Merry Christmas wrote:
Haven't there been many episodes where that's exactly the main plot line, wreastling with ethical and moral questions and issues?
Yes. And they use their human ethics to solve those tituations, not consult scriptures.
No he didn't, there was a chapel in two TOS episodes, it was used for a wedding ceremony and later a memorial service.
Yes, there was a generic chapel space for various seremonies, but the chaplain part is true. He didn't want Starfleet to have chaplains.
Although Roddenberry was raised as a Southern Baptist
, he instead considered himself a humanist
. He saw religion as the cause of many wars and human suffering. Brannon Braga
has said that Roddenberry made it known to the writers of Star Trek
and Star Trek: The Next Generation
that religion and mystical thinking were not to be included, and that in Roddenberry's vision of Earth's future, everyone was an atheist and better for it.
However, Roddenberry was clearly not punctilious in this regard, and some religious references exist in various episodes of both series under his watch. The original series episodes "Bread and Circuses
", "Who Mourns for Adonais?
" and "The Ultimate Computer
", and the Star Trek: The Next Generation
episodes "Data's Day
" and "Where Silence Has Lease
" are examples. On the other hand, "Metamorphosis
", "The Empath
", "Who Watches the Watchers
", and several others reflect his agnostic views. He stubbornly resisted the effort of network execs to put a Christian chaplain on the crew of the Enterprise. It would be ludicrous, he argued, to pretend that all other religions would have become obliterated by this point, or that such a cosmopolitan people would impose one group's religion on all the rest of the crew.
So yes, we can find offassional references to religion, especially in TOS. The general idea is still clear: in future humans are mostly atheistic.
Now, I certainly don't think one has to take Roddenberry's opinions as a word of god, but I really think that this is a core part of Star Trek. The show is about people resolving issues with reason and compassion. Supernatural explanations are never considered, nor are morals ever justified by religious reasons.