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The Curse of Frank Black

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Guest dylan1371

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Guest Pencil Machine Operator

I had a fairly apt dream after watching this episode:

I was commanding the army of Good against the army of Evil (in a vast desert). Neither force had a noticable lead; but I chickened and ran, unable to cope with the responsibility...

Its been about 4 years since I've seen most of the episodes ( 3 on tape is all I have), so I dont know what Frank's response is to Legion's challenge; hopefully he had more willpower than me!

has anyone else noticed the book that the smoking guy (does he have a name) in this episode has on his coffee table? L'aige De Raison (my French isnt too good) , or The Age of Reason, by Jean-Paul Sartre. I have this book in my room but have'nt read it yet. I've read some of his books on philosophy and it's basically about human responsiblity, and how our actions constitute our essence or soul (he was an atheist, so would probably object to the term 'soul').

Seems pretty relevant to the themes of the episode.  :thinking_big:

P.S. To paraphrase a Simpsons character: "Best episode ...EVER!!"

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Jean-Paul Sartre would definitely disagree that his writing was refering to "the soul," as he was an atheist/non-believer.  Actually, he refered to himself as an existentialist.

And I did notice that book!  These kinds of appearances seem to turn up in a number of different 1013 shows.  In MillenniuM, a line from Jean-Paul Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness' appears as an openning quote for and episode... I think it is 522666:  "I am responsible for everything... except my very responsibility."  There are also some episodes of the X-Files that use titles of existential works as the episode titles.  This, and many other things about the 1013 shows, make me wonder if there were some humanists or atheists amoungst the crew of writers, producers, and directors.

The appearance of The Age of Reason in this particular episode, I think, has to purposes.  One purpose points to what PMO mentioned - a little emphasis or nudge about responsibility, choice, and the question of freedom.  I think another purpose is to lend a bit of irony to the episode by the presense of this book.  I mean, the phenomena ( :wink_big: )of the episode - and all MillenniuM - is not exactly a picture of the world that would be arrived at through reason.   Nor is the life and experiences of the character Mr. Crocell something that reason would validate.  I think the irony is more profound because it is Crocell that is the owner of the book!  For me, reason and science have always been the doorway out of superstition and the darkness of ingnorance that allows people to be controllered by the fear, faith or idea of the "forces of evil" or the "interventions of good".  So, I think the subtle irony created by the placement of this book is no accident.

In regards to the "devil in the egg," I thought this was very clever.  I mean, we see it all the time.  People "seeing" demons & devils in smoke or the shadows of some picture, that is just optical illusion or imagination ("the devil" that was "outlined" in the smoke of the 9-11 attack is a good example of this).  Or there are examples of people seeing ghosts or apparitions in photographs that are merely photographic distortions caused by improper exposure, etc.  There are also those who "see" the Virgin Mary in the drapes of a hospital window, or on the tin foil lining of a local basketball backboard.  I thought it was quite clever for the writers to play on this type of behavior in human beings and include it in the "egg devil" scene.

And Erin's insight about this episode being an Halloween version of It's A Wonderful Life... this is a great new way to see this episode!  Thanks Erin!  I had not picked up on this before.  But I think you are quite right!  Only, I think it is a very subtle theme running through the episode.  The next time I watch this episode, I will be viewing it with this insight in mind!


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Thank you, Scott.

Yes, the "It's A Wonderful Life" theme was subtle, but, then, that's what I tend to look for in MillenniuM.  The subtalties.  It's kind of like unwrapping a Christmas gift, every time.  Each episode has something unique to offer.  A new insight.  A new thread to the intricate web woven by Chris Carter and all his fantastic writers. :thumbsup_big:

~Raven Wolf (Erin) :Ouro_Large:

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........."existentialist" is certainly not the same thing as being an "atheist" or an "agnostic"-(and even these 2-words mean very different things). the two have very different meanings. "my" interpretation was one of him not beleiving or subscribing to the traditional,i.e. "organized religious" beliefs or intepretations of what the human soul is,and he certainly questioned it's existence. not beleiving in a human soul does not neccesarily an atheist make. :angel:

                                  ~i feel like having fish,

                                                     se7en :ouro:

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Here you go.  We have a wide selection of fish from which to choose.  It is best if your actually try them and see for yourself to get the full flavor and nurishment they provide.





:laugh_big:  :wink_big:

Now, seriously, though... just a couple of points:

1. A component of Existentialism certainly is atheism and non-belief, in fact this is the beginning point of Existentialism.  Everything else about Existentialism flows from atheism and non-belief.

2. Among atheists, "atheist" means that we do not believe that a god exist, nor any other supernatural being or entity.  Athiests also do not believe that any spiritual or supernatural realm of things or ordering of things exists.

3. I did not equate atheism or agnosticism here or anywhere.  Nor did I even refer to agnosticism within this thread.  The only other things that a mentioned was "non-belief."  I know, and have never denied that there is a difference between atheism and agnosticism.  However, in the end, they do adopt the same approach to life through reason, science, and free inquiry.  The atheist says there is not evidence or proof of the existence of the superantural. And the atheist goes further, saying that there is, on the other hand, lots of evidence and reasonable information about the natural origins and mechanisms of the universe and life.

The agnostic says that there is no means for proving or disproving the existence of the supernatural through our current level of technology, science, and knowledge.  So since there is no proof either way, the agnostic therefore, says that we should procede from what can be understood, proven, or reasonably deduced as far as how we approach life and conduct ourselves.  Or, the agnostic says, "well, I don't know one way or the other, so I better go with what can be know, understood, proven and reasonably deduced."

So, in the end, there is much compatability of thinking among atheists and agnostics, because their approach to understanding, learning, and conducting themselves is similar in the end - that is, basing their knowledge, views, and approach to living on what can be known and understood and substantiated through verifiable, quatifiable, and repeatable evidence, or at least on what is reasonably observable and deductable - as opposed to basing ones life or understanding of life solely and merely upon speculation, conjecture, imagination, "choice to believe", faith, feeling, intuition, or a "need for something to believe in"/"need for a sense of meaning" (which some are unable to find in themselves or through just living life to the fullest, etc).  The latter is what the believer or theist does.  Or, there are some believers/theists, who somehow manage to base their views on a combination of the latter mixed in with reason and scientific approaches.  My question is - how do they pick and choose between which parts they attribute to natural processes, and which things the attribute to supernatural phenomena.  Also, how do the pick and choose between believing in one kind of supernatural being or force, and denying the existence of another type of supernatural being or force. What is the reasoning behind this?  How do they arrive at these conclusions?  For example, how does a believer come to the conclusion that there is "something out there of a supernatural order", but it is not a conscious supernatural deity?  Upon what evidence or reasoning do they base this?  Another example would be, how does a believer come to the conclusion that evolution is the natural process by which life evolved, but it is still the "creation process" that a god or supernatural forces used to create life?

As many of you know, I am an atheist, and I know many agnostics.  There are agnostics in the local humanist group that I helped to found.  They approach life from a stand point of ever evolving reason, science, and naturally obtained knowledge.  They acknowledge that any conjecture about the "if" or "what" of the possible existence of something beyond what we can currently know would be fruitless speculation.  They go further even than that.  The don't even speculate weather this "something beyond what we can currently know" is natural or supernatural.  They say it is just completely pointless to speculate about, until such time as science, technology, and knowledge are capable of exploring and testing such things.  In the meantime, they are quite content to use current reason, science, and knowledge guide their views and provide evidence about the natural world.

This is how I see it, based upon my own studies, observations, experiences, and first hand knowledge and interaction with atheists, agnostics, humanists, non-believers, and existentialists.  Yes, I even know people who refer to themselves as existentialists.  I always welcome questions and responses.


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...HOW DARE YOU! DON'T YOU KNOW THAT THE EARTH AND ALL THINGS IN AND ON IT ARE ONLY ABOUT 15,000 YEARS OLD! BLASPHEMY! ...though that DARWIN fish looks pretty tasty!  ah,the mindboggling-(to me anyway)-creationists.                              ...........anyway........

........hmmmm,we must have very different books/sources about atheism,cos jim's got quite a few books-(i'll see if he can't bring them up in a few weeks when comes up)-and in those books atheism,agnostics and existentialism ALL-3 have either slightly,or significantly different definations of what all three of these words are and/or mean than what you have given me.    .....my guess for these different interpretations is that,like many groups,whether religious or political,etc often have a broad spectrum of people in them hence the variety and different shadings of what atheism means to people. that actually makes more sense the more i think about it.


                                                se7en :ouro:

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LOL!  I find them all quite tasty, and filling!

You are quite right about their being different definitions from different people and sources.

And as far as Existentialism.  As I said, Atheism and non-belief are just the beginning of this philosophical train of thought.  The same can be said of Secular Humanism or Humanism.  Atheism and Non-Belief are just the starting point for these world views.

Now, if you talk to some who refer to themselves as Atheists or Non-Believers, they will tell you -and rightfully so- that Atheism and Non-Belief is not just about not believing in the existense of God or the supernatural, but about living a life based in reason, and ever evolving knowlege and inquiry. And being free from beliefs about the supernatural, one is free to explore the world and life as it is, not as we speculate it to be.  They also equate Atheism with integrity of character, living truthfully and courageously, and with a free and learning mind.  These are just some of the things that follow from Non-belief or Atheism.

And, agnostic... well... there are soooo many subtle little nuances and shades of different meanings to this word and definitions.

With all of the above, I just see them all in a general pool of Non-Belief or Suspended-Belief (Suspended-Belief...as in awaiting the evolution of technology, science, knowledge to be able to examine and explore things that currently cannot be examined or explored).  I have no preference to what people call themselves or don't feel any need to have rigidly defined definitions of each word or type of non-believer.

In fact, the whole name game is something that believers often try to use as an arguing devise or tool.

Personally, I call myself an Atheist, Humanist, Secular Humanist, Freethinker, and Non-Believer interchangeably.  I know that there are slight and subtle differences, and in some contexts, the differences are very important.  But, in general, this is how I approach it.

I do not call myself an Agnostic, because i feel that there is enough reasonable evidence that the universe and life originated from and operates according to natural processes, not supernatural processes.


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Guest LauraKrycek

But I think that young Frank had no idea of Legion, and that the echo of the egg scene can be the whole series, where Frank has made his choice. Frank needs all his experience to be fully aware of Legion and of his relations with it. If young Frank realised what he saw on the window, I wonder what meaning he gave to it then.

But the egg thing didn't happen to young Frank, it happened in the present time.  He chased the kids away from the yellow house, then, distraught, he threw eggs at the house.

And in regards to whether or not the Sartre thing was intended -- just remember, in 1013, there are no accidents.   :smokin:  :ouro:

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"We should talk sometime."

"After everything I've seen, I refuse to believe it's not true!"

I could tell you things that would have you scratching your head for YEARS!!!! :thinking_big:

I can understand and respect simple resistance to "extreame possiblitys".... but I have something a lot of people don't have.  Personal experiance.  Not just speculation, but actual experiances that I have had myself.  Things that even the hard-core, right wing people I have known could not deny.

Since it's off the subject, I won't get into the particulars here.... but at some point... I may have to "come out of my "X-Files closet"! :ghostface:

~Raven Wolf

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Guest Pencil Machine Operator

Sorry Psycho, ever heard of Kierkegaard, Jaspers or Marcel? all religious existentialists.

To get back on topic, I think what is most surprising about Millenium is its compatability with atheistic thought, despite its ever-increasing theological subject matter. Its rare that a TV programme deals with ethics and other philosophical questions so thoughtfully.

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