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Old December 1 2012, 07:23 PM   #84
Longinus
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
What do you think the entire "Search for Spock" ended up meaning? The ritual at the end of STIII was strict spirituality/faith, without a shred of science involved in the act.
It is just a part of the Vulcan telepathy thing, just like mind melds. It may appear 'spiritual' to humans, but there is really nothing mystical about it.

In TOS, Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Scott have all made religious references (Christianity), and not as loose slang/expression, either. No episode was stronger in providing this proof than "Bread and Circuses" where Uhura and Kirk openly acknowledged God/Christ's existence, and this was an episode written by Roddenberry (along with Coon and Kneubuhl) while Roddenberry was involved with the series.
It merely acknowledges Christ as an important historical figure. And you don't have to be a Christian to see the moral value of Christ's teachings.

Spiritual belief exists in the ST universe across all eras, which calls into question the motives of various ST books which try to paint the franchise with revisionist brush, as though religious belief was nowhere to be seen in ST since "The Cage."
What does 'spritual belief' mean in this context? Trek people seem to approach all sorts of strange phenomena purely scientifically. They measure particles, not ponder spiritual meanings. Of course they ponder ethical and moral issues often, but that's not being spiritual. There are all sorts of godly superbeings and never they are seen to be anyway spiritually significant. Q for example is seen merely as a powerful alien, even though he appears to be nearly omnipotent, certainly a god compared to the mere humans.

Certainly, lingering effects of Christianity are more visible in TOS as they're in TNG. This has of course it's real world reasons, the time the shows were made and the control Roddenberry had over the production, but it also makes sense from the in-universe perspective. Religions do not vanish overnight, so religious worldview may have been more present (or at least better remembered) in 23th century than it was in 24th. And this also seems highly realistic to me. Religiosity is decreasing. United States is an anomaly amongst developed western nations for being highly religious, and even there atheism is growing. I find it completely plausible that that in few ceturies the religions are regarded as ancient myths and fables. This of course do not mean that people of the future cannot see value in some of these teachings and stories. We don't have to believe that Achilles or King Artur were real people to find them inspiring.

I am not certainly saying that no character in Star Trek can ever express anything that comes even close to religious idealogy, but secular humanism is one of the core ideas of the Federation, and religions should be mostly gone. Having a chaplain in Starfleet would seem about as fitting as Space Marines in Warhammer 40K having sensitivity training courses.
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