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Gods and Spaceships: Religion and Technology in Science Fiction

  • Willie Morris Library (Meeting Room) 4912 Old Canton Road Jackson, MS, 39211 United States (map)

EVENT NOTE: VENUE HAS CLOSED DUE TO A/C OUTAGE, PLEASE DO NOT GO TO WILLIE MORRIS LIBRARY TODAY. We are attempting to find other venue or we may reschedule. We apologize for the inconvenience to all. Thank you for your patience.

Come join the Mississippi Humanist Association (MHA) for Gods and Spaceships: Religion and Technology in Science Fiction, an afternoon discussion of religion and science fiction with Patrick D. Hopkins, Ph.D. Dr. Hopkins will talk about the recurring theme in science fiction of advanced alien life forms or societies being hailed as gods. Dr. Hopkins will discuss science fiction's exploration of how people might assume a technologically advanced alien would be a god, with both theistic and non-theistic implications, with Star Trek and Stargate being examples.

Dr. Hopkins is currently Professor of Philosophy at Millsaps College and Professor of Psychiatry and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson MS. He has published numerous articles on bioethics, business ethics, neuroscience and law, and on the intersection between religion and technology.

The MHA is pleased to present this event free of charge and we hope you will make plans to join us! Please RSVP if you plan to attend, either via e-mail to mha@mshumanists.org, or at the events on Facebook or on Meetup, so we may have an idea of the number attending.

If you haven't joined the MHA membership, please consider doing so, as your interest and support is what makes events such as this possible.

By now, you may be asking yourself: What should I watch or read beforehand?

Well, there are a ton of examples, but in the interest of keeping this list manageable given the time allotted, we’ve narrowed it down to a few key episodes of Star Trek, a blog post, and one book.

These episodes of Star Trek can all be found on Netflix, if you don’t know anyone with the boxed sets.

Star Trek: The Next Generation. Season 1, Episode 8, “Justice.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation. Season 3, Episode 4, “Who Watches the Watchers.”

Star Trek: Voyager. Season 1, Episode 9: “Emanations.”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. There’s a lot to choose from, here, and I’m of the personal opinion that you should just watch ALL of Deep Space Nine, but here’s a few choice episodes dealing with the subject matter:

DS9: Season 4, Episode 17, “Accession.”

DS9: Season 5, Episode 10, “Rapture.”

DS9: Season 6, Episode 21, “The Reckoning.”

DS9, Season 7, Episodes 1, 2, 9, and 12 through 21.

You’re going to ruin a good bit of DS9 by watching just these episodes, as the “Prophet” episodes are rather important to the series continuity! I won’t say it’s ‘spoilers,’ though, since the show ended in 1999!

If you’d like a little general reading/watching on the subject of atheism in Star Trek, here’s a primer: A Guide to Atheism in Star Trek by Jacky Lawrence.

Finally, if you’d like a little suggested reading, Dr. Hopkins recommends “Calculating God” by Robert J Sawyer. If you’re using Amazon, I hope you’re using Amazon Smile!

Thanks, everyone! We’ll see you there.

Want to help: Download a flyer!

Earlier Event: September 10
MHA Second Sunday Brunch - September 2017
Later Event: September 20
MHA Humanist Happy Hour - September 2017