Following on from part 2,
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As I mentioned in Part 1, in the absence of sanctioned Inquisitors, I’m going to play “The Game” with Hard Science Fiction in general from a Catholic theological point of view. Why? All fiction requires some extent of the suspension of disbelief. Hard Science Fiction attempts to minimise that as much as possible. But the problem is that Hard Science Fiction, just as Science in general, denies the existence of God, and in particular the Truths of the Catholic Church. This makes the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic.
It’s at this point that I need to remind the reader, that I write from the perspective that the Dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church are the fullness of the Truth, that all other religions are false and that there is no other means of Salvation than by the means that the Catholic Church teaches as Dogma (meaning; to be believed).
Science, in denying the ontological Truths of the Catholic Faith, such as the existence of the Soul, wastes it’s time and effort on areas, that a Catholic would logically say “that’s most likely a dead end”. Hence in Fiction the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic, I am going to play “The Game” in order to help people understand that concept.
Please note that I will use terms like “Impossible”, what I mean is “according to the current understanding of Catholic Dogma, this is Impossible”.
Why do I make this important note? Galileo. As a scientist, he was able to prove that the Earth rotated around the Sun (heliocentric), not the other way round (geocentric). The Church authorities, who were not scientific at the time, threatened to condemn him as a heretic, unless he recanted. The reason for this was the inappropriate application of the Dogma of the Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. I say inappropriate, because as Augustine said:
For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it.
Notice how Augustine doesn’t jump down the neck of the Scientist…
The Inquisition Part 3
Otherwise known as Extra Sensory Powers, this particular idea features in many Science Fiction works. Examples: Babylon 5, Star Trek and Star Wars. It is not particularly “hard science fiction”, but it is a persistent topic in Science Fiction and continues to attract research.
Why? Well it contradicts several Dogmas, principally the Dogma of Divinity. Psychic powers are portrayed as the ability to read peoples minds (read: Omniscience), or to bend their free-will by transmitted suggestion/order (read: Omnipotence). Neither of these are acceptable to the Catholic.
God alone has Omniscience. Not even the devils are able to read our minds. The daemons are able to read our outward reactions to the temptations they broadcast, and so it may seem that they can read our minds, but they can’t.
God alone has Omnipotence. But even He does not overrule our Free Will. He will give us inspirations, but leaves us free to choose to cooperate with His Divine Will. The daemons when they transmit temptations, the daemons themselves do not have the power to override our Free Will, we must cooperate with the daemonic will, and that is what is called sin. It is important to state that because of Original Sin, every time we sin, the less strength we have to resist the temptation and so it becomes perpetually easier to sin. Sadly, it is not the same with cooperating with the Grace of God, due to Original Sin, it never gets easier to cooperate with Gods Will, there will always be a degree of difficulty.
Again, Science makes the mistake of thinking that everything is physical, explainable, so the proponents of Psychic Powers in Science Fiction, think it is a function of the Brain. The ability of daemons to transmit temptations, is because they are Spiritual entities, not physical ones. The reason why human beings can’t do the same, is because we are Incarnate Spirits (physical).
Sadly we humans being so fallen and depraved can bend people to our wills, by psychological torture, threat or conditioning. But it is via the physical universe that we do those terrible things. Please read and watch the Lenten Examination of Conscience #8 to understand this