Battlestar Galactica and the Human Condition

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Tom Brown just left the following comment on my Moral Luck in Battlestar Galactica post. Despite many serious spelling errors, I thought it was an excellent comment, so I'm highlighting it in a post of its own.

The reality of Battlestar Galactica's characters is that there is no differecnce between Cylons and Humans. They're both sentient beings. Both are essentially human and human counterparts. Resolve this point and the storyline comes into a clearer view. The difference lies in their belief systems about each other and themselves. The differeces between them could, like one post stated, be like the difference between Nazis & Jews or Slaves and Slave Masters or or any other oppressor / opressed group but with an in teresting twist. Consider this: Give an oppressed group the power to nearly annihilate their oppressors who barely escape extinction. Throw in the mix that both oppressor and oppressed have strict black and white beliefs about the opposite group and you have the conflict of the Cylons and Humans in Battlestar Galactica. Then make it interesting by developing cracks in each group's belief system regarding the other group - then what happens? Moral Cylons emerge...or possibly Christian Cylons emerge lining their actions up with their beliefs regarding their one true God? Humans loving Cylons? Humans and Cylons working toward reconciliation, healing and forgiveness and peace where they both celebrate their similarities and differences? Maybe. Maybe not. Both groups are fragile in their character and potential for both evil amd good, herosim and despotism and everything in between these continuums. The genious of Battlestar is that it holds us to a mirror revealing us for who we really are as humans and our human nature - in that our character is on a continuum influenced by belief, experience, circumstances both in and out of our control, our thoughts, feelings and our choices. We're not as good as we think we are and we're maybe not as bad as we think we are in regard to moral comparason of each other and ourselves, hence moral fragility. In this light everything seems somewhat subjective and relative. Objectivity or relativeism in moral character comes in who we compare ourselves to. If it is to each other and ourselves it is relative, subjective and fragile. If we compare ourselves to something or someone much higher than ourselves who is perfect and unchanging in character or nature it shows that although we all may work within a moral continuum of good and evil we're all basically the same or at least in the same boat regardless of the belief system we attest to. Battlestar precicely points this fact out even if we don't want to see it this way because we want clear cut heros and villians. We all fall short. We're all capable of great acts of both good and evil just like Cylons & Humans. Who then do we compare ourselves to to get an honest perspective about human nature? Probably to something beyond humanity. Probably to something within the Christian (possibly Cylon) worldview regarding Good and Evil, sin and redemption and the perfect nature of God in comparason to our pendulum swinging, changing nature on the continuuma of good and evil, sin or redemption in the light of free will to choose life or death.

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some good. Jeremy Pierce (Parableman) highlights an excellent comment left on a post about BattleStar Galactica highlighting the differences between the Cylon and human (and comparing the monotheistic Cylons with Christianity).... Read More

Mornink Lings from Pseudo-Polymath on February 28, 2006 10:04 AM

Link roundup for Shrove Tuesday. ... Read More


excellent. especially in light of this weeks episode.

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