The Web Log of Jon Henshaw

The theology of Battlestar Galactica

Written by , published on and related to 🤔 Philosophy

Battlestar Galactica has numerous cultural and psychological threads throughout its ongoing plot. One of the most interesting themes is the struggle between humankind’s creation — the Cylons — and the struggle between reason & science and religion.

Christos Tsirbas ponders the intent and meaning of the Cylons and how it reflects on our own superstitions and existence.

The Cylons are the physical embodiment of extremely sophisticated technology and yet they are regressive at the same time, adopting superstition and believing in the irrational when they have irrefutable proof that they are the product of the application of advanced scientific knowledge. And this is what makes them such a powerful metaphor. Like us, who are beginning to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos and to understand the full extent of our genetic heritage, the Cylons are steeped in knowledge. but this is not enough. They seek their solace elsewhere. And more importantly, the Cylons acknowledge other ways of knowing, such as emotion and memory (collective and individual). They are far from creatures of pure rationality.

It will be interesting to see how the last season unfolds. Battlestar Galactica has been a tour de force in human existentialism — exploring what it means to be human and frequently questioning the validity of our superstitious nature.