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This weekend we went to a Platform at our local Ethical Culture. It was a very interesting lecture, and afterwards, we got talking to some of the members, including the President. She said that she first became interested in a Humanist approach to life when watching Star Trek. She liked the vision of the future presented in the show and hoped to find others who longed for that future.

Of course, Gene Roddenberry was a known Humanist, and he deliberately created a future where gods were no longer necessary and everyone embraced science, equality, and unity. (His views on gender were a bit dated, but he did portray an African woman in a position of authority on the original series, which was forward-thinking at the time.)

I got thinking about the overlap between geek culture and Humanism. Is it just that people interested in science are likely to be attracted to science fiction? Is there also an overlap between atheism and other kinds of genre fiction? Harry Potter?

Buffy is surprisingly non-religious, given the number of crosses employed over the course of the show. There are gods and goddesses portrayed on the show, but they are generally seen as some kind of mystical being that has greater powers than we do, not actual deities. And I can think of only one instance of someone attending church, and that’s Riley–his church attendance is part of his goody-goody image. Buffy, Xander, and Cordelia are never seen at church except for Xander’s wedding (is that a church?) Willow is Jewish, but leaves the faith to become a witch, and she uses a cross to keep Angelus out of her house (although she hides it from her parents.)

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I guess I’m just curious about the overlap between geeks and Humanism. I definitely know plenty of religious geeks.

This has turned into a whole lot of babbling. But I’m going to think about this a bit going forward, so you’ve been warned. As soon as I have a coherent thought on the matter, I’ll be posting it.

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