Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I have been watching the final series of the much acclaimed LOST. I have enjoyed ABC's series in some ways. It tries to grapple with philosophical subtexts and bring them to a wider audience, which is no bad thing. However, it is often utterly incoherent requiring you to unpick it (unsuccessfully) in a manner which should be unnecessary for a well-thought out piece.
Aside from the scatter-gun approach of firing off half-philosophies and theologies in a random manner, I have one major gripe. One of the main themes running through the show is Science vs Faith. This is a noble fight and one which requires a delicate and thoughtful touch to expose all the nuances. Unfortunately, no such luxury is afforded here.
What we basically have is a fight over dualism, or naturalism vs supernaturalism. In real-life, we have decent philosophical discourses that set out to argue either side. The important idea here is that they are philosophical arguments that remain in the academic realm. If we have empirical evidence of supernaturalism (despite the issues with such a statement) than we would all be supernaturalists.
However, the show presents the argument and then precedes to make up 'evidence'. There are fantastical story lines of smoke monsters and people dying and resurrecting, of all manner of supernatural events.This makes a mockery of the whole them (or argument). That is like presenting an argument and then making up the proof for your side of the argument.Science vs Faith sees Science get a sound beating because J.J. Abrams and his writers can make up whatever the hell they want to act as evidence for the power of Faith (supernaturalism).
In religious terms, it is like making a show to investigate the theme of whether or not God exists, and then having God sit around in heaven in the first episode saying "I do like this existence malarkey, you know". Kind of pointless when you answer your own questions in a manner that is, well, question begging.