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Old December 6 2012, 05:26 PM   #151
Location: This dry land thing is too wierd!
Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Solarbaby wrote: View Post
Taken from Wikipedia
Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister in a specialized setting such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, lay representative of a world view attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel. Though originally the word "chaplain" referred to representatives of the Christian faith,[1] it is now applied to men and women of other religions or philosophical traditions–such as in the case of the humanist chaplains serving with military forces in the Netherlands and Belgium.
I find the idea of a chaplain on a modern day warship ironic. Since most religions at the root of their teachings are peaceful. Its often man's interpretation of the scriptures that leads to war. So why have a person of faith serving on a ship that potentially could bring the deaths of a lot of people? It's definitely not in the ideal of spiritual peace and harmony.
Because the people on that ship still feel a need for that spiritual guidance.

For this reason I think it would be interesting to have a Chaplain who was a non believer in any religion but open minded. Trained to respect and help individuals contemplate their own beliefs. I think a Chaplain with his own strong faith guiding others who worship wormhole aliens and idols etc would have conflicts with his own beliefs too much to be an objective advisor. I think a counsellor is more fitting for this job- assuming they didnt have their own strong faith.
That makes no sense to me. Now, in the real world, I've know chaplains of strong faith who could minister well to others of differing faiths, and those whose own faith blinded them to the potential validity of other faiths. But I can't wrap my mind around an atheist chaplain.

Exactly my point. A huge amount of religious beliefs caused a lot of wars. The idea of an universal chaplain is plain and simple stupid. Just take Earths religious views. How can you "sync" them into a universal chaplain? We are at the counselor idea already. Was Troi a chaplain? Don't think so. As for the chaplain: atheist will not like a chaplain aboard the ship, strict religious beliefs will not accept a universal chaplain ... If Star Trek wants to explore religious views of a character than do so through a character, not a chaplain how counsels everyone aboard. I could buy a character like Guinan who understands you and if you are religious she tries to relate to the character and talk about the topic, but that's about it ... Do not force religion upon Star Trek just because "God bless America and we need that in Star Trek too". We don't.
Stupid to a blindly liberal atheist, perhaps.

Let's say we didn't read that ... If you really consider yourself a Star Trek fan you should be ashamed sir. And if you are not, respect the fans please. No more comment on this topic.
Thanks for the censorship. BB dayspeech # 1.

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
As for controversy? This when people want an openly gay character on a Trek series?
It's a completely different story. You cannot put on the same page religion with sexual orientation.
No? It certainly seems to be a nearly religious mania nowadays.

DonIago wrote: View Post
If the chaplain -did- have a form of spirituality that they ascribed to I can imagine crewmembers being quite put-off by the notion that that individual had the captain's ear in any capacity in which someone of their own spirituality did not.
I've gone to allegedly secular sleepaway camps that nevertheless had "optional" Chapel services and "non-denominational" Grace before meals and such...and I have to say I found it pretty uncomfortable. Even if you accept that they're not attempting to impose their beliefs on anyone, one has to wonder how they would have reacted if asked to make a more demonstrative effort to accommodate other belief systems.
Such crewmembers would provide conflict, another thing Roddenberry tried to claim we were past. More senility. As for the anecdote, I've been there, too. Just be quiet and respect their right to practice, then, when they criticize you for being different, say "I extended you the courtesy of being quiet during your practices; allow me the same".
[QUOTE=Knight Templar;7071037]
LtChange wrote: View Post
Knight Templar wrote: View Post
Gene Roddenberry doesn't own Star Trek. He never owned Star Trek. And he has been dead for more than 20 years.
Several times more Star Trek has been produced without his input as was produced with his input.
And lots of the things he did do were crap anyway.
So again. Who cares what Roddenberry thought?
Rude and disrespectful, could be stated more tactfully.
And religion actually causing wars is way overstated. Lots of the so called "religious wars" were fought for purely secular reasons with religious justifications tacked on later to give the conflict the veneer of moral legitimacy.
True in some cases.
Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry was the creative genius behind Star Trek TOS, TNG S1-S2 and the first 4 movies. So again, what you are saying is disrespectful. Without Gene Roddenberry we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. Yes, many Star Trek series were created without Gene Roddenberry but most of them respected Genes ideas. So who cares? A true fan!
a true fan of IDIC allows that there's room for varying opinion.

He is dead. Get over it.
And he was far, far, far from a genius. He basically copied a lot from Forbidden Planet IIRC.
And given that Deep Space Nine has often been considered far and away the Trek series in the modern era that discarded Roddenberry's ideas the most yet was arguably the highest quality wise, I would say we can put paid to the idea of GRs ideas being "quality" ones.
Getting ruder.

Jimi_James wrote: View Post
Here's a question though. Where does this chaplain fall in the chain of command?
If it were a full time assignment and a Starfleet career field, I would imagine it to be a staff position and it's own small department.
How does one person handle the medical needs of 150 alien species? A chaplain wouldn't have to be an expert in all religions.
Controversial matters are good. But it hard to see how a chaplain would in fact be controversial, Star Trek is usually keyed to an American audience, a deliberately generic Christian chaplain who ministers equally to all beliefs would be offensive how?
There are religious characters in all the series, including the animated series.
And right there is the prime reason to have a Starfleet chaplain.
If the alternative is absolutely nothing? I would say that acceptance would be positive.
Military chaplains do this every day.
Completely agree. But also, a chaplain can bring a different philosophical bent to the plot du jour. Some very good science fiction has been written that way.

atheist will not like a chaplain aboard the ship
Why not? The Federation is a diverse assemblage, why would a atheist aboard a Starship wish to deign their fellow crewmembers of something they themselves don't want to avail themselves of?
Would that be enough of a reason?
A lot of folks today seem to think so.
A huge amount of religious beliefs caused a lot of wars.
Historically about seven percent.
Source? I'd like to see more on that.

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Considering Earth's growth beyond Religion (Or even disregarding that and considering all the Dominations we currently have) plus all the Religions of all the Star Fleet Member Worlds, I really don't see how a Position of Chaplain could be managed, you strip away the Denomination, and you simply end up with a Counselor, which we already have.
No, I think the only way to have a Religious person like that would be for them have a different function on the ship, say an Engineer who just happens to be Religious, and people seek out that Engineer because of their balance and their morals and ethics.
Or even perhaps someone with the Position of Counselor, who happens to be someone religious. Maybe even center some stories around Religious conflict for them. IE: Their Religious Beliefs lead them to believe the right thing to tell a patient is one thing, but, their Counselor Duties and teachings tell them they should be telling their patient the exact opposite.
So, yea, a Chaplain as a position, I don't think would work, you'd have to give them another position, but, they just so happen to be Religious.
I really don't agree. A shrink cannot help with spirituality; a chaplain can help counsel.

Newspaper Taxi wrote: View Post
I think this idea makes a great deal of sense. Think of some of the anomalies the characters run into -- being turned into children, meeting creatures that proclaim to be gods or take on the form of religious figures, fun with DNA, and space being the great unknown. While the officers on duty some of this has got to screw with their minds and get them thinking about spiritual matters.
I guess that a Starfleet Chaplain would be like a counselor that specializes in existenial questions that can't be answered; as opposed to a counselor, who helps you work through emotional trauma/conflicts/depression. A counselor could work you through these problems as well, of course, but splitting the position might be useful -- one to keep the crew's mental/emotional health in check, one to help with those bigger un-answerable questions.
I also don't have a problem believing that a Starfleet Chaplain could be well-versed in hundreds of different religions and philosophiess. I mean, I already accept that Starfleet has these wonder-engineers that can squint at a screen of data and come up with new techniques never before attempted that work perfectly. It would be like the potential career path for those religious studies and philosophy majors in the Trek universe.
Even if the humans in Trek have moved beyond religion, and are 'evolved' humans, they've still got to have some of the kinds of questions that keep you up at night. Trek is always trumpeting what it means to be human, and i think that's a part of it too.
Yes, that makes sense to me.

John Mason wrote: View Post
Star Trek is about the future of humanity and of exploration, (well it used to be). The last thing Star Trek needs is to return to the dark ages of the military, fear, superstition and doctrine, something that has emerged of late. This is starfleet not the Royal/U.S Navy. Starfleet was founded to seek out and explore in peace, not exploit and conquer in war.
Since the end of TNG the franchise has slowly slid into a militaristic side show.
to quote Jean luc Picard "Does anyone remember when we used to be explorers"
If someone needs religion they don't need a priest/chaplain
I would have thought we were beyond such nonsense ...
I find this whole post offensive, ignorant drivel and factually incorrect in it's entirety.

Takeru wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Hardly nonsense, and hopefully neither we, nor others from beyond Earth, will ever be "beyond it."
I have no problem with spirituality, but I consider organized religion nonsense and hope we will move beyond that.
While I'm agnostic, I hope we never abandon religion entirely. It does have positive social value, within bounds.
I'm also against a chaplain aboard federation ships, it's not just an international crew, it's an interplanetary crew, there are too many faiths and belief systems for it to work. A counsellor can do the job much better than a chaplain who is clearly a member of a specific belief system, of course the counsellor can have a religion too, but they're not part of the job description.
Imagine a bajoran vedek having the chaplain job on a ship, could someone from earth relate to him? After all his "gods" are real, you can literally visit them, there's no doubt that they exist, even if you consider them to be just wormhole aliens, you know they are real. There's a very big disconnect that's not comparable to christians and muslims for example, as those religions are basically identical.
Of course a bajoran counsellor would most likely have the same faith, but it's just not as obvious.
Disagree. A counselor is nowhere near as comforting during a death in the family as a minister, regardless of denomination. I speak from experience.

Core wrote: View Post
You could probably make it work, a chaplain as a character, although I have my doubts that you could wrap a whole show around one.
To be honest, I'd be disappointed though. I found DS9 way too steeped in the Bajoran mythology, it became really tedious to watch. I kept wanting to skip the episodes focusing on all the praying and the priests with the earrings bickering amongst themselves.
I like exploration shows, whether it's technology, politics, science, culture. But religion? I think it's best left to a private dialogue between a person and whatever they choose to believe in. I don't find it interesting enough to tune in week after week to see how many different ways people in space can think of to pray.
The idea was just adding such a character to the main cast - and it would enable exploration of philosophy, which fits Trek really well.

Longinus wrote: View Post
I am utterly gobsmacked how many people seem to think that this would be a good idea, rather than absolutely ludicrous one. A starfleet chaplain would have Roddenberry spin in his grave fast enough to power a warp drive. Federation is atheistic, there is no religion.
His ashes are already spinning in orbit, but he was wrong on this anyway. He was revisionist, bitter, vindictive, and senile in his later years. You're wrong on this issue, and need to remember IDIC.
Longinus wrote: View Post
Well, it is indeed troubling if Vulcans actually pray. That is not a logical thing to do. Another reason to dislike Voyager, I guess.
Of main Starfleet personnel I can remember, closest of having religious faith comes Worf, who seems to genuinely believe things about Klingon afterlife (which probably is shown to actually exist or something in some episode or another.) However, even he doesn't worship any gods.
Gods in Star Trek always prove to be super-aliens/computers/impostors etc, and the Starfleet folks treat them as such, often denouncing them. In 'Who Watches the Watches' Picard is horrified that the Mintakans would revert back to their old superstitious ways, having already evolved past that state. It is clear there that humanity has long ago abandoned any such silliness.
Even during TNG, when Picard made these asinine pronouncements, there were examples of other strains of thought. Trek has never been exclusively hostile & dismissive to religion.
Longinus wrote: View Post
I don't think we are going to find a common ground.
To me Star Trek represents (and should represent) sort of evelved humanity that has no use for religion. They solve their problems with reason. Superstition just do not fit that worldview.
This is the problem I see with you over on the SFMC thread: The intolerance of tolerance, the inflexible, un-nuanced thinking of the young, and the idolization of Roddenberry.

Longinus wrote: View Post
From the production perspective, it certainly was a something for the Christian audience of the show. But that doesn't mean that the characters in the show were Christians.
But that does show that the main characters come from a culture where christianity is still important.

Longinus wrote: View Post
Age of a belief is not an indication of its veracity. People used to believe thousand of years that world was flat. Then that Sun revolved around the Earth. Furthermore, the plural of anecdote is not data.
And scientific studies actually control how they select their samplings. How can you trust the studies on medicine, politics or anything else if you cannot trust them on this?
Part of the problem is that they too often DO cherrypick data. And anecdotes are data if observed and recorded.
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