18 for a couple of years of national service, maybe or maybe not a war, but difficult and dangerous nevertheless.  You are discharged and now you can vote.  If at 18 you chose to chase the opposite sex and big bucks no problem, you just don't get a vote on any war just or not. You still can make the big bucks supplying the soldiers, you just can't vote on whether they should be spending the supplies in that way.   

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