Friday, 4 July 2008

Joss Whedon on Religion

I’ve been meaning to transcribe this for some time, so now that I have I thought I’d post it here for others.

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On the Australian DVD for Serenity there is a Q&A session with Joss Whedon recorded in Sydney after a showing of Serenity.

One of the audience members asked:

I’m a big fan, but on the down side I’m also a Christian so I’ve always wanted to ask you, what have you got against me?

(Laughter)

Joss replied:

Laugh … this is a very important distinction, it’s not Christianity it’s just you, um, um, I don’t actually have anything against anybody unless their belief precludes everybody else’s.

I am an atheist and an absurditist and have been for many many years. I’ve actually taken a huge amount of flack for that. People who have faith tend to think that people who don’t [have faith], don’t have a belief system and they don’t care if they make fun of them. Its actually very difficult, atheists are, as a group, not really recognized by the American public and as people to be taken seriously. This does not mean that I rail against religion however the meaning of life and the meaning of what we do with our lives is something that’s extremely important to me. I have included characters from many different religions, particularly in this show but also in the other shows as well, because I’m interested in the concept. I think faith is an extraordinary thing, I’d like to have some, but I don’t and that just how that works. So Mal generally speaking in that would be my voice but I don’t think you can discount Book and what he has to say. I think he is an extraordinary compassionate and wise and descent man or wise and decent corpse.

(Laughter)

(Speaking to himself) So when did you loose the audience? Well that’s a funny story.

(Laughter)

You know there is one other thing I would mention which is from Angel, actually one of the few times that actually I really got to say exactly what I think about the world was in the second season of Angel episode 16. When he had gone all dark, cause he does that and was getting better and he basically decided… the world is meaningless, nothing matters and he said, you know, well then this is my statement “nothing matters, so the only thing that matters is what we do.” Which is what I believe, I believe the only reality is how we treat each other. The morality come from the absence of any grander scheme not from the presence of any grander scheme but then the next thing that somebody says to him is well you know “You burst into my apartment, without being invited which a vampire can’t do, which is like a little miracle” and I just sort of let that hang. I said the thing I believe in most, then I contradicted it right away because ultimately it’s the confluence or the conflict of those ideas that’s actually really interesting.

So the answer [to the original question] is:

Nothing unless you’ve got something against me.

(Applause)

But I hate Buddhists.

(Laughter)

Just hate em, no, no

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this post is mostly a follow up to this post.

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