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Spirituality in Film & Literature

How many non-believers watch TV shows, Movies, or Read Books, that assume supernatural elements are true?
For example: Psychic powers, God(s), Angels, Witches, etc.

Is it just for entertainment value, or do you wish they we're real?

Keita 5 June 7

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What do you mean, wish? Some unusual and scary things abroad tonight!


I look at religion and supernatural as stories. Yesterday i watched Alice Sweet Alice. I'm open to all of it. I've been working on (writing) a movie about a pair of haunted mirrors. I have been stuck on some things. I know the religion and superstition. It just feels weird for me trying to sell these ideas. I'm much better writing when religion is not involved. BUT ... As far as watching.... I think if a story is well made, yes please.

I like Bishops Wife and Preachers Wife Loretta Young and Whitney Houston radiating heavenly kisses Cary Grant jealous of the bishop Denzel Washington learns the sound of love in song ....that's not spiritual unless you feel love is a miracle


Theatre film radio requires SUSPENSION OF become an audience one lazer focuses eyes/ears even occasional noses to smell what goes on stage....that active being audience is more than believing and less than a cult
....we join the Roberta Flack KILLING ME SOFTLY WITH HIS SONG ....I LOVE FIELD OF DREAMS base ball reincarnation of Shoeless Joe because my late father played Western League Ball where ReaGUN got his fame announcing innings that never happened on radio....there are no gawds but there is IOWA heaven where dreams come true....where country doctors instantly save the lives of little girls choking on a hotdog.....and Star Trek doctors grow a new kidney with a single pill ... all film even documentaries are part fiction as we want to believe we have learned the whole story just by being entertained as audience

Spirituality is learning or growing by allowing magic enter our ears eyes or grape juice & crackers become 1982 year old geebush blood&skin be swallowed or taking a bath in front of delusional believers makes you delusional also


I used to thrive on them as a younger man. Once I became an agnostic/atheist any ideas of things supernatural seemed to vanish. It's almost laughable now. Invisible things without a body do not scratch, cut, or bite you. They do not change temperatures, etc. and are not trying to talk with you or have you make contact. The reason for this should be plain to a great many of us. These things are simply not real.

Sci- Fi and horror used to be the movies for me. Today my non-belief in gods and anything supernatural limits what I can watch and enjoy tremendously. The Warrens hit it off with investigations that ended in a popular movie series about a possessed doll. The movies are to scare you. The real doll involved was a Raggety Ann. Sorry. I do not believe.


No, I don't believe. Fiction is fiction and for entertainment and occasionally for building some sort of a learning curve. I wrote and put out a novel about a ghost returning to an old past broken friendship to request a favor. I have no doubt such things don't occur. The story was more about putting things back together after years of broken.


First I don't wish they were real. I like to think that even things we can't yet understand will eventually be explained. I like a world with predictable and repeatable consequences for actions.

I used to enjoy supernatural horror, but most of the real psychological terror has been replaced by blood and gore which aren't realistic. Another popular horror movie trope is the jump scare. I am not affected by them; so the vast majority of horror is really weak.

JimG Level 8 June 8, 2019

I see a some comments saying "believe" and I actually never asked you if you believed TV shows or Movies etc were real. I asked it you wished they were real. I know I'm addressing non-believers and I'm asking why would you watch or read something you may oppose.

For example: I think a lot of people use the superhero genre as a wish fulfilment genre. It's not a belief system, but an outlet for some unfullable desire to do something out of the ordinary.

I'll use myself as an example: I love fantasy, sci-fi, etc. as an escape from reality when I want to relax. I even imagine fanfiction scenarios in my head to fall asleep to. So it's calming after a long day of reality being filled with crap. I don't care about the religious aspects if I'm entertained.

And OMG is Fingered By An Angel BOORING! In fact, my joke name sounds ten times more entertaining than the actual boredom.

Keita Level 5 June 8, 2019

Jimmy Cricket sang when you wish upon a star 7 dwarfs sang whistle while you an Atheist for the last 62 years I wish for good to triumph over evil so I loved Gal Godot WONDER WOMAN and Chris Pine fight the evil Germans 1918....Superman dating Lois Lane flying high just by touching her fingertip....these are dream images come true by theatrical genius or radio WAR OF THE WORLDS


The CBS TV series "God friended me" caught my eye because it came right after 20-20.

Having watched a few chapters....I like the concept. The story line goes something like " a computer wizard "tags" an atheist/agnostic vocal podcast producer with folk who, at first, he doesn't see why someone named "god" on the internet/facebook would single this "tag" out as a "friend suggestion". But the podcaster seeks the person out...finds out how he's "connected" to the person....does something to "help" that person, and then the show ends...but not before a new "friend suggestion" pops up at the end of an episode.

After several episodes, we see the podcaster re-connects with his father ( a very good and seasoned actor who plays a minister in a local church) a smart cutie (for the romance/eye-candy aspect/hook), an asian/middle-eastern computer wizard, and eventually the Computer wizard" who's playing "god" and proposing these weird "friend suggestions".

Cute story. Not a bit #religulous but they don't ever "assume" the supernatural elements are either true nor "correct"...but they do point out that they are benevolent (almost beyond belief)


God Friended Me is a humorous, uplifting drama about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him. God Friended Me (Official Site) Watch on CBS All Access - []

The title sounds like a Christian hookline.


Hard to understand what you mean by a "Christian hookline" ...

Basically; it was very pro-agnostic...but I can see some Christians being "hooked" in to watching it....

Until they realize that the main character is agnostic/atheist....and the mysterious "God" account proves to be a reclusive computer genius.

@Robecology sorry. Designed to hook Christians into watching the show.


I read some of the Dresden File books (and I need to get my hands on the rest), I used to watch “Grimm” on TV, and I love “The Good Place”. I don’t know that I wish any of that was real. It might be a little too freaky.

The Dresden files: stick with the books and ignore the short lived series.


For me I live in reality, movies books and TV that involve fiction like you talk about it's just that it's fiction. still trying to figure out how to get the warp drive to work though. It'll come in handy when I perfect my weirding module. I tried folding space once too but it left a crease. 🤣


The same reason why we watch sci fi or horror or any other genre, entertainment. Doesn't mean we believe Godzilla is real or that the Millenium Falcon flew in a galaxy far far away a long time ago.

Godzilla is real. Just not the 1998 version. "FishHead" is not Godzilla.

@Keita you must benkidding, right? Godzilla real? Right.

@KITDFOHS Not yet. Shin was the last one I saw.


To be honest, I really don't watch much in the way of TV shows or movies about sci fi, fantasy or supernatural stuff. It usually doesn't interest me. Most of what I watch is about actual mortal people, altho with some imagination thrown in so it is more interesting than real life, as well as biopics or movies based on true stories as well as documentaries. To give you an example of my tastes, I think that Mad Men and The Sorpranos are the two best TV shows I have ever watched. The Shawshank Redemption and Office Space are both two of my favorite films.

An innocent man escapes prison by also getting rich with the corrupt warden & Shawshank guards

@GreenAtheist I think the experience of Andy's character is way more gray and complicated than your summary here Larry. As far as I'm concerned, the state of Maine, in the movie, wrongfully convicted him, sent him to prison, and kept him there wrongfully and illegally, even after the other inmate came forward with evidence that would have freed Andy eventually. And even tho the warden and Hadley acted criminally to keep Andy in prison after Tommy came forward, the state is still responsible morally, if not legally, for Andy being kept in prison so long. Also, Andy had no intention of ever getting rich of the warden's financial crimes. And he only continued to help the warden with that after Tommy's murder due to the warden exhorting him over hurting the other inmates. After Andy escaped he exposed the warden and Hadley and took some, but not all of the money the warden made illegally. The way I see it, Andy's money was sort of an informal out of court settlement with the state of Maine for everything that the state had done or allowed to be done to him.

@TomMcGiverin I love the poetic justice of the film and your review would be considered A SPOILER telling the reader more than plot to expose the ending....but since this is just Atheists chatting I am ok with your passionate impression....if folks here never screen SHAWSHANK they will miss the secular triumph over a corrupt bible pushing warden and the psychosocio damage "institutionalizing" does to long term prisoners....yes Andy is a hero in many ways writing the legislature for library funding record players & music recordings....and beer for roof top tar workers in the hot sun....bull queers get punished near fatally beaten too by guards for raping Susan Sarandon husband in this film

@GreenAtheist You are correct about all the poetic justice that is meted out in not only that film, but in a lot of films based on Stephen King works. I really like that aspect when I see it in a film, even if it's not that realistic, because there is way too little poetic justice in this world. Maybe that's part of why so many people buy into religion, hoping that with that they may see some poetic justice in the next life or realm they end up in. I admit that's seductive, but not enough to make me believe again.

@TomMcGiverin you bet the best preachers are spinning redemption scenarios....King makes better use of the word....the worst preacher bribes with alleged heaven and threatens with alleged hell selling grape juice crackers and baths for 10% of your paycheck

@GreenAtheist Yeah, preachers and ministers tend to be very negatively portrayed by King in his works. He seems to see them as corrupt, callow, and sometimes even evil.

@TomMcGiverin every religion is evil zero believers repudiate the essence of their faith...reformers and spin off religions cannot excuse their impotent non-existent do nothing alleged gawds


I think it's just eintertainment value. In the end, religion is like mythology and it's another way to amuse ourselves. I don't see the difference with ancient mythology. I studied Roman and Greek mythology in elementary school.
I studied Norse mythology after high school and I resumed it now because I think it's just entertaining. On YouTube there is a Swedish guy who tells Norse stories in English and it is just another way to relax.

That sounds pretty close to my attitude. I'm definitely not a classical scholar (I only read English well). But I enjoy the images you can get of different societies by looking at their folklores.

For example you can see the earthy understanding of animals in the Finnish Kalevala -- you can get an idea of how their lifestyles drove their worldviews. I won't claim to understand it all but I like to follow what I can.

I agree with you to some extent but in india now after hindu government came now it's trying potaru mythology as history.i don't know where it will end.

Nothing entertaining about priests raping children or preachers guilting gay teens into suicide


I find value in fiction. It gives my imagination a boost. But I do not want to become confused between fiction and nonfiction. I insist on knowing which is which. That's the problem with religions; they teach fiction as if it were reality. Then they use their false reality to scare you into giving them money. It's a scam.


I write books like that, and I'm an antitheist atheist. I do wish superpowers and magic were real, which is just for entertainment value and the ability to paint vivid pictures with words. But I write about gods and such religiosity to point out how ridiculous it/they (the concepts thereof) actually are, so that is for entertainment value, education, and my own personal amusement. But, first and foremost, I read and write books like that because they tell good stories that appeal to my sense of modern mythology. I consider them good stories, with relatable characters, and a bit of flash thrown in to add sparkle and keep the reader's interest.


neither. why is that the choice? my reaction is neither of those but a third option: i do NOT wish those most of things were real. i wish they would stop being written into supposedly realistic shows as if they WERE real, as if they were part of my culture (they're not -- tv assumes everyone is specifically christian, too). if it's a fantasy show, that could be different, depending on the assumptions. joan of arcadia was clever and made points that were not sappy religious ones, and the people in the shows, and their problems, were complex and real. touched by an angel (or as i call it, molested by an angel) on the other hand was just crap in every possible way and made assumptions about people's belief systems instead of presenting those elements as part of the fantasy. the angel was fantasy but all the pseudo-religious crap was presented as part of everyday reality and not part of the angel shtick. i ADORE doctor who, and i know there's no tardis, no gallifrey, no doctor, and YES i wish those things were real, but not to the extent that i am going to build a belief system around them lol.


My second question was aready predicated on the first, but any option is an option, including rejection of the while idea. This was meant as an opinion posting, not a poll. Though I appreciate your passion for the arguement you make.

@Keita passion? haha, i am talking about television. do not mistake my wordiness for passion, please. i'm obviously interested. that is different from passion.


@genessa, sorry if my words aren't the best chosen, I've been on my feet for 12 hours (and 15 miles) and I'm severely tired. I'm oddly "wordier" when I'm tired.

@Keita oh me too (and i'm always tired, too)! it's as if brevity is something we have to work harder at! don't worry about it 🙂)


@genessa I agree TV ASSumes the audience is xian and anytime a question is raised the "judeoxian" bullshit rolls out always pissing off Atheists Muslims Buddhist Hindus et al with zero respect for the alleged bible gawd geebush jeehobah ghostholes


I've enjoyed fantasy literature as a genre since my eldest siblings gave me The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for my birthday as a precocious 7-year-old. I read those books twice a year for the next 7 years along with a bunch of other fantasy (The Dark is Rising, The Wizard of Earthsea, etc.). Around age 14 I became rather deeply involved in fantasy RPG with a couple friends in the neighborhood. More recently I've enjoyed movies and TV shows about magic and superheroes although they are often a bit silly.

My enjoyment of fantasy has been steady my whole life although I went from being a devout Christian to an atheist at age 22. Apart from a few childhood daydreams, the attraction wasn't about having such powers or wishing such things into our universe. Rather, fantasy has simply been an escape into imagination of other worlds.


Your question is probably not addressed to me. I don’t read many works of fiction but when I do, I want them to reflect real life and be believable.

I do like to read about the scientific inquiry into psychic phenomena. I don’t consider psychic phenomena to be supernatural however. The lumping together of every eerie topic under the heading “supernatural” doesn’t seem rational to me. Rather than dismiss potential fields of knowledge as supernatural I would rather maintain an open mind.

I have written a book called “The Staggering Implications of the Mystery of Existence”, available on the Kindle Store. If you like to read woo, this is it.

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