I think the net result of the show’s complexity is to move the audience away from self-righteousness and towards compassion. Because these issues are fundamentally complex, despite the highly polarized climate these days in which each side just wants to point at the other and dismiss them as stupid. As in, "The War in Iraq is stupid. We should get out." Or, "It's stupid to think that everybody everywhere doesn't want American style democracy." Both of these are over-simplifications that encourage people to posture about with a sense of superiority. There is something about the way BSG establishes ambiguity in so many of the issues that leaves me really, really glad that I'm not the one who has to make the call that the characters are having to make. There is no possibility of posturing simple and superior. The show makes me want to pray for people with power. And to be clear, it’s not that BSG makes things like torture ambiguous. But it definitely gives you a sense of how and why terror and social disorder drive people to try torture as a solution. Or else stealing elections. Or resorting to martial law. Or trampling on civil liberties.Then she takes a look at the the series' larger worldview, and wonders:
In rendering the Cylon “skin jobs” so indistinguishably similar to human beings, doesn’t the show diminish the sacredness of human life? Particularly with the revelation at the end of Season 3 of the four beloved characters to be Cylons, hasn’t the show now waded into the big lie that human beings are basically material beings without a spiritual dimension? Because clearly, spirit cannot be built. So then, if you can build a robot that is indistinguishable from a human, it is because the human actually has nothing actually spiritual in its definition. And then the meaning of Battlestar Galactica would be a lie (although, as I noted above, not necessarily an illegitimate work of art).She proposes a couple of ways the series could go in this area--and I don't want to steal her thunder so go read it here. I'm thinking option "B" would be a very interesting way to go.
For more on BSG from this blog, go here, here, here and here. bsgctgy