Saturday, March 28, 2009

If I were George Lucas...

Wishing to disestablish the Force as a god in Star Wars, I invented this
historical retelling of general JedI history.

The Force has its origin in a small plant that is native to most plants in the
galaxy. When this plant is eaten, it greatly accelerates and strenghtens the
bodily functions of the eater, especially the nerve impulses to the muscles,
enabling the eater, through special muscle-use techniques, to project electric
fields into nearby objects and thus manipulate them in ways that seem
telekinetic. The relevant chemicals in the plant must be eaten on a daily basis
for the powers to be retained. These chemicals can be synthesized, in which
case only a person previously exposed to them by eating them or having a mother
who ate them while pregnant can eat them without being poisoned.

Because of the widespread habitat of this plant, amateur JedI-societies sprung
up independent of each other in many places. Some worshipped the Force, and
their “sacred” texts had some of the earliest JedI advice and techniques, hence
the value placed by all the JedI on them; some did not worship the force. Some
used the powers classified as Light, some used the powers classified as Dark.
When Palpatine was planning his takeover of the Republic, he sold government
offices in order to gain money for his plans. The office of state historian he
sold to a Force-worshipper who falsely made this religious Force the official
recorded religion of the JedI according to state records.

For thousands of years, there was no actual JedI Order. The small JedI
societies had no knowledge of each other; many did not even have any knowledge
that the chemicals they ate each day by tradition were the source of their
powers and/or intelligence. During this time (Referred to by JedI historians as
the Glorious Dark Ages of the JedI), these societies were merely amateurs.
However, many of the greatest JedI intellectuals wrote during this time, and
JedI achieved prominence as poets, artists, educators, and even religious
leaders of many denominations. (Cerea, Ki-Adi-Mundi’s planet, was especially
known for its high number of JedI who were also Catholic priests. ) During
this period, light saber combat was not one of the prime functions of the JedI.
The weapon was originally invented as an amusement for the JedI boys’ club in
Maputo, Correlia, and became an inter-planetary toy sensation. It went out of
regular children’s toy stores a few years later, but that was enough time for
many jedI-empowered families to have one in their possession. Because of the
durability of the toy, many became family heirlooms.

One of the less desirable consequences of eating the Force-plant .is that bad
habits are formed much more easily and the brain is somewhat perverted so that
anger becomes especially attractive. This means that JedI must get angry as
little as possible, especially in combat, when they are the most susceptible to
anger becoming irresistible forever; if they do not control anger, they run the
risk of being perpetually angry. In fact, in some jedI, certain kinds of anger
are so dangerously habit-forming that avoiding them is a moral obligation. Some
JedI, known as Dark JedI, are immune to this effect. Plo-koon, Kyle Karhun, and
Palpatine’s master were some of these.

The force does not grant longevity! The ancient Yoda was actually half-elven
and immortal. According to his family history, he, Mace Windu, and Quigon (they
were half-brothers: Yoda was so short because he had a hobbit-father, Mace and
Qui-gon had human fathers) were descended from Middle-Earth elves who left
Middle-earth after the rounding of the world (see the Silmarillion) but whose
boats took a wrong turn on the Straight Road to Valinor. Yoda and his cousin
Palpatine (who was also of elvish descent) were mortal enemies due to the fact
that Palpatine fell for the Dark Side due to an encounter with the maddening
rhythms of Aztec music. As part of Palpatine’s assaults of Yoda, Yoda caught an
artificial aging disease that made him older but no closer to death.

Yoda was the one actually responsible for the organization of the JedI into an
organized system. When Yoda was about 20 years old, Palpatine, who had already
gained his hatred of Yoda, organized a convention of JedI from all over the
galaxy. Hoping to form them into a mob and then seduce them with Aztec music,
his plans were foiled when Yoda was accidentally invited to the convention.
Yoda managed to keep a few of the JedI present from becoming Sith.

Knowing that the Sith would attack eventually, their anger being
uncontrollable, Yoda re-made the lighsaber into a more potent weapon that only
people with the electric sensitivity of JedI could handle safely. The lighsaber
was forgotten and thrown away among non-jedI. Yoda also established a
Christian monastic order of warrior-monks, the JedI Order, whose Temples on many
planets (especially Courescuant) became renowned centers of learning. The
amateur JedI societies continued to exist, and some amateurs (such as Qui-gon)
rose to become professional full time JedI warriors and instructors, though not
actual monks or nuns. Such amateur rise was rare, although many amateur JedI
became renowned in the militaries of their own planets.

The JedI Order rose to great Intergalactic prominence when it conducted the
defense of Nubia when Nubia was attacked by the sith in the battle that started
the Great Sith war. The Galactic Republic, originally consisting of only three
planets, was founded in this time, and the JedI Order was given an official
place in the government to prevent government corruption. The order had an
excellent relationship with the bishops of Courescuant.

When the Republic experienced a grand expansion of membership about 30 years
before Star Wars Episode I, the religious order was disbanded and the JedI were
made an official funded branch of the Republic. It never lost it Christian
character, however, merely its monastic status. This federalization gave the
state historian (who remained so in the days of the Empire and the New Repbulic)
the leverage he needed to spread lies concerning the religion of the JedI. Many
of the incidents recounted in the movies are, in fact, false and his invention.
The others can be explained by the principles outlined above.

Friday, March 27, 2009


One of the things Tokien wanted people to do with his tales was to use them as a background mythology, much as Ancient Greeks and Mideval Christians used the pagan myths to get inspiration for their own works. To see an example of it,


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Star Wars…You asked for it

A. What about Star Wars would you like to know? B. On the other hand, what
could I tell you that you wouldn’t know already? C. Or are you asking for an
opinion about Star Wars? B-cause of B, I will A-sume that you do not mean A, so
it Ceems that you mean C. Because Ancient Greek Phil. usually wants a
moralization of some sort, he shall get it. Is Star Wars a good thing, and for
whom and under what conditions?
Before writing, I did some reading on Wikipedia. They classify Star Wars as a
“space opera,” meaning that it is a melodramatic, comic-book sort of story with
exaggerated technologically advanced forms of conflict. You could visit
Disciples of Diotima and read the article ‘Between the Charbidys and Scylla of
Emma and Godzilla’ to get my views on comic-books. You could also simply accept
it on my word that comic books are an excellent way to instill basic morality or
immorality into the minds of little boys and other people who are fortunately or
unfortunately like them.
And, in Star Wars, many of the basics of morality (and it’s very difficult to
capture all of them in one story) are presented excellently. Especially
calculated to indoctrinate virtues of valor, obedience, patience, patriotism,
distributism, and the like, while at the same time instilling a horror of
treachery, anger, hatred, over-mechanization, laziness, greed,
over-centralization, and injustice, the story definitely achieves this part of
the end of being a good story without directly such preaching such ideas. I
don’t think I need to give examples of such moral instillations; the very genere
covers some of them and the others are more or less obvious features of the
somewhat simple general plot. For the observer enamored of action, the lessons
will be swallowed along with the moves and the chicken in the Tatioone market.
But I don’t think that is really what you want to know. Of course there is
good and evil in Star Wars in a very general sense, and nobody would object to
their children or themselves learning it. In swallowing one virtue from Star
Wars, is there not the danger of swallowing other less good things contained in
it. This is art, not life; we can pull out the tares and not damage the wheat,
but if we harvest the wheat we might get tares too.
And the tare said to be contained in Star Wars is the religion/ethics of
relativistic pantheism. Is it really in Star Wars?
(Here follows a quick summary of relativistic pantheism. RP is the belief that
all things are not separate from the god. By definition, this includes the
denial of individual free will and the denial of good and evil. It is generally
the religious system of non-Christian religions, including Hinduism (which
substitutes desirable and undesirable fatalistic consequence-punishments for
good and evil), Taoism, and Buddhism (which substitutes passionlessness and
passion for good and evil). Star Wars seems to moderate the ethical
consequences this claim (more on this later) by positing two sides to the same
pantheistic deity, dark and light, much as Zorastriansim and Manicheanism posit
two equal gods, one good and one evil, without giving any real reason to follow
one god and not the other. By the way, the Christian justification of being
good and not evil is that evil does not exist except as a good thing deprived of
a quality it ought to have, thus making pursuit of actual evil not only
undesirable, but impossible.)
For Star Wars to in fact be a story in which one could swallow relativistic
pantheism along with virtue, worship or acknowledgement of such a deity has to
be portrayed as desirable (not good, as there is no “good” in relativistic
pantheistic metaphysics or ethics) and true (it could be portrayed as good but
not true, as the statement “Buddhists are often good people” does, or true but
not good, as Sartre portrays atheism in ’Nausea,’ but neither of these would be
dangerous for the Christian.). Now, I cannot remember whether or not the Force
is ever explicitly treated as a god in the films (I suspect that if it is, it is
by Yoda on Dagobah). Whether it is explicit or not is irrelevant for the
viewer, however. For the unaware viewer, if the Force is treated
non-explicitly as a god, they will swallow it anyway. Making the treatment
explicit would make the viewer aware and would render the series preachy, thus
weakening both the moral and the theological messages. For the aware viewer,
non-explicit treatment can still be seen as paganism (its subconscious influence
on the viewer is debatable), yet give the viewer freedom to imagine around the
non-explicit difficulties.
The most significant argument in favor of a non-explicit treatment of the Force
as a deity is in the jedi’s source of morality. Christians, as noted above,
treat good and evil as existence and its deprivation, thus goodness comes from
the Essence of God and evil comes from “nothing.” Whether or not Star Wars is
compatible with this system of morality is at best unclear. What is clear,
however, is that the main source of morality for all the characters is the
light-dark dualism of the Force. G.K. Chesterton says that the denial of
morality is allied with the exaltation of less-than-moral rules, such as manners
and conventions. By emphasizing the Force-conventional-code (for the light and
dark sides are not sufficient to determine good and evil under God, and thus
have only the status of laws/conventions/etc, not objective good and evil) and
ignoring the God-Morals, the jedi, whether or not they actually believe the
Force is god, are undermining God’s ethics and setting up The Force in God’s
ethical place. Obi-wan even goes so far as to say in Episode III, that “Only
the Sith deal in absolutes,” thus lending even more credence to the idea that
the jedI are pantheist-relativists (the Sith, in this system, would be seeking a
thoroughly evil version of what the JedI want to be mostly good.)
Another argument is the JedI’s use of eastern religious meditation techniques
that, in the real world, are related to demonic possession even though those who
practice them. There are other similarities to such eastern religions in Star
Wars, thus making the idea seem all the more true, if not explicit. And, though
all of this, the Star Wars characters posit no God in addition to the Force,
thus letting and even encouraging our religious impulses in our imagination add
the character of worship to the use of the Force. I think it is plain enough
that Star Wars can be dangerous to the morals of the viewer, especially the
uninformed viewer.
There are, however, three ways to counter this.

1. Be informed. I just informed you.
2. Do an implausible re-interpretation of Star Wars so that you can understand
it in a Christian way. I have done this, and I can show you that too. Later
3. Find a way in which Star Wars portrays the pantheistic system as
insufficient. An example would be a connection in the movies between the false
ethical/religious system and the fall of the Republic. This would make it
appear that no matter how pagan the jedI were, they end up being more or less
wrong, though honorable. I can try to do this, though I might have to watch the
movies again.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

May The Farm....... I mean force.... or do I mean..... oh never mind

You know what we need, Old Fashioned Liberal? We need an article on Stars Wars! I should write it, but you're a much bigger fan than I am, and I'm just too lazy right now anyway. I could do an article on the music though, as I'm listening to Princess Leia's theme right now. :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Augustine Explaining Melkior

"For it does many things through vicious desire, as though in forgetfulness
of itself. For it sees some things intrinsically excellent, in that more excellent nature which is God: and whereas it ought to remain steadfast that it may enjoy them, it is turned away from Him, by wishing to appropriate those things
to itself, and not to be like to Him by His gift , but to be what He is by its own, and it begins to move and slip gradually down into less and less, which it thinks to be more and more; for it is neither sufficient for itself, nor is
anything at all sufficient for it, if it withdraw from Him who is alone sufficient: and so through want and distress it becomes too intent upon its own actions and upon the unquiet delights which it obtains through them: and thus, by
the desire of acquiring knowledge from those things that are without, the nature of which it knows and loves, and which it feels can be lost unless held fast with anxious care, it loses its security, and thinks of itself so much the less,
in proportion as it feels the more secure that it cannot lose itself."

--St. Augustine

Notice the similarity to how "it" (the soul, in this passage) sins and how Melkior fell. The soul sins by wanting good things as its own rather than as God's gift. Melkior sinned by wanting to master the power of Creation, not have it as a gift from Iluvitar.

Is this post confusing, AGP?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Dead Blog Syndrome

There is a deadly malady going around Blogger. An infectious disease known as "The Dead Blog Syndrome". This disease is highly contagious. It starts as a lack of desire to write. It gradually consumes you until you are unable to write anything at all.

If you read this, you are vulnerable to The Dead Blog Syndrome". Beware!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Well it seem as though no one thinks I'm weird!!!! I'm really surprised, since I think that was a weird poll!!!! Whatever happened, it turns out that the majority of you that voted can control your dreams slighty. I'd be interested to know who it was that can control their dreams entirely!!!!