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A Deconversion Rant In Doctor Who


SquareOne
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Hi everyone

 

(Warning: spoilers for Doctor Who Series 7!)

 

There was a great episode of Doctor Who this week.  Beneath the sci-fi adventure visage there was a strong anti-theistic message running through the programme, which I was really able to enjoy as an ex-Christian.  I do not know about the religious background of the episode writer, but it seemed he had written in a very powerful deconversion testimony, or at least an anti-god message.

 

In essence, the story was about an alien world, in which a ten year old girl had been raised to learn all the memories of her culture; with the purpose of being offered as a human sacrifice to a powerful being called the Old God.  The Old God was supposed to be the originator of all life.  It demanded this sacrifice as appeasement to keep it asleep, and stop it killing everyone in its solar system.  (It appeared as a huge fiery gas planet with a skull-like face!)

 

Matt Smith as the Doctor had a couple of wonderful moments.  One where he spoke to the little girl, Merry:

 

 

“It’s not a god.  It’ll feed on your soul.  But that doesn’t make it a god.  It is a vampire, and you don’t need to give yourself to him.  Hey do you mind if I tell you a story, one you may not have heard?  All the elements in your body were forged many, many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded, and died.  That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space.  After so, so many millions of years these elements came together to form new stars and new planets, and on and on it went.  The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings.  Until, eventually, they came together, to make you.  You are unique in the universe.  There is only one Merry Galell.  And there will never be another.  Getting rid of that existence isn’t a sacrifice.  It is a waste.”

 

To me this felt like a rant against the way in which children's lives are snatched from them by religious dogmal forced into devotion of a being that isn't really a god, but is just a parasitic machine taking away their life, metaphorically if not literally.

 

Later, the Doctor had a rant against the Old God itself.  He spoke about his own memories to show how much bigger he was than this being, and try and overwhelm it.  Whilst it contains some geeky Who-lore, I think this rant also encapsulates the notion of how much bigger the universe is, and human experience is, than petty gods.

 

rings-akhaten-doctor-vs-old-god-300x168.

 

“I will tell you a story.  Can you hear all these people who lived in terror of you and your judgement?  All these people whose ancestors devoted themselves, sacrificed themselves, to you... can you hear them singing?  Oh you like to think you’re a god.  You’re not a god.  You’re just a parasite, eaten out with jealousy and envy, and longing for the lives of others.  You feed on them.  On the memory of love and loss and birth and death and joy and sorrow.  So, so, come on then.  Take mine.  Take my memories.  I hope you’ve got a big appetite.  Because I have lived a long life.  And I have seen a few things.  I walked away from the last great Time War.  I marked the passing of the Time Lords.  I watched the birth of the Universe, and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained: no time, no space,  just me.  I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by a madman.  And I watched universes freeze, and creations burn, I have seen things you wouldn’t believe.  I have lost things you would never understand.  And I know things, secrets must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken, knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze, so come on then!  Take it all, baby!  Have it!  You have it all!”

 

rings-of-akhaten-doctors-memories.jpg

 

Did I mention how much I love Doctor Who?

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Guest Babylonian Dream

It is a fascinating and strange scifi series. I had to take a while to understand it though. I loved the episode where time stopped because Dr. Who's death was prevented. That would be an odd scenario. Though if time stopped, they wouldn't have been moving around. They too would stop, right?

 

I agree though, this does seem to be an interesting nonstimony/extimony type message. At least it seeems like it could be one.

 

I do think that I agree though. Religion is such a waste, not just of life, but of the amount of culture it consumes and claims as its own, thereby depriving us of the creativity we'd otherwise be expressing.

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It is a fascinating and strange scifi series. I had to take a while to understand it though. I loved the episode where time stopped because Dr. Who's death was prevented. That would be an odd scenario. Though if time stopped, they wouldn't have been moving around. They too would stop, right?

 

I agree though, this does seem to be an interesting nonstimony/extimony type message. At least it seeems like it could be one.

 

I do think that I agree though. Religion is such a waste, not just of life, but of the amount of culture it consumes and claims as its own, thereby depriving us of the creativity we'd otherwise be expressing.

 

Oh I know which episode you mean.  Yeah - that one made no sense whatsoever!  All episodes don't make sense to a greater or lesser degree -- you have to just let that go -- it's not really supposed to be realistic -- the point is the characters and the message -- and I loved the message in this one!

 

Maybe this episode will speak a positive message to children about their unique quality, and that they don't have to be slaves to old religions.  We can only hope!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QesdgJ73Y34

 

I think this really slams the whole spectrum of Judaism right here....

 

On a side note, "This is your freedom. Freedom to die. You're going in to that black hole, and I'm riding with you."  <----On my grave marker.

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I saw that doctor who last night, but half way through I turned the sound down and was busy on the internet.

 

Dude the ending rant was ace!  Pah.  Fancy not devoting 100% of your attention to the Doctor.  For shame!

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I haven't watched much Doctor Who, but this sure is an awesome post. I have watched a couple of episodes that I saw on TV that I thought were really good. Based on what I have seen so far and what you have described makes me think it's a show I could definitely get into.

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I saw this ep. Those parts were fantastic. I watched it with my wife, who still believes. She didn't say anything, but it's hard to miss the anti-theistic message. She probably interprets it as applying only to "false" religions. -_-

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I love Doctor Who like crazy.  I don't know what to make of this last episode though.  That monologue that we're focusing on here was a definite bright spot.

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