Reprise of The X-Files
“Can we talk about the nature of reality?” Agent Fox Mulder asks. “Do you believe that thoughts have mass? That ideas such as faith and forgiveness have weight much the same way [that] this desk (knocks on desk) has weight, or any material, really? … [These are] legitimate question[s].”
first aired Feb 15, 2016 (begins at minute 11)
Streaming from hulu.com
Mulder’s fellow agent, a rational materialist, answers that when she stands on a scale and thinks about ice cream, she doesn’t gain weight.
Mulder then asks about whether words have weight – “the weight to move people to go kill other people.” She answers, “Words themselves are not lethal …” [Only] “people kill people.” But “words can incite people to kill people.”
Note: Let’s not confuse the physical sciences with the social sciences and with metaphysics. Words, thoughts, faith, and forgiveness are weighty in the sense that they have importance. Notice how we borrow a word, weighty, from the physical world to describe something that comes from our minds and hearts. Similarly, “to move people.”