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Old November 13 2012, 12:21 PM   #61
T'Girl
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Takeru wrote: View Post
A counsellor can do the job much better than a chaplain who is clearly a member of a specific belief system
Chaplains are specifically trained in multiple religious practices, and to help service members in their religious activities, even if these activities are not the chaplain's own.

Some of the services I attended on military bases through the years were, to be honest, quite generic.

Imagine a bajoran vedek having the chaplain job on a ship, could someone from earth relate to him?
If the Vedek were trained as a chaplain, then yes. To assist a particular Starfleet member with their religious need, the Vedek might have to briefly excuse themselves and consult reference materials. The Vedek would as part of their chaplain training, be instructed in basic religious concepts outside their own beliefs.

In time the Vedek would come to know the members of the crew, and the details of their religious needs. As I stated earlier, not all religion is do it yourself.

Kind of be hard to do your own Bris.

And how would this be different than one of the doctors (except the EMH) having to consult medical references, prior to treating a species that was known to the Federation, but they themselves had never treated before?

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Old November 13 2012, 06:10 PM   #62
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Takeru wrote: View Post
I have no problem with spirituality, but I consider organized religion nonsense and hope we will move beyond that.
Ultramann wrote: View Post
I agree that religion is bs but spirituality is not.
Neither of these comments make any sense. It's like being for science but against facts.
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Old November 13 2012, 07:17 PM   #63
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

It's not like that at all. Many people consider there to be a clear and distinct separation between spirituality and religion, particularly now that organized religion has evolved into its current state. The difference comes down to seeing religion as the belief in a specific God, where as spirituality might include some belief in a larger or unexplained existence beyond what mere science can explain, or really any greater moral or philosophical identification. In some cases this is seen as nothing more than beveling there is a God, but not having anything to do with what is commonly seen as the less than pleasing parts of organized religion.

However you personally define it though, it's not uncommon, as Takeru pointed out, for people (myself included) to identify themselves as spiritual but not religious.
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Old November 13 2012, 08:22 PM   #64
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Jimi_James wrote: View Post
It's not like that at all. Many people consider there to be a clear and distinct separation between spirituality and religion, particularly now that organized religion has evolved into its current state. The difference comes down to seeing religion as the belief in a specific God, where as spirituality might include some belief in a larger or unexplained existence beyond what mere science can explain, or really any greater moral or philosophical identification.
But this just betrays an ignorance of what both words mean. Religions need not be monotheistic or even theistic. Buddhism, for exame. Organized religions can even be very flexible and nondogmatic- Unitarian Universalists, for example. So yes it is a pretty fallacious claim.
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Old November 20 2012, 10:03 PM   #65
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

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.
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Old November 22 2012, 10:45 PM   #66
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

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.
I don't think anyone is suggesting have the show be based upon a single character and their career field, just that they would be part of the mix. An aspect of Starfleet/Federation life that hasn't been explored in depth.

The Federation has (hopefully) more than a single mono-culture, religion is one way of peering into a culture and society. The crew of a starship can do more over the course of an episode than "talk shop."

The character of the Chaplain can be used to explore the societies of the various Federation members.

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Old November 23 2012, 12:04 AM   #67
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Chaplains are specifically trained in multiple religious practices, and to help service members in their religious activities, even if these activities are not the chaplain's own.
This is correct. My father was an army chaplain during WW2, stationed at various posts in the Pacific Theater between 1942-1945 (including Okinawa). He was Southern Baptist, but conducted services for Methodists, Catholics, Jews, and whoever else was in his congregations. He had an official chaplain's manual that I saw, which covered specific rites and rituals for several religious affiliations. He acted as counselor, confessor, administered last rites, conducted worship services, funerals, and even weddings-- one young lieutenant married a native girl, which eventually resulted in a murder-suicide.

One of his criticisms of how clergy are presented in film though, was that unless a character was a Roman Catholic priest, they were usually played as buffoons.
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Old November 25 2012, 03:28 AM   #68
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

I'm not sure if it could work as a main character, but a Chaplain supporting character would be quite interesting, and I would say, a positive benefit for the show. Brother Theo on Babylon 5, although not an official crew member, still played an enjoyable role in the series.

Either having a specific military chaplain for the crew, or, if it's actually diverse, and not 98% human, 1% Vulcan, 1% everything else, have a theologian out to explore and understand both human and alien religions, be it existing Federation members, or undiscovered aliens.
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Old November 25 2012, 05:51 AM   #69
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Theo was only in, like, 3 episodes. I don't think he even constitutes a "supporting" character at that point. Sadly, if he was supposed to have an arc, it never really went anywhere either.
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Old November 25 2012, 06:59 AM   #70
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

DonIago wrote: View Post
Theo was only in, like, 3 episodes. I don't think he even constitutes a "supporting" character at that point. Sadly, if he was supposed to have an arc, it never really went anywhere either.
I agree, but the basis for his character in Star Trek would be rather enjoyable. I think his missionary group's purpose was to study the religious faiths and texts of the various alien races on the station. If the next Star Trek is based on a TOS/TNG "Explore New Worlds" format, having a character around to learn and understand the religious and spiritual customs of alien races would be rather interesting.
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Old November 29 2012, 07:58 AM   #71
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

I think I'd rather see a well done and believable counselor first. Watching Troi in 2012 I can't help but think "wow, this is either psuedoscientific nonsense or completely dated", but that might just be a function of how quickly psychology is developing and advancing as a field.
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Old November 30 2012, 08:30 PM   #72
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

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.
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Old November 30 2012, 09:18 PM   #73
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Admiral Ross to fleet: We engage the massive Dominion fleet in three hours.
Officer: Fleet's responded, Sir, they are standing by.
Admiral Ross: Commading officer meeting aboard my ship in 1 hour, followed by preyer service.
Officer: Yes, sir.
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Old November 30 2012, 09:22 PM   #74
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

The Best Ideas Outlive their Progenitors...

the existence of this thread speaks to Roddenberry's Enduring Genius.

i see the appeal- roddenberry certainly would forbid it- but DS9's and post-rodenberry treks' journeys into spirituality seem to have struck a chord with their viewers... it's commercially viable, but not worthy of The Man, to be sure.

A Galactic anthropologist's slightly more objective cataloging of belief systems and their comparisons would be fascinating. Much Grist for the Mill.

Last edited by st.barthgirl; November 30 2012 at 09:26 PM. Reason: rur rurrr rur rur rurrrr rur?
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Old November 30 2012, 09:30 PM   #75
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

st.barthgirl wrote: View Post
The Best Ideas Outlive their Progenitors...

the existence of this thread speaks to Roddenberry's Enduring Genius.

i see the appeal- roddenberry certainly would forbid it- but DS9's and post-rodenberry treks' journeys into spirituality seem to have struck a chord with their viewers... it's commercially viable, but not worthy of The Man, to be sure.

A Galactic anthropologist's slightly more objective cataloging of belief systems and their comparisons would be fascinating. Much Grist for the Mill.
They conviniently had a 20th century historian aboard Ent-D (even if it might have been his secondary job), I could see an antrhopologist there as well. That character would be interesting.
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