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Stargate, the Ori, Christianity, and Religion in Scince Fiction in General
Posted: 20 May 2007 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Well… I doubt that there are many Staragate: SG-1 fans on this forum and chances are I’m the only one… so I’ll summarize the whole Ori plot stuff so that people can understand what I’m talking about.

Anyway, in the 9th season of the successful sci-fi TV show, Stargate: SG-1, they introduced a new enemy. What happened was two of the characters, Vala and Daniel, were linked by an alien device to two people in another galaxy. This galaxy was ruled by an advanced race of aliens who called themselves the Ori. These Ori weren’t exactly coporeal and they had some… powers for lack of a better word…

Anyway, they forced the humans in that galaxy (the mythology of Stargate is sort of like that bull s**t “Ancient Astronaut” hypotheses in that aliens put humans on various planets to serve them as slaves,) to worship them because the more people said “Hallowed are the Ori” the more powerful the Ori got. Well, it wasn’t just because they were saying the words… it’s more complicated than that…

Anyway, the Ori pretend to be gods (though they’re powerful enough that they might fit the description of one) and promise that those that believe in them will ascend and become as powerful as the Ori when they die.

Anyway, the followers of the Ori are taught that anybody who doesn’t follow Origin (which is basically their name for their religion) is evil and should die… So they found out that the Milky Way galaxy was full of non-believers and they sent Priors (who are basically missionaries) to planets in the Milky Way to teach people about Origin, and the Book of Origin (which is their Bible) and convert them to Origin. The Priors are given a little bit of the paranormal-esque power by the Ori so if the planet refuses to convert… the Ori kill them and destroy the planet.

Anyway, towards the end of the 9th season, Vala became pregnant because “it was the will of the Ori.” In other words… the baby she was carrying was Jesus… I mean, the Orici. The purpose of the Orici was to lead a crusade against the non-believers in the Milky Way.

So that’s the summary of the 9th season and the beginning of the 10th season without the King Arthur mythology.

For more information, visit gateworld.net.

Anyway, I posted this because I found the parallels between Christianity and the new bad guys fascinating.

Any thoughts?

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
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Posted: 21 May 2007 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You can count one Stargate fan at least.  I always thought the old storyline with the Goa-uld had many parallels with the struggle of us Humanists trying to live without false gods.  Many of Teal’c and Bra’tac’s speeches seemed as if they knew exactly what I was having to deal with concerning Christians.  In fact, on one forum, I said that I already had my deathbed speech written.  I was going to say, “Jaffa!  Kree!  I die free!”  wink

If you’ll pardon me saying so, the Ori storyline is just a lot of gibberish.  :(

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Posted: 25 May 2007 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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advocatus - 21 May 2007 10:26 AM

You can count one Stargate fan at least.  I always thought the old storyline with the Goa-uld had many parallels with the struggle of us Humanists trying to live without false gods.  Many of Teal’c and Bra’tac’s speeches seemed as if they knew exactly what I was having to deal with concerning Christians.  In fact, on one forum, I said that I already had my deathbed speech written.  I was going to say, “Jaffa!  Kree!  I die free!”  wink

If you’ll pardon me saying so, the Ori storyline is just a lot of gibberish.  :(

The one I typed up or the plot line in general?
I’ve always sort of thought that the Goa’uld plotline didn’t relate to what I have to put up that much. In Stargate, you have mountains of alien technology that makes the Goa’uld seem god-like. In the real world, people rely on blind faith… But I’ve always made connections with it.

 Signature 

1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 25 May 2007 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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logicisrefreshing - 25 May 2007 08:34 AM

I’ve always sort of thought that the Goa’uld plotline didn’t relate to what I have to put up that much. In Stargate, you have mountains of alien technology that makes the Goa’uld seem god-like. In the real world, people rely on blind faith…

And how is that different from the Ori?  I’m thinking in general of the belief that the Goa’uld are gods just because they say so.  Of course they have a lot of technology whch they use to keep people in line, but its really the blind faith of the people that keeps them from disobeying.  As we know, once that faith was broken, the Goa’uld weren’t that hard to defeat, even given their technology.

Remember the time Teal’c was brainwashed by Apophis, and no amount of reason would sway him?  Remember the flashback he had, of the time Apophis had ordered him to kill another Jaffa who had failed a mission.  Teal’c took him down to the planet, but let him go.  The Jaffa even argued with him, begged him to kill him, because HE still had faith.  He said that Apophis would know, because Apophis was a god.  Teal’c gambled his very life on his suspicion that Apophis was not all-powerful, and he turned out to be right (to his own astonishment!)  I think that was the day he became a Goa’uld agnostic.

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Posted: 25 May 2007 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well, I suppose what I meant about the faith thing wasn’t faith in their god being benevolent. With Christianity you need to have faith that God is there first, and then faith that he is benevolent.

But yeah… There was a time I considered converting to Christianity because my friend who used to sit next to me in math kept pestering me about it. But then, I watched Stargate: SG-1 and realized that religion could be quite evil at times.

 Signature 

1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 29 May 2007 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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logicisrefreshing - 25 May 2007 10:48 AM

Well, I suppose what I meant about the faith thing wasn’t faith in their god being benevolent. With Christianity you need to have faith that God is there first, and then faith that he is benevolent.

I’m not sure if they’re not the same thing.  Why would you believe in a god who wasn’t benevolent?  Remember when Rya’c was brainwashed by Apophis, and told to release the binary poison which would have killed everyone on Earth?  In spite of the obvious fact that he would also have been killed, Rya’c still believed that Apophis loved him.  Logic doesn’t mean much when a person believes his god is all-powerful.

As far as the Ori storyline goes,  I think the main thing that bugs me is the way they treat Ascension to a Higher Plane as just a quickie way to get some really neato super powers.  I mean, Anubis ascended “half-way” and then came back.  Daniel Jackson has ascended twice.  Oma ascended the whole planet Abydos, whether they were ready for it or not!

Back in the day, the Jaffa were raised from birth to believe the Goa’uld were gods.  The true power of the Goa’uld were their Jaffa armies, and the Jaffa were enslaved, not so much physically as mentally.  That’s what made it so difficult for them to gain their freedom.  The Ori just swoop down and intimidate people into “worshipping” them because nobody has the technology to resist.  I bet not many people really believe the Ori are gods, they just don’t know what else to do.  It’s not the same thing at all, but the writers are trying to act as if it is the same.

I do like the King Arthur tie-in, though.  That was cool!

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Posted: 29 May 2007 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Well I guess that the Goa’uld are more like Christians with the whole brain washing thing…

But, you can draw a lot more parallels with medieval Christians with the Ori than with modern Christians. There were quite a few people in history who made you convert, or killed you. Adria is definitely their version of Jesus, though.

 Signature 

1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 31 May 2007 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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You could make the case (and this has only just occured to me) that the Goa’uld represent the Old Testament, while the Ori represent the New Testament.  Apophis was generally benevolent, to his own people.  Teal’c apparently had all kinds of status and privileges as his First Prime (there’s the ultimate redundant title, right there).  After all Shau’ac bitterly complained about the drop in her status when he was branded a shol’va.  Sure he committed horrible atrocities—against his enemies—and he punished those who fail him, but that’s pretty much standard behavior for a god, as revealed in the Old Testament.  On the other hand, the Ori come off as looking a lot more benevolent, at first glance.  All they want is to lead people to “enlightenment” and “save them from evil”.  People are given the “free choice” to accept their teachings or not.  The problem is if you don’t make the right choice, the Ori have no use for you and so exterminate you.

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Posted: 31 May 2007 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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How refreshing to find a SG1 thread on CFI forum!!! Gotta love those flyboys!!

I think the main correlation that I found between the Ori and Christianity is “The Book of Origin” which relates so closely in my eyes to “The Bible”. 

I can’t quote episodes and the like to back up this statement….but I am sure you get my point.

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-E

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Posted: 01 June 2007 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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advocatus, I love the OT/NT parallel. I wonder if the show’s writers were thinking that way?

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JV

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Posted: 03 June 2007 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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advocatus - 31 May 2007 10:12 AM

You could make the case (and this has only just occured to me) that the Goa’uld represent the Old Testament, while the Ori represent the New Testament.  Apophis was generally benevolent, to his own people.  Teal’c apparently had all kinds of status and privileges as his First Prime (there’s the ultimate redundant title, right there).  After all Shau’ac bitterly complained about the drop in her status when he was branded a shol’va.  Sure he committed horrible atrocities—against his enemies—and he punished those who fail him, but that’s pretty much standard behavior for a god, as revealed in the Old Testament.  On the other hand, the Ori come off as looking a lot more benevolent, at first glance.  All they want is to lead people to “enlightenment” and “save them from evil”.  People are given the “free choice” to accept their teachings or not.  The problem is if you don’t make the right choice, the Ori have no use for you and so exterminate you.

Ah… That’s what I think I was trying to say…

But, yeah. The main thing that gets people to convert to Origin is the promise of ascension, which is exactly one of the main things that gets people to convert to Christianity. My friend who keeps trying to convert me always uses the “eternal life” line.

 Signature 

1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 04 June 2007 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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jvwest - 01 June 2007 12:15 PM

advocatus, I love the OT/NT parallel. I wonder if the show’s writers were thinking that way?

It would be nice to think so, but all available evidence points to the conclusion that they don’t have any idea what to do with the Ori!  I think they sort of hit a brick wall with the Replicators and had to get rid of them, but also had to think of something to replace them with.  I really hate to say it, but I’ll be glad when they wrap up this story line and retire the series.  It was GREAT while it lasted, but if having alien bounty hunters crash Mitchell’s high school reunion is the best they can come up with…. :(

[Atlantis is also sadly showing signs of writer’s cramp, too.  I mean, killing off Dr. Becket?!!?  With an explosive tumor!??!!?  I kept hoping they would at the end that the entire episode was a bad dream, or another role-playing game or something!}

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Posted: 08 June 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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What about Battlestar Galactica?  I’ve only see a few episodes and was completely unable to follow what was going on, but I got the slight impression that religion was a part of it.

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Posted: 10 June 2007 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Ah… yes… Good ‘ol melodramatic BSG.

Remember when Baltar got out of jail when he told God that he would be his servant? I think they purposefully tried to give people the kind of impression that God really would do such a thing if you only convert. Haven’t seen any of the third season yet, though… don’t tell me what happens.

I felt the same way about the spontaneous combustion… I mean, explosive tumor. I’ve read many interviews from the Atlantis cast members and writers and they actually think that the direction that the show is moving in is going to be appreciated by fans because they “don’t care about the stories, they care about the people.”

GUESS WHAT?!?

I watch Stargate because I care about BOTH. I don’t care who’s in it, I don’t want to waste an hour of my time watching a crap story line.

 Signature 

1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 11 June 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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logicisrefreshing - 10 June 2007 02:09 PM

I watch Stargate because I care about BOTH [characters and story]. I don’t care who’s in it, I don’t want to waste an hour of my time watching a crap story line.

Same here.  At least the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation had the sense to wind it down when they started running out of ideas.  (Taking care to save a good one for the movie Insurrection!)

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Posted: 11 June 2007 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Ooh yes… I liked Insurrection… I need to rewatch the Trek movies sometime.

Martin Gero used to be my favorite writer because his plots were intelligent and the people were well-developed… But the exploding tumors really irked me to the point where I no longer care for him.

By the way, if there happens to be any Babylon 5 fans out there, does anyone happen to know if J. Michael Straczynski is an atheist? Religion popped up occasionally during the series, and his favorite saying was “faith manages.” Not quite sure I agreed with it, but he certainly managed to keep the series running for all 5 seasons… probably not on pure faith, though.

 Signature 

1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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