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The Founder

No God in Trek?

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scenario   
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.

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?

The line that lead to homo Sapiens has been fully bipedal for millions of years. The 4.4 million year old species, Adipithecus-ramidus, which may or may not be a direct human ancestor walked upright at least part of the time. The earliest hominid that we are sure walked upright full time was Homo Erectus around 1.89 million years ago. If you take Picard literally, Bajor has been civilized for two million years or more. (Scientists knew Homo Erectus walked upright many years before the show was written.) 

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Two thoughts:

1) if anyone was hoping that DSC would explore the theme of religion, this writer Kristen Byer probably won't be writing those episodes. DS9 did a series long exploration of faith and did so honoring both the faithful and the secular, but erring more on the side of the faithful. But that was in context of an alien belief system, not Human religion. 

2) I don't NEED Trek to make some statement about the state of Human religion in the 23rd century, and the fact that they have avoided doing so after 50 years is telling and probably why Byer is under the impression that religion no longer exists in future. I would not mind at all if they did so, depicting some concrete sign that Christianity or Islam is still being followed in some fashion, or an entirely new Human religion has been discovered and is popular. This would be interesting--but it's not exactly in Trek wheelhouse so it probably will not happen.     

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barwars   

We've seen how frustrated sections of Trek fandom can get when the Klingon foreheads are redesigned, let alone poking the hornet's nest that is religion.

I think Trek is better off largely glossing over it or using alien races as a guise for social commentary as it has for the last 50 years. No need to offend anyone then.

My view on religion in Trek is largely shaped by the TNG episode The Chase. If the races in Trek were seeded by an ancient alien race then that pretty much rules out a God as our current culture sees it.

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Sim   
4 hours ago, barwars said:

My view on religion in Trek is largely shaped by the TNG episode The Chase. If the races in Trek were seeded by an ancient alien race then that pretty much rules out a God as our current culture sees it.

I really don't want to KM this thread, but I know quite a few people who believe in God, and not a single one of them confuses creation myth in scriptures with a historical account, by taking it literally. 

IMO people who do so are spiritual illiterates... but then, maybe I just know the wrong people. :P

Anyway, point being: Believing in God has absolutely nothing to do with confusing myth with science. There are a zillion ways you can believe in God that do not contradict science, and a huge number of believers do just that.

Edited by Sim

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4 hours ago, barwars said:

I think Trek is better off largely glossing over it or using alien races as a guise for social commentary as it has for the last 50 years. No need to offend anyone then.

(Shrug) Someone will always be offended by anything that is, or they can even construe as, social commentary. I remember reading letters of fans who raged in the "Communicator" fanzine after episodes like "The Outcast" and "Rejoined" about how it was supposed to be a family show and glorifying homosexuality and they were never going to watch again, etc, etc, etc.

So let the creators say anything they please. It'll work or it won't. But, either way, people will be offended.

4 hours ago, barwars said:

If the races in Trek were seeded by an ancient alien race then that pretty much rules out a God as our current culture sees it.

Not at all.

Who put them there alone in ALL the universe by themselves to seed the galaxy with beings in their image? They lived in one perfect cradle of life for ages, going forth and multiplying. Who created the universe for them to be alone in in the first place.

I can make the First Ones fit rather nicely in current models of monotheism. 

2 minutes ago, Sim said:

Anyway, point being: Believing in God has absolutely nothing to do with confusing myth with science. There are a zillion ways you can believe in God that do not contradict science, and a huge number of believers do just that.

This, too.

Edited by prometheus59650

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Sim   
4 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

This, too.

With respect to our dear moderator, I won't expand much on my thoughts on religion here... just want to say is that certain religious types, extremists who think they have to believe blindly and switching off the brain is a requirement for faith, unfortunately give religion a bad name. So I understand why religion has such a bad reputation among many people. But that's IMO a pity, because I think true spirituality is a very important aspect of the human condition, and denying that is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

If anybody feels like responding to me on this, or is interested in a talk on this topic, I'll be gladly available in the KM section! :laugh:

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19 minutes ago, Sim said:

With respect to our dear moderator, I won't expand much on my thoughts on religion here... just want to say is that certain religious types, extremists who think they have to believe blindly and switching off the brain is a requirement for faith, unfortunately give religion a bad name. So I understand why religion has such a bad reputation among many people. But that's IMO a pity, because I think true spirituality is a very important aspect of the human condition, and denying that is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

If anybody feels like responding to me on this, or is interested in a talk on this topic, I'll be gladly available in the KM section! :laugh:

As a Born Again - I agree. Extremism can paint a bad picture of religion, and I think this extremism influenced Roddenberry himself to some extent.

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scenario   

I would kind of like to see them refer to the great schism where a new version of Christianity arose with its own bible (The Orange Catholic Bible perhaps :)) along with new versions of most religions. New versions of Christianity/Islam/Hinduism etc. that dumps the violent tendencies and tendency to fetish on the idea that ignorance is a virtue. 

Star Trek talks about a newer improved humanity. I would think that a new improved religions would go along with a new improved humanity. 

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In Star Trek, they seem to take a tact of a casual observer in regards to faith. It seems some of the crews merely practice it as a kind of hobby, and are not overt. Perhaps in their century, they are less driven by culture and various needs or habits, and are more reasonable, scientific, and not as troubled by everyday semantics. Today we seem poloarized on one side or another, but Trek at least in the early versions, was sort of off to the side.

DS9 gave us the first true exploration of a rise of a Federation member planet, although it never decided Bajor was now a member, unless you count the books. The endgame should have gone there. Sometimes it dropped into space war of the week with that Dominion thing, so it too skirted away from exploring the Bajoran idea of faith after a while. When it came back, it was oddly cult like with Prophets and messengers, and questing. Then it would be time for more space wars. In the end, the faith of that series was reduced to just, one station commander becomes an angel, goes into a temple thing, and might eventually return "Yesterday." Evidently they didn't know what to do with the orbs and stuff.

Voyager didn't go there at all. When they encountered a moral issue, it was not really a religious one. You ca have morality without religion. You can simply be a good person. It actually at times was more humanist than TNG. What was Janeway? Was she some kind of mid western Earth agnostic? They never really said. Chakotay was some sort of central American colony person who had spirit quests, but they stopped doing that after that one story. The Borg seemed to revere certain items, such as Omega particles, being a collective, a Unimatrix holodeck like realm, but not actually any moral component.

Enterprise never really addressed faith. It was likely Archer was somewhat an American from NY, and sometimes would say God, usually in surprise. Tpol was kind of zen religious, and did not eat meat. Nobody else really seemed to be anything.

In the Star Trek reboot there really is no overtly addressed faith. New Kirk doesn't really claim to be anything. McCoy could be Baptist, but it is not said. Spock appears to be somewhat Buddhist like, but not obviously. Sulu and the others are so vague on that nobody can tell.

It probably doesn't mean anything to the characters when they gasp, "My God" in any of the new iterations, as it has merely become like an expliotive without a whole meaning. Humanism. Yep.

 

 

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scenario   

I think in the Star Trek world, the pressure to be religious is gone. In some places, in some times, you had be the same religions as the locals to survive in the town. You couldn't get a job, get married etc. In the Star Trek universe many people may be religious but it's their own choice, they're not forced to be religious. Religion would be more deeper and heart felt because it was chosen. More people will actually understand their own religion and not just rote quote things. 

From a storypoint line, religion is a flash point. Religion tends to bring out trolls of all types.  The moderators here get nervous whenever religion is discussed. TV networks don't want to touch the issue. It's difficult to write a really good story about religion that doesn't step on someone's toes, somewhere. So I think they've just assumed that Religion in the Star Trek world is not the significant force as it is in the real world. They avoid the question of whether or not it exists. In TOS, they hinted that it existed in some form by having a chapel on the ship but they deliberately never went into details.

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This sounds very KM to me. Might as well move it before it gets very .....errrrr...KMish. ;)

There's a bit of a leap in the article's title(quite sure to grab attention) than what the article itself is saying. Religion vs belief of a supreme being. They're not the same thing. You can believe in whatever you want to believe. Our world's future according to Star Trek is that we've moved away from silly explanations of our surroundings. That's what essentially religion is: a cultural group's explanation for why things are they way they are. 

For whatever it's worth, I don't use those words anymore('Jesus Christ' as a form of curse or emotional outburst, 'God's speed', etc...). That's not uncommon over here in California especially with a huge Asian population that doesn't have that in their culture or vocabulary. 

I like the notion of a personal belief. I can see as how we become further educated we would be less superstitious. That doesn't mean a negation of some higher power but it does mean relying less on beliefs when science continues to demystify our universe. It has to turn to the personal when we now understand how we get rain and that no amount of dancing in circles will make such an event happen, you know?

As for some of the religious mentions in old Trek episodes, it's important to remember historical context. It has less to do with Star Trek and more to do with 1960's America. 

For argument's sake, let's swap a religion. Do you think Americans would be comfortable with whatever the Islamic version is of "God bless you" when someone sneezes? If there is such a thing of course. 

Remember all mythologies were at some point a religion. Religions, therefore, are simply active mythologies. 

 

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I don't have my all powerful Mac with me right now (so I have crude abilities here; no direct line quoting), but regarding Chimera's assumption that Archer is from NY?  It was stated (in "Broken Bow") that Archer was born and raised in San Francisco....

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just remembered, Cassidy Yates's mom wanted her and Sisko married by a minister instead of admiral ross. And Sisko's dad studied the bible, memorizing parts of it. So there are Christians in Trek.

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