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November 29, 2020, 06:22:56 PM
News: 2020 Election day live thread: https://talkelections.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=409870.0

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  Why the hell is there so much scientism and futuristic dressings in US religions
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Author Topic: Why the hell is there so much scientism and futuristic dressings in US religions  (Read 370 times)
PSOL
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« on: November 15, 2020, 03:32:12 PM »

There is seriously a lot of science fiction elements in American religions that it’s kind of odd. From alien civilizations to focus on new technology to be “right” and be a good x, it’s weird.

Firstly the acknowledgement of alien civilizations. In the frickin 1830s, Joseph Smith foretold of numerous worlds with inhabitants each with their own god. In the 1830s, it was in the colonized world that something so modern became vital to explaining our surroundings at a cosmic level compared to Europe. Then we get things like Urantia and several others foretelling of aliens, beings not from earth and explicitly stated to be from outer space, impacting our day-to-day lives. Then in the Golden Age of SciFi, we get UFO religions like Scientology.

It goes beyond aliens though, then there is scientism trying to say that it is indeed scientific™️ to believe in a given faith. Look at the E-meters of Scientology, the attempts at intersecting and ending conflict w/ science and religion in the New Age scene, and the New Thought saying the mind is totes in charge of matter.

If there is any reason why the US has such a big hard-on for sci-fi s••• like Star Wars or robots in Wall-E or whatevs, it’s because of our care for the future and what it may look like. It’s the care for having a rational and scientific explanation better than the religions of old based on false magic. Even religions who incorporated these elements from outside The USA are partially inspired by religious happenings and pop culture from here.

The question, however, is why? Why is SciFi such a big thing in the United States that it gets into religious dogma in the 1830s with no previous material to work with?
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True Federalist (진정한 연방 주의자)
Ernest
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 05:34:50 PM »

I would posit that the fact that we inhabited a New World that had been entirely unknown to the Old, made us more receptive to the idea that there could be other words with sentient life.
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PSOL
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2020, 08:31:32 PM »

I would posit that the fact that we inhabited a New World that had been entirely unknown to the Old, made us more receptive to the idea that there could be other words with sentient life.
Ok, but down in Mexico and other parts of Latin America SciFi isn’t very big. Canada also doesn’t have much in the way of a SciFi scene independent from the United States.
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True Federalist (진정한 연방 주의자)
Ernest
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2020, 04:35:52 AM »

I would posit that the fact that we inhabited a New World that had been entirely unknown to the Old, made us more receptive to the idea that there could be other words with sentient life.
Ok, but down in Mexico and other parts of Latin America SciFi isn’t very big. Canada also doesn’t have much in the way of a SciFi scene independent from the United States.

Canada doesn't have an independent Anglophone culture from that of the United States.  At most, it's a regional subculture, like Southern literature is a subculture.

Latin America went more for magical realism, which to a large degree reflects the syncretism of Catholicism and native religions.
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PSOL
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2020, 07:31:43 PM »

I would posit that the fact that we inhabited a New World that had been entirely unknown to the Old, made us more receptive to the idea that there could be other words with sentient life.
Ok, but down in Mexico and other parts of Latin America SciFi isn’t very big. Canada also doesn’t have much in the way of a SciFi scene independent from the United States.

Canada doesn't have an independent Anglophone culture from that of the United States.  At most, it's a regional subculture, like Southern literature is a subculture.

Latin America went more for magical realism, which to a large degree reflects the syncretism of Catholicism and native religions.
Ok, but why is these elements big here? We managed to take in very superstitious immigrants such as rural Irish and South Italian communities that are both very spiritual and superstitious in believing in minor spirits and having strong folkloric tradition.

Why did it emerge so early in the 1830s when advances in Astronomy and Psychology much bigger in western and Central Europe with far more religious contact and urbanization increasing the need for Scientism.
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True Federalist (진정한 연방 주의자)
Ernest
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2020, 10:28:42 PM »

I would posit that the fact that we inhabited a New World that had been entirely unknown to the Old, made us more receptive to the idea that there could be other words with sentient life.
Ok, but down in Mexico and other parts of Latin America SciFi isn’t very big. Canada also doesn’t have much in the way of a SciFi scene independent from the United States.

Canada doesn't have an independent Anglophone culture from that of the United States.  At most, it's a regional subculture, like Southern literature is a subculture.

Latin America went more for magical realism, which to a large degree reflects the syncretism of Catholicism and native religions.
Ok, but why is these elements big here? We managed to take in very superstitious immigrants such as rural Irish and South Italian communities that are both very spiritual and superstitious in believing in minor spirits and having strong folkloric tradition.

Why did it emerge so early in the 1830s when advances in Astronomy and Psychology much bigger in western and Central Europe with far more religious contact and urbanization increasing the need for Scientism.

Europe was more likely to seek to replace religion with science than seek to improve religion with science.
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Senator tack50 (Lab-Lincoln)
tack50
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2020, 05:16:37 PM »

I would posit that the fact that we inhabited a New World that had been entirely unknown to the Old, made us more receptive to the idea that there could be other words with sentient life.
Ok, but down in Mexico and other parts of Latin America SciFi isn’t very big. Canada also doesn’t have much in the way of a SciFi scene independent from the United States.

Canada doesn't have an independent Anglophone culture from that of the United States.  At most, it's a regional subculture, like Southern literature is a subculture.

Latin America went more for magical realism, which to a large degree reflects the syncretism of Catholicism and native religions.

Magical realism is really only an artistic movement though? (most prominent in painting, as well as in certain writers, most notably Gabriel García Márquez)

I actually did stucy magical realism a bit in high school; but it was on my Spanish literature classes and was described as just a literary movement whose biggest representative was Gabriel García Márquez (and indeed it also involved watching the horrible movie adaptation of Crónica de una Muerte Anunciada, though my brother instead did actually read another of his books in class: Relato de un Náufrago)

Not a religious thing though.
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Cassandra
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 08:15:52 PM »

My seat-of-my-pants theory is that the creation of a new society in the new world gave European culture a sort of "reset." Christianity emerged from a very, very different cultural climate (being pre-modern). By the time of the founding of the US, Europe had undergone the enlightenment. Now "progress" became the guiding ideological framework of the age, with science and technology dazzling the masses. In the virgin soil of North America, these ideas could influence the development of new religious movements much more directly than in the old world.

Why don't we see the same developments in Latin America? I have no idea. But, I would wager that the dominance of the Catholic Church has something to do with it. There was no governing religious body to snuff out heresy in the United States.
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Cath
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 08:58:19 PM »

I don't know that we can separate any of this from the fact that America is a new nation, so any religion arising in it was, by definition, to do so in a context radically removed, temporally, from the situation in which most other religions arose.
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Gulf Coastal Elite
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 09:35:31 PM »

Several of the religions you are referring to (Scientology, New Age stuff) arose either shortly before or shortly after we sent a man to the Moon — like, the Moon, in the sky, the thing that a lot of much older religions considered to be a god? We had a guy go walk on it. Of course anything springing out of that is going to have a high place for scientific progress.


(Img src: U.S. government creative work)
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PSOL
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 09:54:41 PM »

Several of the religions you are referring to (Scientology, New Age stuff) arose either shortly before or shortly after we sent a man to the Moon — like, the Moon, in the sky, the thing that a lot of much older religions considered to be a god? We had a guy go walk on it. Of course anything springing out of that is going to have a high place for scientific progress.


(Img src: U.S. government creative work)
What about the rise of Mormonism and the alien mythos in the 1920s?
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