At 08:58 AM 10/07/2001 -0700, Merriss wrote:
>Ha! Maybe someday. Unfortunately I would think it is
>as hard to debunk something that is based on blindness
>and the unprovable as it is to prove the basis for the
It is not hard to debunk religion to religious people -- it is impossible.
Another tack is required.
>Santa CLause and Easter Bunnies and Great Pumpkins
I actually think that is the answer. Storytelling. Fight meme with meme.
The VR story I am working on at the moment is actually one of a series. One
of the later episodes concerns a woman who programs a virtual world which
she populates with artificial life. The creatures in the computer develop
intelligence and consciousness with the help of a bit of unnatural
selection that she designs. However when she returns to look in on the
experiment after a while she is dismayed to find that the creatures have
developed a rather strict and fundamentalist religion which requires that
they all worship their creator.
She is very embarrassed by this so she makes an appearance to them as an
avatar to ask them to be kinder to each other and to point out how
insulting to her such religions are. She tries to tell them that she is not
so small-minded and insecure as to want them to worship her. All she wants
is for them to live happy lives. Sadly this has the opposite effect to what
she intended. The priests condemn her as a blasphemer and try to have her
'cleansed' (destroyed). One of the creatures that she had chatted with
about morality and commonsense ends up being ritually impaled on a spike
tree after he tries to talk sense to people.
At this point she becomes quite disgusted and has nothing further to do
with such revolting creatures. She considers deleting the virtual world and
re-starting the program, but refrains when she realises with interest that
increasing numbers of atheistic creatures are living "good" lives. She
leaves the experiment to run its own course -- she might look in on it
again sometime in the distant future.
You can argue with religious people until you are blue in the face and get
nowhere, but if you can use a story to help them understand how insulting
religion would be to a god if it did exist, then maybe you have the
beginning of change.
Anybody who feels like writing it as a script for the episode, be my guest.
I won't be able to pay anything unless the technology proves itself and I
can sell the shows. I was intending to write most of this stuff myself, but
I am not really a great writer... Damien? Russell? Otherwise I shall just
do as originally intended.
Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association http://www.vr.org.au
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