Gary discusses comments by John Kerry made recently at Davos 2023.
Metaphysical explanations are becoming credible, even in a time when secularism has become the nation’s official civil religion. But one show, The X-Files, accomplished the metaphysical reentry with an interesting twist that keeps one foot in both worlds. The rationalist Dana Scully is pitted against the open-minded genuine seeker Fox Mulder as they explore supposed unsolved FBI cases that have no rational explanation. Scully is assigned to Mulder to keep his paranormal exuberance in check.
X-Files is a metaphor for American belief patterns. Scully represents the materialist who is skeptical of anything paranormal, believing that everything has a logical, scientific explanation. Mulder is open to all things paranormal, from UFOs and ESP to spontaneous human combustion and telekinesis and everything in between. Chris Carter, the show’s creator, describes this conflict as his own and probably that of much of America:
“Mulder and Scully are equal parts of my nature, I guess.” Chris Carter muses. “I’m a natural skeptic, so I have much of the Scully character in me, yet I’m willing to take leaps of faith, to go out on a limb. I love writing both those characters, because their voices are very clear in my head.” He does admit however, that as the series has progressed, Scully’s skepticism has been somewhat eroded. “But she is a scientist first and foremost,” he says. “What she sees, what is unexplainable, what seems fantastic to her, she believes, truly, can be ultimately explained scientifically. She is a scientist and will always be one, so she maintains a scientific distance from things, whereas, Mulder leaps in and wants to believe.”
But what standard should be used to distinguish between these two opposing positions? How does anyone know whether one of those “leaps of faith” isn’t a leap off a cliff? What all of these shows lack is an epistemological standard, a place to stand to assess claims of the paranormal. Just because something cannot be explained scientifically does not mean that there is always a supernatural, preternatural, or paranormal explanation. There may be a rational, scientific solution that we have not discovered.
Thinking Straight in a Crooked World
The nursery rhyme ‘There Was a Crooked Man’ is an appropriate description of how sin affects us and our world. We live in a crooked world of ideas evaluated by crooked people. Left to our crooked nature, we can never fully understand what God has planned for us and His world. God has not left us without a corrective solution. He has given us a reliable reference point in the Bible so we can identify the crookedness and straighten it.Buy Now
Gary discusses comments made recently at Davos 2023. The World Economic Forum honestly believes that they are the elite of the world with all the answers. John Kerry made the point that they are “almost extraterrestrial,” in that they’re here to save us from ourselves. This reminded Gary of an old TV show (of course) called the Twilight Zone and one of its episodes in particular.
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