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The Founder

No God in Trek?

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https://uk.style.yahoo.com/series-star-trek-discovery-confirms-091105340.html

So .... what is this all about?

I get that Trek is meant to be a more secular vision - especially on Earth. I completely agree that on Earth there should be no religious extremism, violence, hatred, etc. But all humans are now atheists? The other shows don't reflect that at all.

I hate this for two reasons:

1) This continues the stupid trend that all humans (like all aliens) share some monolithic culture/beliefs.

2) We're at the point that humans are so atheist they won't even utter phrases with "god" in them? That's ridiculous. Even atheists will say "oh god" or "goddamn" or "godspeed". In fact, Neil DeGrasse Tyson got guff for that fact he said "godspeed" and he explained its just an old phrase for "god be with you" when someone goes into potential danger.

These are just phrases. This is a minor quibble but seems like a really silly choice. To me, it's akin to when Roddenberry told the TNG writers you can't really mention money and you can't have internal fighting. Silly nonsense.

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36 minutes ago, The Founder said:

https://uk.style.yahoo.com/series-star-trek-discovery-confirms-091105340.html

So .... what is this all about?

I get that Trek is meant to be a more secular vision - especially on Earth. I completely agree that on Earth there should be no religious extremism, violence, hatred, etc. But all humans are now atheists? The other shows don't reflect that at all.

I hate this for two reasons:

1) This continues the stupid trend that all humans (like all aliens) share some monolithic culture/beliefs.

2) We're at the point that humans are so atheist they won't even utter phrases with "god" in them? That's ridiculous. Even atheists will say "oh god" or "goddamn" or "godspeed". In fact, Neil DeGrasse Tyson got guff for that fact he said "godspeed" and he explained its just an old phrase for "god be with you" when someone goes into potential danger.

These are just phrases. This is a minor quibble but seems like a really silly choice. To me, it's akin to when Roddenberry told the TNG writers you can't really mention money and you can't have internal fighting. Silly nonsense.

I think (in context to the article) they probably just didn’t agree with Isaac’s improvisation as it sounded too ‘now.’   They only time we hear Kirk use that particular expletive (I won’t repeat it in a non-KM section...hehe) was trying to blend in with the ‘primitive and paranoid culture’ in The Voyage Home.   But, in defense of god, Kirk also said in Who Mourns for Adonais? that modern 23rd century humans have ‘no need for gods, (as they) find the one quite adequate.'

And in Balance of Terror we see the Enterprise’s chapel.  Hardly need such a place if the ship’s crew were all-atheists, right?

I think that comment (re: Isaacs and the director of that particular episode of DSC) was simply taken out of context, and was meant to convey disapproval with the actor’s ad-lib. 

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And also, an atheist cannot hate God, because they would not believe in any God.

The article is about the ad lib. The director was probably worried about the studio big wigs being mad, or angry letters from middle America where all the hyper evangelicals live, even though they would not actually be watching anyway.

"What does God need with a Starship?" "You don't ask the almighty for his ID", and "My God!" were uttered in Trek movies.

"One humans were fighting over tribal god images." "An evolved sensibility" and "He is not the god of Sha Ka Ree or any other god." Different Trek lines thatconvey different writers, ideas, possible faiths, or lack thereof.

"How noble in reason, in moving and faculty how like an angel, in comprehension how like a God" Picard mocking Q using Shakespeare

It seems there are demigods, but not outright gods, in Star Trek, in some cases. Nearly omnipotent doesn't make sense. So is Q and people like him a demigod? Q would probably like to be worshiped, but he was clearly be false, like Ardra or the Greek gods in those old episodes.

Also there is the classic episode Bread and Circuses where the planet Magna Roma had a group following, "not sun worshipers, but the Son of God." as Uhura put it.

It seems to depend on the writers and what they want to put in a story.

Edited by Chimera82405

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scenario   

I think that the type of religion that promotes hatred and ignorance has died out in Star Trek. But the softer more fuzzy personal type of religion is still around. I just can't see there being millions of humans in Star Trek who are being taught to hate Vulcans because they have taken a few quotes from the misc holy book out of context and are using them to encourage StarFleet to kill all Vulcans. 

I really don't have a problem with someone saying oh god. I would have a problem with a StarFleet crewmember trying to force others to believe in their particular religion. 

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29 minutes ago, scenario said:

I really don't have a problem with someone saying oh god. I would have a problem with a StarFleet crewmember trying to force others to believe in their particular religion. 

I think that's what people figured out in a few hundred years: your truth is just that. Yours

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4 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I think (in context to the article) they probably just didn’t agree with Isaac’s improvisation as it sounded too ‘now.’  

I think that comment (re: Isaacs and the director of that particular episode of DSC) was simply taken out of context, and was meant to convey disapproval with the actor’s ad-lib. 

 "For God's sakes" doesn't sound very ... anachronistic to me. I mean - I'm pretty sure people said that 100 + years ago. I don't see why it has fallen out of fashion a few centuries from now. Secularism rising across Earth notwithstanding.

If he said "What in tarnation?" I then would think they have a point. :P

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15 minutes ago, The Founder said:

 "For God's sakes" doesn't sound very ... anachronistic to me. I mean - I'm pretty sure people said that 100 + years ago. I don't see why it has fallen out of fashion a few centuries from now. Secularism rising across Earth notwithstanding.

If he said "What in tarnation?" I then would think they have a point. :P

Indeed. I'm an atheist and I... call to Jesus Christ. Doesn't mean I'm a secret believer.

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4 hours ago, Chimera82405 said:

And also, an atheist cannot hate God, because they would not believe in any God.

Easy... let’s not KM this topic by assuming we know exactly what others should think, OK?  ;)

4 hours ago, Chimera82405 said:

"What does God need with a Starship?" "You don't ask the almighty for his ID", and "My God!" were uttered in Trek movies.

The first two were said in context to the story; the entity they were addressing was claiming to be god, much as Apollo claimed to be a deity in “Who Mourns...” 

3 hours ago, scenario said:

I think that the type of religion that promotes hatred and ignorance has died out in Star Trek. But the softer more fuzzy personal type of religion is still around. I just can't see there being millions of humans in Star Trek who are being taught to hate Vulcans because they have taken a few quotes from the misc holy book out of context and are using them to encourage StarFleet to kill all Vulcans. 

I really don't have a problem with someone saying oh god. I would have a problem with a StarFleet crewmember trying to force others to believe in their particular religion. 

^
This is fair to say, I think.   The Federation and Starfleet respects others’ beliefs there really is no absolute ruling concerning divinity in the ST universe. 

1 hour ago, The Founder said:

 "For God's sakes" doesn't sound very ... anachronistic to me. I mean - I'm pretty sure people said that 100 + years ago. I don't see why it has fallen out of fashion a few centuries from now. Secularism rising across Earth notwithstanding.

If he said "What in tarnation?" I then would think they have a point. :P

And yes, the actual line was “For God’s sake” (which IS something that we’ve heard Bones say many times in the movies), and I think I sped-read it with the director’s ruling on the phrase ‘g@d damn.’   But yes, you’re absolutely right Founder; the actual objected-to line is one that the franchise has used before. 

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Sim   

I assume the way the article is written, it's rumor. My guess is that the author of the article above wants to sensationalize, by evoking a response from the religious crowds among the readers, and ripped the situation out of context. Pandering to the prejudices of a certain American demographic that can easily be provoked by such claims.

To spread prejudices about Star Trek, to paint it as some kind of politically correct fantasy of rabid liberal atheists or something ... while in reality, that doesn't hold up (see Sehlat's first reply). (Personal) Faith does have a place in Star Trek.

Edited by Sim

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Picard did seem to believe in a higher power when Nagilum (through projections of Troi and Data) were talking to him about death.

They never said there was not a God in Trek, although again, Roddenberry was never too crazy about organized religion. I may be a Born Again, but in some ways, Roddenberry DID have some points.

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51 minutes ago, Rusty0918 said:

Picard did seem to believe in a higher power when Nagilum (through projections of Troi and Data) were talking to him about death.

They never said there was not a God in Trek, although again, Roddenberry was never too crazy about organized religion. I may be a Born Again, but in some ways, Roddenberry DID have some points.

I like that it was left ambiguous.  

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Sim   
3 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I like that it was left ambiguous.  

Some aliens are clearly spiritual/religious... not just the Bajorans, but i.e. the Klingons, too (that entire Stovokor thing).

Perhaps you could even say the Vulcan philosophy has a streak of a religion, with all its inspiration from Eastern religions (meditation, Surak as a quasi-holy figure... reminds me of Buddhism).

Granted, none of these are monotheisms. But I like the idea that personal faith persists on earth, people have just learnt to consider it a private matter.

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3 minutes ago, Sim said:

Perhaps you could even say the Vulcan philosophy has a streak of a religion, with all its inspiration from Eastern religions (meditation, Surak as a quasi-holy figure... reminds me of Buddhism).

Spock does mention going to a shrine to “honor our gods” in TAS’ Yesteryear. 

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scenario   
17 hours ago, The Founder said:

 "For God's sakes" doesn't sound very ... anachronistic to me. I mean - I'm pretty sure people said that 100 + years ago. I don't see why it has fallen out of fashion a few centuries from now. Secularism rising across Earth notwithstanding.

If he said "What in tarnation?" I then would think they have a point. :P

Good Bye is short for God be with you. I don't see Good Bye disappearing any time soon. I can see Oh God as one of those sayings that a lot of people use but don't think of or even know what it means.

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17 minutes ago, scenario said:

I can see Oh God as one of those sayings that a lot of people use but don't think of or even know what it means.

I don't think people will stop using it or even knowing its deeper meaning, but for many people even today, it's just an exclamation without any religious connotation. It's use is too ingrained in language now to fall out of favor.

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Sim   

Or they could replace religious words with 'frak'. :P

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The definition of atheism is they do not believe in any God, and It was not meant as a KM, so relating it to Trek.. In Trek, this might be the Cardassians.

Some people on the Enterprise were Christian, Kirk, McCoy, maybe Sulu.

Klingons appear to be a mixture of Orthodox and Buddhist.

Vulcans are a mix of Judeism and Buddhist, including the famous Vulcan salute, a Jewish faith prayer symbol in one form, and the meditation.

The Bajorans believe in many gods, as Prophets. They learn that these are false gods, (according to the Federation, which should have been heresy) but continue to accept them, and surprisingly do not kick the Federation discoverers out for finding out theirs was a false belief (to the Federation). Instead, they convert Sisko to their cause (and in a backhanded way, he is supposedly their 'messenger' destined from birth). They have some zen Buddhist ways, but also other sects. It is odd because Bajor is really a people over 300,000 years older than humans, because Picard said so about them being capable 'artisans and voyagers' before humans stood erect. They should by then be on the level of their type 2 wormhole alien demigods. Maybe then that is why they worship them, as their ancestors, literally, who were ahead of them by hundreds of thousands of years. This does beg a question ever addressed in DS9. If they were so powerful, why not just prevent Cardassia and the Dominion from ever attacking their homeland?

Edited by Chimera82405

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Autocad   

I think the reference to a Bible passage, 'fits the bill'. When Kirk and Spock went to the planet run by Nazis, Kirk said the helmet over Spock's ears "covers a multitude of sins". I thought that was a perfect moment. Very funny too. Other time in TOS the bible is mentioned, during the court marshall episode. So, it's part of American culture and Star Trek history.

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4 minutes ago, Chimera82405 said:

The definition of atheism is they do not believe in any God, and It was not meant as a KM. In Trek, this might be the Cardassians.

Based on? Trek never really touched on Cardassian religion one way or another. That the military prevailed over a more "faithful" Cardassia and that the state pretty much oversees everything, that doesn't mean some sort of hybrid, state-approved religion doesn't exist. Indeed, it would be an effective means of control. The slave South toyed with the notion, as they often sent 'clergy' to not just spread Christianity, but a version that emphasized obedience and passivity to their bondage in life in return for eternal reward.

I also have no doubt that the original version of the faith exist. While Cardassian faithful might be a minority, I don't know that you can label it atheist.

16 minutes ago, Chimera82405 said:

including the famous Vulcan salute, a Jewish faith prayer symbol in one form, and the meditation.

 The gesture itself doesn't lend itself to say that Vulcan belief is akin to Judaism. I'm not that familiar with the Talmud, so, maybe. Can you point to any similarities? Or Buddism for that matter.

 

21 minutes ago, Chimera82405 said:

The Bajorans believe in many gods, as Prophets.

Nah. I would still call the Bajorans monotheistic, because, while their may be many entities as Prophets they aren't worshipped as many entities. There is no "Ankara, Prophet of Time" or "Herros, God of Prophecy." They are worshipped as a single, nebulous group.

 

28 minutes ago, Chimera82405 said:

They learn that these are false gods, but continue to accept them, and surprisingly do not kick the Federation discoverers out for finding out theirs was a false belief.

 

They learned no such thing. Sisko changed nothing. Indeed, Sisko was folded into their faith. The Federation offered a different perspective, but, so... These creatures play with time like like people play with pool toys. That's God-like. A different perspective does nothing to disprove their faith. Kahless was a clone, but the Empire would have torn itself apart anyway because it made no difference to the faithful.

Indeed, I can argue that the Prophets were borne out. The Prophets didn't convert Sisko. Sisko exists because they meant for him to.

And the Bajorans clearly weren't that as advanced as they could have been for any number of reasons, not the least of which being that they were a peaceful people largely content where they were. If you have no desire to venture out, why build an engine? If you're not looking to shoot people, why do you need a death beam? If your needs are met, I can see a society no rocking that boat.

But then you get into trouble when you meet people with engines and death beams.

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1 hour ago, prometheus59650 said:

 The gesture itself doesn't lend itself to say that Vulcan belief is akin to Judaism. I'm not that familiar with the Talmud, so, maybe. Can you point to any similarities? Or Buddism for that matter.

I don't see any similarities between Vulcan philosophy and Judaism, but I think it's definitely inspired by Buddhism: Vulcan philosophy is on a blurred line between a mere philosophy, a spiritual practize and a quasi-religion, like Buddhism. Both founded by a philosopher-founder/teacher who enjoys an admiration that goes beyond mere praise for a common philosopher, maybe is even "deified" to some extent. Then the practize of meditation and very disciplined exercizes to order and clear the mind -- that's very Buddhist (for Theravada monks, anyway... of course more popularized practizes are perhaps much less demanding). The Kolinahr reminds me of the Buddhist goal of reaching the status of Bodhisattva (in Mahayana). Just the logic-thing is not exactly Buddhist. Vulcans are more... brainy. :laugh:

 

Quote

 

Nah. I would still call the Bajorans monotheistic, because, while their may be many entities as Prophets they aren't worshipped as many entities. There is no "Ankara, Prophet of Time" or "Herros, God of Prophecy." They are worshipped as a single, nebulous group.

I agree ... I think the elements of the Bajoran faith that served as analogies/were inspired by earth religions, were mostly taken from monotheisms: Religion as a quasi-national identity (Judaism) that helped the people to preserve its identity and unity during hardship, oppression and holocaust (Judaism), the emphasis on holy scripture including prophecies and divine law (Judaism and Christianity), a practize of prayer in a fashion that at least to the Western eye reminds of Islam (the way they turn their hands) ... and the general concept, that there is a transcendent deity (or multifaceted deity, as in "the prophets") that reveal themselves to the people occasionally, presumably by sending or inspiring scripture, is very Judaism/Christianity/Islam. The term "prophets" in itself points to that tradition.

Just the ancient Bajoran caste systems reminds more of Hinduism... and the Orbs? Not sure... an SF-ified element of "natural spirituality"/shamanism, where people seek insights through visions (i.e. via drugs)?

 

Quote

 

 

They learned no such thing. Sisko changed nothing. Indeed, Sisko was folded into their faith. The Federation offered a different perspective, but, so... These creatures play with time like like people play with pool toys. That's God-like. A different perspective does nothing to disprove their faith. Kahless was a clone, but the Empire would have torn itself apart anyway because it made no difference to the faithful.

Indeed, I can argue that the Prophets were borne out. The Prophets didn't convert Sisko. Sisko exists because they meant for him to.

And the Bajorans clearly weren't that as advanced as they could have been for any number of reasons, not the least of which being that they were a peaceful people largely content where they were. If you have no desire to venture out, why build an engine? If you're not looking to shoot people, why do you need a death beam? If your needs are met, I can see a society no rocking that boat.

But then you get into trouble when you meet people with engines and death beams.

I agree ... just because the Federation used other, more scientific words to describe the Prophets, didn't somehow "disenchant" them. They were still quasi-gods. So no need for the Bajorans to resent the Federation (as much as Kai Winn had troubles with the scientific view, many other Bajorans, including clerics like Vedek Barail, apparently saw no challenge to their faith).

 

As for the Klingons... I disagree with Chimera, I don't think they're Zen. Even assuming Zen is all about the martial arts it inspired, and its influence on Japanese warrior culture in general ... Zen is much more about "total self-control and discipline". That's not exactly how I'd describe Klingons. :laugh:

So I guess while a Samurai-like code of honor perhaps served as an inspiration, I'd say that's where the similarities end.

And Orthodox ... Christianity? Have to say I don't know all that much about Eastern Christianity, but I've always had the impression they were mostly like Catholics, just with a little more (or different) fuss in the practize.

Edited by Sim

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5 minutes ago, Sim said:

. and the Orbs? Not sure... an SF-ified element of "natural spirituality"/shamanism, where people seek insights through visions (i.e. via drugs)?

This.

I only ever saw it as the Bajoran answer to the 'vision quest.' They are all Tears of Peyote.

Klingons? Definitely Samurai...Bushido code. Ain't jack that's "Zen" about these people.

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Folks?  We’re getting a bit too close to KM territory with some of these posts:

6 hours ago, Chimera82405 said:

The definition of atheism is they do not believe in any God, and It was not meant as a KM, so relating it to Trek.. In Trek, this might be the Cardassians.

^
Again; let’s not define others’ beliefs for them, okay?  Thanks. ;)

 

Moving on...

5 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

The gesture itself doesn't lend itself to say that Vulcan belief is akin to Judaism. I'm not that familiar with the Talmud, so, maybe. Can you point to any similarities? Or Buddism for that matter.

^
This.  The use of the splayed finger gesture is not in the same context as it is in Judaism.  

In Judaism, the splayed fingers represent the character of Shin; the first letter in the name of God.   To the Vulcans it no doubt means something else...

6 hours ago, Chimera82405 said:

Klingons appear to be a mixture of Orthodox and Buddhist.

Not at all.  They appear more like ancient Vikings.  In fact, they don’t seem to worship a deity per se, beyond a general belief in Sto-vo-Kor and of Kahless.  Worf even said Klingons killed their gods long ago because they were “more trouble than they were worth.” 

And Klingons seem to have none of the zen qualities typically associated with Buddhism; they are impatient, violent and carnal.  Quite the opposite, I’d think (?).

6 hours ago, Chimera82405 said:

Some people on the Enterprise were Christian, Kirk, McCoy, maybe Sulu.

Can you cite any specific examples to support this?  I thought I knew every episode pretty much by heart, and I never saw any indication of this. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Folks?  We’re getting a bit too close to KM territory with some of these posts:

^
Again; let’s not define others’ beliefs for them, okay?  Thanks. ;)

 

Moving on...

^
This.  The use of the splayed finger gesture is not in the same context as it is in Judaism.  

In Judaism, the splayed fingers represent the character of Shin; the first letter in the name of God.   To the Vulcans it no doubt means something else...

Not at all.  They appear more like ancient Vikings.  In fact, they don’t seem to worship a deity per se, beyond a general belief in Sto-vo-Kor and of Kahless.  Worf even said Klingons killed their gods long ago because they were “more trouble than they were worth.” 

And Klingons seem to have none of the zen qualities typically associated with Buddhism; they are impatient, violent and carnal.  Quite the opposite, I’d think (?).

Can you cite any specific examples to support this?  I thought I knew every episode pretty much by heart, and I never saw any indication of this. 

 

1

Mankind has no need for gods. We find the One quite adequate.-- Kirk, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" 

But here he seems to simply be acknowledging the prevalence of monotheism in Earth culture. He doesn't say WHICH God, nor does he claim one for himself.

So it's a stretch to say that you know Kirk had a religion.

And there's zilch, to my knowledge to suggest that McCoy or Sulu had one.

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