Scott Westerfeld Forum

Scott's Books => Uglies / Pretties / Specials / Extras => Topic started by: Bea-la on May 18, 2011, 09:23:57 AM

Title: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 18, 2011, 09:23:57 AM
It seems as though Uglies implies that religion is going to die out, that there is no such thing as gods and stuff like that..... What are your opinions?  I mean as a Christian I wasn't offended by it, because I can kind of see religion "dying off" in the future.  (WHICH WILL BE A HORRIBLE THING!!) But, it was kind of interesting.  It kind of makes sense that in Uglies they wouldn't believe in gods because they are so advanced that they would see religion as "Rustie".  Maybe it was people arguing about religion that caused fighting and ultimately led to the Rusty Crash. 

This may be a controversial topic for some people.  Still, let's just keep this as a laid back discussion  :)
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: tridecagirl on May 18, 2011, 10:06:55 AM
It makes sense. If you look at trends even today, organized religion is in a slow but steady decline. Likewise, as the world gets more technological, the existence of the supernatural (without proof) gets seen as more and more unlikely.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: haley-wa on May 19, 2011, 08:54:44 AM
i really hope religion doesnt die off
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Mara-la on May 19, 2011, 08:59:45 AM
It makes sense. If you look at trends even today, organized religion is in a slow but steady decline. Likewise, as the world gets more technological, the existence of the supernatural (without proof) gets seen as more and more unlikely.

Yeah... like, a few of my friends (and some family) go to church on holidays like Easter or Christmas, but that's it. As for me, I'll respect religion, I can understand people want someone to believe it, but I am not into it. I don't mean to start an argument by this, but the majority of people I know aren't religious and judging OFF THAT PERALISIS religion may die out.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 19, 2011, 10:12:09 AM
Yeah I mean most of the people at my church our elderly... there's barely any young kids or new members...
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: tridecagirl on May 19, 2011, 10:33:32 PM
As far as I can tell, religion serves three main purposes in society:
answers: People don't like uncertainty. And there's a lot of questions without answers in the world. Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? Where does lightning come from? (That one's been answered now). Religion answers (or tries to answer) these questions.

purpose: We want there to be a greater purpose in this world and the life. WE don't like thinking that we have no meaning. Therefore, religion provides one.

Power: In many societies, religion allowed authorities to control the thoughts and actions of the populace.

However, the Uglies society does not need religion because these three objectives have been met. Advanced science has provided most (not all) of the answers. Society plans out the extent of a person's life - their purpose is determined. Also, after 16 they're too busy partying to worry about philosophical matters. Finally, the city has perfect control over their people without bringing religion into it. THerefore, they don't find it necessary.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: haley-wa on May 20, 2011, 12:28:34 AM
i just think that they all have one big religion theyve all come to agreement on so they dont think it matters if they talk about it or not.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Shax on May 20, 2011, 07:50:08 AM
It seems as though Uglies implies that religion is going to die out, that there is no such thing as gods and stuff like that..... What are your opinions?  I mean as a Christian I wasn't offended by it, because I can kind of see religion "dying off" in the future.  (WHICH WILL BE A HORRIBLE THING!!) But, it was kind of interesting.  It kind of makes sense that in Uglies they wouldn't believe in gods because they are so advanced that they would see religion as "Rustie".  Maybe it was people arguing about religion that caused fighting and ultimately led to the Rusty Crash. 

This may be a controversial topic for some people.  Still, let's just keep this as a laid back discussion  :)
your theory is interesting   :)
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 07:59:06 AM
Also, as Andrew Simpson Smith says, the Specials are "gods" implying that, at least among his people, that is at least a primitive sense of religion.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 08:00:36 AM
Yeah I remembered that too. But, they were kind of forced into believing that.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 08:02:18 AM
But they specifically chose the word "gods" to descibe them. They could have chosen "rulers" or "kings", but they chose gods, implying religion.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 08:05:20 AM
Yes, but they kind of had "proof", if you know what I mean.  They saw the super natural abilities of someone above them and they were told by them that they were gods probably..... but, after that they followed through on it and let the religion cycle through their community without having to be consistently told "we are gods" by the Specials.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 08:06:40 AM
I don't think that the Specials told them that they were gods, though. Also, wasn't Andrew Simpson Smith the Holy Man of the tribe? That definitely implies religion.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 08:08:20 AM
Yeah.... maybe part of the research was to actually study religion.  That would be really interesting!
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 08:11:31 AM
Maybe... I dunno
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Hannah81239 on May 22, 2011, 07:22:37 PM
As far as I can tell, religion serves three main purposes in society:
answers: People don't like uncertainty. And there's a lot of questions without answers in the world. Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? Where does lightning come from? (That one's been answered now). Religion answers (or tries to answer) these questions.

purpose: We want there to be a greater purpose in this world and the life. WE don't like thinking that we have no meaning. Therefore, religion provides one.

Power: In many societies, religion allowed authorities to control the thoughts and actions of the populace.

However, the Uglies society does not need religion because these three objectives have been met. Advanced science has provided most (not all) of the answers. Society plans out the extent of a person's life - their purpose is determined. Also, after 16 they're too busy partying to worry about philosophical matters. Finally, the city has perfect control over their people without bringing religion into it. THerefore, they don't find it necessary.
As there are some aspects of communism is the Uglies society, yes, religion is not needed. They have complete control of their populations with the pretty operation and general equality. With purpose, I think that the people are too selfish and bubbleheaded to care about a purpose of their life that isn't enjoyment. The specials know that their purpose is to control the population and to protect the world. Therefore, Deca, I agree with you.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 09:52:05 PM
ALSO: If the tribal people can be considered religious, even if the hey thought of calling the Specials gods themselves, the seed of religious-ness was definitely planted in them on purpose. It's like Bokonism.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 09:55:43 PM
ALSO: If the tribal people can be considered religious, even if the hey thought of calling the Specials gods themselves, the seed of religious-ness was definitely planted in them on purpose. It's like Bokonism.
Yeah that makes sense....It could be that way for us too, someone could be telling us what to do with our religions... but even if they are it won't really last long. I mean the main populace right now practices Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and other smaller religions, none of these (I don't think) are stable enough to make the "transition" into the future.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 09:57:14 PM
If religion doesn't completely disappear, it will probably morph into some mass communal religion.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 10:01:29 PM
That would be weird, it would be called HindBudianity. :P

Random:  I just saw a guy at the store wearing a Wiccan shirt that said "Respect the Craft, Respect Nature".  Do you think a religion like that could survive.... even into the future and through the Rusty crash?
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Hannah81239 on May 22, 2011, 10:04:17 PM
If religion doesn't completely disappear, it will probably morph into some mass communal religion.
Yes, Universalism seems to be on the rise.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 10:05:30 PM
If religion doesn't completely disappear, it will probably morph into some mass communal religion.
Yes, Universalism seems to be on the rise.
Yeah, I heard somebody on the news talking about making a universal language and currency.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 10:12:32 PM
I think some guy tried that. Made up a whole language, with tenses and declensions and everything, but it never took off. Also, do you mean Universalism like UUs, or some other kind of universalism I don't know about?
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 10:13:26 PM
What do you mean?
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 10:22:16 PM
A. At one point, a guy tried to create a global language, but it didn't work.
B. Do you mean Universalism like Unitarian Universalism (which would be strange, because there's not that many of us) or some other religion?
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Hannah81239 on May 22, 2011, 10:55:07 PM
I think UU. Like, the belief that all religious paths lead to the same God. In Universalist places of worship, all religions worship together.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 11:35:53 PM
Yep, that's the UUs. We basically believe that everyone can believe whatever the heck they want.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Hannah81239 on May 22, 2011, 11:37:38 PM
WE? You're a Universalist?
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: tridecagirl on May 22, 2011, 11:40:34 PM
That would be weird, it would be called HindBudianity. :P

Random:  I just saw a guy at the store wearing a Wiccan shirt that said "Respect the Craft, Respect Nature".  Do you think a religion like that could survive.... even into the future and through the Rusty crash?
It has a good chance. Wicca is descended from the earliest religions, a basic reverence for nature. THe earliest people, before they developed gods in the sky, had  a respect for the world around them. It's like the default religion. So there's a pretty good likelihood it'll stick around in some form.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 22, 2011, 11:42:25 PM
That would be weird, it would be called HindBudianity. :P

Random:  I just saw a guy at the store wearing a Wiccan shirt that said "Respect the Craft, Respect Nature".  Do you think a religion like that could survive.... even into the future and through the Rusty crash?
It has a good chance. Wicca is descended from the earliest religions, a basic reverence for nature. THe earliest people, before they developed gods in the sky, had  a respect for the world around them. It's like the default religion. So there's a pretty good likelihood it'll stick around in some form.
That's what I thought too.  Out of all the religions that would be the one I think would survive even with advances in tech.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: tridecagirl on May 22, 2011, 11:44:22 PM
Yes - that and Buddhism are more likely because some branches of both have no gods and therefore could resist technology increases making gods less likely. Buddhism is my bet to last the longest.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 11:45:57 PM
WE? You're a Universalist?
Unitarian Universalist, yeah. Why?
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Hannah81239 on May 22, 2011, 11:46:14 PM
WE? You're a Universalist?
Unitarian Universalist, yeah. Why?
That's pretty cool.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: hoverponies forever on May 22, 2011, 11:48:48 PM
It's boring. I avoid church as much as possible.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Bea-la on May 23, 2011, 12:30:42 AM
It's boring. I avoid church as much as possible.
What are your beliefs (religiously)?  If you're okay with me asking that question ....
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Abby-la on October 27, 2011, 08:00:02 AM
WE? You're a Universalist?
Unitarian Universalist, yeah. Why?
ME TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Chloe-wa the Cutter on October 31, 2011, 08:15:12 AM
I think the bubbleheads just thought that religion was too hard of a subject,so they threw it out the window. I believe in God most of the time, but people are trying to change the bible even now, saying you have to do stuff to get into Heaven when Jesus did it for you already. I really don't know what to believe anymore.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Miss Lucy on October 31, 2011, 12:25:06 PM
If I remember it correctly, the way that they implied religion "going out" was... it coming back.  :o Paradox...

Or that it had already come back for a season, like backward caps or some other fashion statement. Religions do die off with some regularity. Think of pharaoh Akhenaten abolishing Egyptian polytheism, and being abolished in turn-- I think the priests even had his hieroglyphs rubbed out, they were that embarrassed by him. Or Goddess-worship, which Wiccans might call back to, but even dedicated historians don't know how it was originally done and some are even doubtful that it was ever there. Or how shocked historians were, when they unearthed ancient evidence of a Mayan organized religion that involved ritual torture and human sacrifice, because by all accounts the descendants who no longer practiced it were such an extraordinarily peaceful people-- not a single cultural clue that their ancestors had ever practiced it (I saw that in a BBC documentary, How Art Made The World, episode 5 "To Death And Back".)

So, perhaps with the Mind-rain, that process just went much much faster. Science fiction author Arthur C. Clark once wrote, "Politics and religion are obsolete. The time has come for science and spirituality." I don't think that's true for Prettytown. There are some really intense clandestine politics. And even though they don't call this a religion, I do see a kind of Cult Of Pretty And Bubbly-- the idea that becoming beautiful is the morally right thing to do for the sake of nature, there's a coming of age or confirmation ritual at 16, the Rusty Crash has become as much a creation myth as it is history... the religions that we know and love may not be in practice, but something fills the gap, and it does so in either a religious or spiritual manner. I think I'm basically saying the same thing as Tridecagirl, but with the opposite conclusion.

I think the bubbleheads just thought that religion was too hard of a subject,so they threw it out the window. I believe in God most of the time, but people are trying to change the bible even now, saying you have to do stuff to get into Heaven when Jesus did it for you already. I really don't know what to believe anymore.
Have you read Blankets, by Craig Thompson? It's a comic book, but a really artistic one that's about 600 pages and it's his autobiography about studying to enter the ministry, and struggling to bridge the gap between faith and practice.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Isabelle-wa on November 05, 2011, 10:50:33 PM
Yeah I remembered that too. But, they were kind of forced into believing that.
i dont think that they forced into beliving it they just kind did
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Lorelai-wa on November 06, 2011, 04:37:55 AM
It seems as though Uglies implies that religion is going to die out, that there is no such thing as gods and stuff like that..... What are your opinions?  I mean as a Christian I wasn't offended by it, because I can kind of see religion "dying off" in the future.  (WHICH WILL BE A HORRIBLE THING!!) But, it was kind of interesting.  It kind of makes sense that in Uglies they wouldn't believe in gods because they are so advanced that they would see religion as "Rustie".  Maybe it was people arguing about religion that caused fighting and ultimately led to the Rusty Crash. 

This may be a controversial topic for some people.  Still, let's just keep this as a laid back discussion  :)

it's possible , but if religion was true that would never happen unless the god was planning on opening there eyes to their ignorance for denying religion.


If religion doesn't completely disappear, it will probably morph into some mass communal religion.
Yes, Universalism seems to be on the rise.
Yeah, I heard somebody on the news talking about making a universal language and currency.
DUDE! That's in the Bible the part about a one nation earth (One giant country) That's sign's of the end time.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: tridecagirl on November 06, 2011, 05:04:45 AM
@ Lucy - So you're saying the operation itself would become a sort of cult religion? Interesting idea... although I think it'd be closer if they like, worshipped the doctors or something. Although Andrew Simpson Smith thinks they're gods.

@ Ty - don't hold your breath. I've lived through five End of Days, and that's only the ones I heard about.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Lorelai-wa on November 06, 2011, 05:39:01 AM
I know so have I. The world was suppose to end the day before our graduation.
But it is in the Bible.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: tridecagirl on November 06, 2011, 06:34:19 AM
According to my mythology teacher, the writers of the Bible didn't want to put an apocalypse chapter in at all. After all there's the whole 'no man shall know' thingy. However, they were putting the Bible together during a time of a lot of apocalypse-mania, so they felt pressured to include a theory... AKA Revelation.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Reenie-La on November 06, 2011, 08:06:44 AM
WE? You're a Universalist?
Unitarian Universalist, yeah. Why?
ME TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Hahaha, so am I xDDD
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Lorelai-wa on November 06, 2011, 08:18:46 AM
According to my mythology teacher, the writers of the Bible didn't want to put an apocalypse chapter in at all. After all there's the whole 'no man shall know' thingy. However, they were putting the Bible together during a time of a lot of apocalypse-mania, so they felt pressured to include a theory... AKA Revelation.
Wow. But I don't thing they would put something in the Bible that God didn't tell them too.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: tridecagirl on November 06, 2011, 08:32:11 AM
*shrugs* I guess it's up to you on how you think it was made.

But I know for a fact that the Nicene Councils voted on stuff - like whether Jesus was human or not. There's also other gospels that didn't get added.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Lorelai-wa on November 06, 2011, 10:24:46 AM
*shrugs* I guess it's up to you on how you think it was made.

But I know for a fact that the Nicene Councils voted on stuff - like whether Jesus was human or not. There's also other gospels that didn't get added.
Ok sorry but I a very literal person, but the only way you could know for a fact that they did those things is by having been there yourself which I know you have not.
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Miss Lucy on November 06, 2011, 07:38:19 PM
@Tyler-wa, There's also another way. You can read more than one publication of the Bible. Some have different translations, like when I was younger, Sunday school had us study the chapter of the Bible where Jesus comes back from the dead. Mary Magdelene recognized him and called him, "Rabboni". Our own teacher said that it mattered how she didn't call him "Master" but "Teacher" -- except that some of our copies translated it as "Master" so whoooops.

There are also the canon names of the angels. Some Bibles only name Michael and Gabriel, because they do not include the book of Tobit, where the angel Raphael is mentioned. So, some books simply aren't included in certain versions of the Bible that are included in other versions. Can you confidently declare either: Catholics, who accept the book of Tobit, as accepting some devilish modification? Or that Protestants, who reject the book of Tobit, are editing and rejecting parts of holy scripture to suit them?

Then there's Ecclesiastes. We do still have copies of the original Hebrew, but the vocabulary in that book comes from many different points in the language's history, as we can compare with more mundane texts in Hebrew that aren't the Bible. In general, the older passages are extraordinarily pessimistic. It appears that newer authors fiddled with the text to soften those gloomy paragraphs. That those newer authors managed to do so before Emperor Constantine banged his gavel down and said, "This is the version that will be published!"* does not really draw a solid line between what is God's word and what of that very text is-- to be harsh, corrupted-- by translators, editors, and publishers.


* This is, according to sources outside the bible that are given historical value, which, if you don't buy into, then replace whatever event you believe marked the end of the Bible's draft version and the beginning of its canon publication. But keep in mind, the Jewish tradition puts that event at much, much sooner than yours-- at the end of what we call the Old Testament. I would expect a less circular argument against them than, "They're wrong about the New Testament because it says in the New Testament that they're wrong." Muslim tradition puts that same event at much, much later than yours-- in their canon, Jesus is recognized as an honored prophet, but the holy book wasn't "done" until Mohammad got a word in. Why aren't they allowed to add-on if, from the point of view of Jewish tradition, that's exactly what Christian tradition has done?
Title: Re: Uglies on Religion
Post by: Lorelai-wa on November 07, 2011, 04:16:13 AM
Ok.