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God in the Whedonverse

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  • God in the Whedonverse

    This is an interesting article, I think. So, Joss Whedon doesn't have faith but he wants to? And he creates a fictional world where people try to be good or to do good because he doesn't see it happening in the real world?

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  • #2

    I am not a trained person in all these things of faith, mind, sciences, or those disciplines that give flower to a great deal of “thinky” or beauty here.

    I understand positions of the “rabid atheist” for personal and political reasons, and therefore, I can easily admire Joss * in his writing * with regards to his general choice of the horror genre, including the tools of tragedy (everything dies) and “comedy” (life is pain/pain is life.”) Horror also has “agenda” in story telling.

    I also feel Joss is very flawed because he is a cynic and, while “touting free will over all else” he is rather rigid when it comes to those things that “mark” a person and actually shape that free will he treasures above all else in that such marks can (even subconsciously) control the perceptions of available choices.

    “Marks” are consequences, imposed or accepted, and “demand” one to giving power (and service) to such “marks.” Some may even be biological that do make many struggle against even false perceptions of said biology by using science to help/heal; or in political assertions of power.

    “Marks” shape “free will” altogether, and may be collectively described as operating “the human condition.” The nature of “circumstances” also can have a kind of control that is called “consequence” which does exist beyond one’s own power and ability to exercise all possible options of “free will.”

    Because I feel that Joss is a cynic, I can appreciate the idea of Joss “wishing” he could have faith that there is a God/god/Goddess/goddess—it is almost “natural” to the human condition to even need to imagine “something bigger” since, even in the scope of the microscopic, it seems most things are “bigger.” God may be in the category of “more” as well. I also fully accept things that are not “visible” to the naked eye and do exist and have the power to shape and even control our choices and very lives…pandemic much?

    As I said, Joss believes in one two things: “life is pain”—which necessarily in equal terms means “pain is life;” but also in “everything dies.” And, he would say that this is not actually “bad” or “evil.” But the rigidity of the ‘rule’ that “everything dies,” is immutable.

    For anything to exist beyond the structures of the universe in time and space, have not provided “proof” beyond death itself, as “no one” has “reported back” with tangible evidence of more than the brain using all its capacity, in struggle, to avoid (final) death that science does “explain” has its process/processes, but still, will, eventually, be unable to “surmount” the reality: everything dies.

    Also, to live, one is absolutely forced to “move forward” or one will die, eventually. One is unable to remain unchanging (as a human being) as this is antithetical to actual survival, eventually.

    To survive “forever” as the idea of “not changing” avoids the “problem” of “everything dies” in time and space, both, but is also the dimension called “hell.” Heaven seems to be a fleeting thing on earth, and therefore, again, faith that some ‘forever’ heaven requires imagination, maybe, beyond earthly powers to comprehend as having existence that doesn’t become just another description of the “hell” of “no change” aka “boring!”

    In the idea of “Energy and matter processes, in the purest form, of one becoming the other, without loss of either, I am content with ‘never’ having answers that “totally” explain “what happens” to the “energy” of, for example, “imagination,” itself capable of making ‘leaps’ within brain processes and functions in completely new ways, physically and ‘emotionally.’

    First, we don’t have “perfect conditions” for energy/matter transformations in absolute terms—we’d be light, perhaps. But “conscious” light? Further, “measuring” these processes in human beings, with absolute accuracy is not yet possible, and, frankly, is generally considered “unethical” (and horrifying to do even to animals).

    Those things that “shape” a person’s choices in some kind of ‘limitation’ of ‘knowing what to see’ is inherently “dangerous” to the * powers * controlling the “status quo,” and thus, such “consequence” requires greater acceptance of pain over pleasure in order to make “change.”

    God becomes an absurdity in a “system” that itself is absurd.

    Either God, is A. indifferent to his own system; or B. is a monster for “not changing” the absurdity of the system. Therefore, inside or outside of the ‘system’ that “exists” as it “exists” seems to require some leap that isn’t “tangible” or “provable,” or worse, some self imposed ignorance –the man has an ego and likes being right, even if he isn’t always “righteous”—or perhaps, one could say, some “fanciful wishing” for something “’not this’” in “why things are the way they are.”

    P.S. I am keeping this article for, like, EVER! Thanks for sharing it, so very much!
    P.P.S. I forgot that my own defintion of "cynic' is someone who is an idealist, but takes the cowardly, self-protective position of not believing in his own idealism.
    Last edited by sybil; 29-06-20, 09:07 PM.


    • #3
      Hmm, I usually love this sort of topic but I found the article difficult to understand, maybe written in a wordy form I'm not used to, a lot of the sentences didn't make much sense to me. But Joss's own understanding does and didn't need explanation in order to be understood. His work shows his views clearly, it is the way most at in current society want to see God. A mystical, fantasy, perpetually forgiving, non intrusive or offensive God that fits perfectly in his own ideals and rules and doesn't forbid nor support anything. Joss writes in attempt to understand creation.

      As I said, Joss believes in one two things: “life is pain”—which necessarily in equal terms means “pain is life;” but also in “everything dies.” And, he would say that this is not actually “bad” or “evil.” But the rigidity of the ‘rule’ that “everything dies,” is immutable.
      sybil I think you just summed it up well there and are spot on the money, better than the article does. You provide the core misunderstanding that Joss has. In the bible, Satan brought death to this world, had Eve not eaten the fruit, then, human kind would never have faced pain or death. Death is not God's doing but the doing of those who mistrusted him. Death was brought into the world via Evil, but death itself offers the hope of true life.

      Shepard Books words on faith show a maturity that was missing from Joss's earlier work. Joss wants Faith but cant put his own intellect aside to give it a chance to flourish. Questioning is normal and reasonable, blind faith is dangerous, but some things can be accepted as simple as they appear. His hope is that there is an end to pain, a space of peace, without having to abide by the rules and standards set by religion.

      It may be a mistake for me to engage in this topic at this point personally as I am at a time when my own understanding is evolving,and I am not in a position to explain it clearly. It seems to be the wide spread misunderstanding that God rules this world, when in its blatantly obvious that Satan does. God saves those who see the world as it is and seek him for relief from it. There are rules to the universe, to creation, many of which are easy to observe in the natural world, but the corruption muddies the waters and humanity ends up in a state of confusion with no hope.

      Joss trying to figure this all out through his work was one of the elements that made his work appeal to me. As a teen, I didn't want to conform to religious rule, but without it, the world did not make sense and hope was lost. I believed in a Creator, but like Joss, didn't want to live according to creation and questioned religion instead of feeding faith.


      • #4

        You are a very brave soul, if you beliee in "souls" of course--emphasis on your bravery.

        When it comes to confusion about God, I would most certainly consider that people have been questioning the question in the most “who,” “what,” “when,” “why,” and “how” forms to give some sort of explanation to one’s very existence, the existence of “the other,” and the purpose, and, thus, the “meaning,” to these questions that provides some form of “answer.”

        Because I see that every answer to God and the universe is explored through the elements of symbols, the only result can be through symbol “languages.”

        I do, however, consider the sources and resources of people who begin any sort of focus on these questions and, generally, feel that most “take on” ideas or principles from religions (dogma, even), culture, trusted “historical” sources, and even the use of “rebellion” against the above. For example, I can’t say I have met a Hindu or Jain who lives by these principles and behaviors “out of themselves” without having “inquired” or “rebelled” against Judeo-Christian interpretations of that social order that is inseparable from culture itself, considering questions of a creator or of the source of “evil,” or even (worse), the “presentation” of ” facts” regarding “the female” in all of them, so far in my focus or POV. One even speaks of the “western” or “eastern” outlook.

        Therefore, I believe that Joss as a *rabid * atheist, suggests that “the fear of death” and literal “non-existence” is behind securing this form of “explanation” for hope, or even for fuzzy types of “satisfaction” that “something” beyond the self, beyond this “plane of existence” or is “omnipresent” in all of it.

        The human animal is “wired” for self preservation, survival; and the human brain has great difficulty of absolute ‘non-thinking’—like “’don’t think of the pink elephant in the room,’” (when alive). Therefore, there is mathematical symbol language that is descriptive with, for example, this: ( ). I have seen absolute white canvases, purposely painted as such, of course, of “no thing” trying to do the same thing.
        But even that symbol showing nothing brings a “name” of nothing, or “no thing” within that “set” of descriptives.

        However, I have learned that humans allow or simply “don’t know” how to “save everyone” within their “circumstances” and efforts to choose ways of surviving and “making sense” of their own * reactions * to them. (Dolores Huertas was an untreated bi-polar or manic/depressive activist for farm labor, and had “roots” of deep faith in Catholicism, who literally had absolutely nothing other than 4 children she had dragged around with her in the middle of nothing in the middle of a desert. (Her husband had the rest of the children and was no better off). She literally was dragging herself across the ground in trying to hear some answer to her ‘confusion’ and decided to build a church on that spot, beginning with a piece of tin roofing. I will never forget that woman needing “answer” so much and do not speak of humans requiring God to “give” a person hope or comfort or “answer”—even if I simply find such “answers” as organized “psychology” to just “feel better” or not quite so “fragile” or even facing “the work” of the isolated self making the best possible “connections” within and without to that self and to all others, and all ‘things’ that comprise reality, including “responsibility.” (And that means, one must keep on “becoming” and “learning lessons” with the knowledge that even the tools being used are not perfect, nor are ‘conclusions’ immutable. I just can’t accept a god or the ‘devil’ as some (dualistic) explanation to anything and is also “why” I enjoy Joss’s display of “paradox”—two things that are opposite, yet “true” coexisting in “space,” at the same “time,” for however long (forever moment) that has no “space” or “time.” Why? Because it is “full satisfaction” and yet “never boring.” What people hope for in ‘heaven’ as a ‘place’ without ‘time’ or ‘space.’ (Eventually?)

        I have to live with the reality, comfortably or not--that after death, anyway—of finding out any version of I was just ‘wrong.’

        Further, I appreciate the “journey myths” as “satisfaction” and is why I loved the “Odyssey”—even though Ulysses was a typical “horrid” male of his own times, moved through different times, yet ‘recongnizeable’ for his need to “search” for “self” and finding “home.” yet brought into ‘these times’ of demands for actual autonomy for all that are the foundation to truer equality, (IMO). It ends with “accomplishment” that Joss most certainly shows Buffy doing in literally having “danced across “death” (the goddess Kali is a reference Joss also uses/d) and “continuing to learn lessons” on the path of her life. This myth defies most myths, ending in tragedy, as the cost of obtaining insight to the actualized self is losing it all the moment of gaining it. Buffy survived. She did NOT get that “third death” I waited for in her “becoming” story to “achieve” adulthood. Start season eight with ‘ye olde fairy tale’ castle! In Scotland! With her “clan” of “Amazon warriors;” (actually in history, wiped out—see Ilium/Troy—other than the belief a few ‘blondies’ on the Steppes are DNA-wise possible “Amazons”—we are literally in the “troubled” romance of a castle, in Scotland, like some version of “unfulfilled or traumatic childhood,” aka “Wuthering Heights” and “showing” Xander and Dawn, both * humans* (Dawn was literally “too big for her britches”) actually do the ‘achievement’ of adulthood that Buffy, to me, didn’t.

        Touting one’s “ego” in the ideas of “belief” is often “the problem,” as I truly believe “compassion” is answer to “how to believe” and how to find real “empathy.” Dolores Hueras taught me that in regard to *rabid * atheism, which rather drives my ‘horror’ within the concept of ‘the oppressed become the oppressors.” See “prohibition,” see ERA, see reactionary “creationism,” see merrily walking “backwards” to the “comfort and stability” of “white power, ultra conservative Christianity in a country touting itself with ‘no one is above the law’ and ‘all MEN are created equal, except those who are women, LGBQT, of any color or standing that isn’t ‘white, judeo-christian, male, and any sort of autonomy as basis of simple respect, in times of increasing ‘proof’ of economic, social, cultural, legal inequality, etc. Was that “beating about the head” too much, when you actually didn’t do “anything” wrong in expressing yourself? THAT is the problem with “my conclusions.” HA!

        Like I said at the start: YOU ARE INDEED BRAVE! And THANK YOU!! MUCHLIEST!