There is currently a TV show titled “The Good Place” that airs on NBC. The premise of this comedy is four humans die and are sent to the supposed “Good Place”, as opposed to the “Bad Place”. Twist after twist leads them to question their respective lives on earth and what are the moral and ethical quandaries to what makes a good person. Their demon-turned friend, Michael, discovers that the point system to determine where people go in the afterlife is so complex and complicated that it’s impossible for someone to get into the Good Place due to unintended consequences, we each make every second of every day. I find this to be an excellent example of what we have learned so far in class. Additionally, McGuire has mentioned something like the show in chapter two relating to an individual’s meaning system. Although the main characters are dead, they each have defining traits that contribute to their actions in the past, present, and unpredictable future. Eventually, they each build and assist one another in ways they never could have anticipated.
This week, while being the first week, we learned some fascinating details about sociology and not only its relationship to this class, but its intended purpose to better understand the religious landscape. The four things that make up religion: experience, image, story and community, and how they relay back to each other was a set of logical steps that never really stood out to me before. Finding out what a sociologist of religion does and how to utilize the data you’ve gathered is going to be a very useful skill set. Social and personal relationships have changed so much, it’s hard to have it all connect and make sense. Why has our world and culture become so complicated?