Gods from Outer Space

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Gods from Outer Space

#1  Postby lpetrich » Jun 24, 2019 12:23 am

Transcendent Outsiders, Alien Gods , and Aspiring Humans: Literary Fantasy and Science Fiction as Contemporary Theological Speculation Author Ryan Calvey mostly discusses visual-media SF, and he concludes some incompleteness. After a section where he proposes "sane spirituality" as an alternative to both religious conservatism and atheism, he gets to his main business. "Sane spirituality" including liberal religion and New Ageism. I will add some categories of my own.
  • (RC) Authoritarian, judgmental, and punitive gods -- Gort in "The Day The Earth Stood Still"
  • (RC) Nice, friendly, and New-Age gods -- the wormhole aliens in Carl Sagan's "Contact", UFO-contactee Space People
  • (me) Aloof gods, involved with humanity, but not contacting us, and neither caring for us nor punishing us -- the black slabs in "2001: A Space Odyssey", HP Lovecraft's Elder Gods, UFO-abduction aliens and their acting like wildlife biologists
  • (me) Emergent gods, emerging from humanity -- the Cosmic AC at the end of Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question"
  • (me) Absent or nonexistent gods, with all entities more powerful than humanity being impersonal and nonsentient -- Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy

Ryan Calvey also discusses aspiring human beings, nonhuman characters who want to become human. Robots, supercomputers, magically animated statues and toys, holograms and other AI simulations, projections of other minds, assembled and cloned human beings, and extraterrestrial visitors. He gives us this hierarchy:
  • Transcendent outsiders
  • Human beings
  • Aspiring human beings
lpetrich
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