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Old December 2 2012, 03:44 AM   #91
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

No.

It would be bad television. It would be boring. No one wants to watch someone wrestle with the moral questions of others while in space. We don't even have any evidence that Starfleet vessels have chaplains. Who Watches the Watchers seems to shoot down human-based relgion entirely and who the hell wants to watch a Andorian talk about his Gods?

No one would watch it. No one would air it.
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Old December 2 2012, 03:55 AM   #92
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post

Katra is a scientific fact for Vulcans. It is the mental pattern of the person that they can transfer via mind meld. Obviously the Vulcans do not wish the knowledge and experiences of the person to be lost once he or she dies. Note how this 'soul' needs to be stored in a living brain (or in a katric arc, I suppose.)
Sarek's original intent was not about restoring the Katra to a brain (or arc which was not mentioned on screen). when he approached Kirk, it was about returning that living spirit to Vulcan, as Sarek (and Kirk--at the time) did not know Spock's body had been restored.

Sarek's dialogue cannot be misunderstood--he refers to the Katra as a living spirit. It is not telepathy, or the physcial mirror of a hard drive: the entir essence of a being--the soul--is contained in the Katra, and you have yet to apply a plausible scientific explanation for the Katra...because science was not intended to have anything to do with the process.

In fact, the only "science" in the film was the Genesis effect on a mindless, soulless body, which had nothing to do with the continued existence of Spock's Katra in McCoy on earth.

And Spock without his Katra is not really mindless. He is merely a newborn without any memories or experiences. By restoring Katra he becomes Spock we know.
Spock was not intelligent and hardly self-aware while growing on the Genesis planet. Animal instincts are not thoughts. That left with his Katra in McCoy's mind.

'Son' is what the space Romans called him, and it is certainly known historical fact that Christ was called 'Son of God' by his followers. It is no way an indication that Uhura herself presumed Christ to be an actual son of God.
Tone means everything: Uhura said it as an emotionally upbeat, matter-of-fact statement of Christ's true identity, otherwise she would have described Christ as you do (or like many Muslims) as just some random philosopher who does not have a divine origin.

Part of the humanity which allows a character such as McCoy to function in fantastic situations comes from his obvious religious upbringing, which guided him to often challenge more secular approaches to situations (seemingly lacking a strict moral compass).
I'm not saying that you're wrong. It's a long time I've watched TOS, but what leads you conclude that McCoy is particularly religious?
He applies his beliefs in various situations, referred to Biblical scripture and has used it in one of his many arguments with Spock.
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Old December 2 2012, 03:59 AM   #93
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
What would be the purpose of the prayer? It does nothing.
You are only able to say that for yourself; you are incapable of knowing how prayer works for any who regularly perform it, so when you post "it does nothing," you need to add "...for me."
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Old December 2 2012, 11:27 AM   #94
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Festivus Toad wrote: View Post
No one wants to watch someone wrestle with the moral questions of others while in space.
Haven't there been many episodes where that's exactly the main plot line, wreastling with ethical and moral questions and issues?

We don't even have any evidence that Starfleet vessels have chaplains.
What is being discussed would be a new type of character.

Who Watches the Watchers seems to shoot down human-based relgion entirely
I thought that was a Vulcanoid-based religion.

and who the hell wants to watch a Andorian talk about his Gods?
Would make for a good episode, too bad we never got Shran to wax philosophically about Andorian beliefs.

No one would watch it. No one would air it.
Remember, we're talking about just one new character in the mix of other crewmembers. TNG did well introducing both a councilor and a security officer as main characters on the show.

Change can be good.

Longinus wrote: View Post
Oh, and apparently network bosses pressuret Roddenberry to include a chaplain in TOS. He adamantly refused.
No he didn't, there was a chapel in two TOS episodes, it was used for a wedding ceremony and later a memorial service.

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Old December 2 2012, 01:18 PM   #95
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
Sarek's original intent was not about restoring the Katra to a brain (or arc which was not mentioned on screen). when he approached Kirk, it was about returning that living spirit to Vulcan, as Sarek (and Kirk--at the time) did not know Spock's body had been restored.

Sarek's dialogue cannot be misunderstood--he refers to the Katra as a living spirit. It is not telepathy, or the physcial mirror of a hard drive: the entir essence of a being--the soul--is contained in the Katra, and you have yet to apply a plausible scientific explanation for the Katra...because science was not intended to have anything to do with the process.
I cannot scientifically explain how transporter works, but in context of the show it's not magic; Scotty knows how it works. Similarly I assume Vulcans have scientific understanding of Katras, even though the details are not spelled out on the screen.

What do you assume the Vulcans do with the Katras? Why, if they are souls in Christian sense you need to but them into a physical containers?

Spock was not intelligent and hardly self-aware while growing on the Genesis planet. Animal instincts are not thoughts. That left with his Katra in McCoy's mind. [/QUOTE]

What sort of mental faculties you'd assume a few days old person to posses? Considering his age, he seemed pretty smart.

Also, how could Spock function just fine in STII after he had transeffer his Katra to McCoy? It was not transferring the Katra that wiped his mind, it was dying that did that. Katra is just a backup of one's mind.

How Katras exactly work is left vague, and we can argue about details all day, but there is no reason to assume that anything magical is going on there anymore than with any strange phanomenon they encounter in Trek all the time. Mystical/Magical/Supernatural explanations are never even considered in Trek. There are only things that they understand scientifically and things they do not yet understand scientifically.


Tone means everything: Uhura said it as an emotionally upbeat, matter-of-fact statement of Christ's true identity, otherwise she would have described Christ as you do (or like many Muslims) as just some random philosopher who does not have a divine origin.
Yeah, that's quite slim evidence. Tone of her voice. Maybe she was a Christian, but that really isn't conclusive evidence in any way.

He applies his beliefs in various situations, referred to Biblical scripture and has used it in one of his many arguments with Spock.
I can quote Bible, Edda, Kalevala or even Lord of the Rings to made a point, that does not mean that I believe supernatural things in those books are true.

Again, he may be a Christian, but the evidence just isn't there.
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Old December 2 2012, 02:06 PM   #96
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
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.

Wikipedia wrote:
Although Roddenberry was raised as a Southern Baptist, he instead considered himself a humanist and agnostic. He saw religion as the cause of many wars and human suffering.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]
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.
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Old December 2 2012, 02:13 PM   #97
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
You are only able to say that for yourself; you are incapable of knowing how prayer works for any who regularly perform it, so when you post "it does nothing," you need to add "...for me."
It can certainly affect your own mental state (or of those hearing the prayer), but it obviously cannot affect the external world. Praying for somene's safe return will not make them less or more likely to return safely.
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Old December 2 2012, 09:34 PM   #98
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Longinus wrote: View Post
Oh, and apparently network bosses pressuret Roddenberry to include a chaplain in TOS. He adamantly refused.
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.
Where are you getting the "didn't want chaplains in TOS" thing in the first place? Do you have a reference? As you're probably aware, Roddenberry wrote only a small handful of the scripts. Balance of Terror (which featured a chapel) was written by Paul Schneider. The Tholian Web (another chapel employing episode) was written by Judy Burns and Chet Richards. Roddenberry was famous for changing a few lines in a script to get part of the writing credit. He doesn't appear as one of the writers of either of these two scripts because he had no hand in them. Likely the reason there isn't a chaplain in either episode is they didn't want to pay another actor for a speaking role. And not a Roddenberry imposed directive not to have a chaplain.

Where does the network applying pressure for a chapel come from as well? Did NBC (or Lucille Ball) call up Gene one day and insist there be "a chapel" in TOS's eighth episode? There was a scripted wedding scene, that came from writer Paul Schneider, not NBC.

Wikipedia wrote:
He stubbornly resisted the effort of network execs to put a Christian chaplain on the crew of the Enterprise
Just out of curiosity, who wrote that wikipedia entry? Anyone who knows what they're talking about?

So yes, we can find offassional references to religion, especially in TOS. The general idea is still clear: in future humans are mostly atheistic.
Given his conflicting statements in "Where Silence Has Lease" and "Who Watches the Watchers" it's completely impossible to call Captain Picard an atheist. If future humans are mostly atheistic, perhaps you can site some examples of characters who are, because while we have see some examples of character with beliefs and faiths, where are all these atheists?

Praying for somene's safe return will not make them less or more likely to return safely.
And still the highly logical Vulcans did pray for someone's return, and they did return safely. How about that?

Similarly I assume Vulcans have scientific understanding of Katras, even though the details are not spelled out on the screen.
What is "spelled out on screen" is that when Sarek wanted his son's katra refused into his physical body, McCoy and Spock were brought to a Vulcan Temple, and the one who perform the re-fusion was a Vulcan High Priestess.

Not science, spirituality.

There's no indication in any of the five series or eleven movies that the Vulcans understand the concept of katras scientifically. As it's a matter of the living spirit, scientific understanding might be impossible.

Longinus wrote: View Post
Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Haven't there been many episodes where that's exactly the main plot line, wrestling with ethical and moral questions and issues?
Yes. And they use their human ethics to solve those tituations, not consult scriptures.
But if their ethical and moral grounding is based upon their religious and spiritual up bringing, and life long instruction, then the solutions that they arrive at would come from there.



Last edited by Merry Christmas; December 2 2012 at 09:52 PM.
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Old December 2 2012, 11:24 PM   #99
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

I do not know the exact source of that wiki article, and I'm not going to comb through Roddenberry biographies to find it. It is well established fact that Roddenberry was an atheist and he wanted his show to reflect his ideas.

Chaplains are part of an organised religion, even though some people might have vague 'oh, maybe there is something after death' type of ideas, you do not need chaplains for that. Certainly an open minded person consideres all possibilities, but that is not having a religion, nor does it take faith.

As for Katras and 'unexplained spiritual things' here exactly is the problem with religious/magical thinking and why it has not place in a scientific exploratory organisation. Such things just do not exist and cannot be assumed to exist. There are only things you understand or do not yet understand. People in Star Trek never resign in a face of an unusual phenomenon and say 'oh, maybe it is a miracle!' They encounter beings that are obviously gods, yet they do not treat them as having any greater spiritual significance. They are just powerful aliens. And they try to study them.

As for prayers, do you seriously think that they can alter the reality in real life? Because that obviously is not the case.
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Old December 2 2012, 11:35 PM   #100
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Star Trek is pretty agnostic, or in some cases atheistic. The only person who is a strong believer is Worf and Klingons. There is no character in TNG through Voyager that you could point at and say he's such and such fait, except may be Chakotey, but it's unclear what his religion is.
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Old December 3 2012, 02:46 AM   #101
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
It is well established fact that Roddenberry was an atheist and he wanted his show to reflect his ideas.
That would depend on what part of Roddenberry's life you're referring to, it would be more accurate to say Gene Roddenberry was a atheist at times. The smallest amount of research would reveal that Roddenberry wasn't "always" a atheist.

On August 6, 1969, Majel Barrett married Gene Roddenberry in Japan, in a traditional Buddhist-Shinto ceremony. At that time, Roddenberry in multiple interviews professed to being a Buddhist.

There no indication that Roddenberry was an atheist during the creation, or production run of TOS.

I mentioned before that the novelization of ST:TMP included that Vulcans have the ability to perceive a oneness with The All, the universe's creative force, or God. According to Susan Sackett , who was Gene Roddenberry's personal executive assistant for seventeen years, that part of the novelization came from Roddenberry's own belief in "The All" during the late seventies. (Inside Trek: My Secret Life with Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry)

Roddenbery's belief in atheism would appear to have been during the last years of his life. His atheist influence upon TNG faded after his death.

Roddenberry [snip] wanted his show to reflect his ideas.
Problem there is that while Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry's original idea, it really never was solely "his show."

The idea that assembled into the Star Trek we all know, came with considerable help from others. Roddenberry came up with several story ideas, but (as noted previously) actually wrote very few of the scripts. And really the show was as much Gene Coons creation as Roddenberry's. Without Herb Solow's molding of Roddenberry's early nebulas ideas, the show wouldn't have been able to advanced to the pilot stage. Robert Justman also one of the pioneers producers of the show. So it was never "just" Roddenberry's vision of the future on screen at any point.

Chaplains are part of an organised religion
More accurate would be Chaplains are usually from one organized religion, but routinely hold multi-denominational religious services. And provide spiritual support to people who belong to many different religions, denominations and spiritualities.

People in Star Trek never resign in a face of an unusual phenomenon and say 'oh, maybe it is a miracle.'
And what happen to the JemHadar fleet in Sacrifice of Angels?

Sisko: "You want to be gods? Then be gods, I need a miracle, Bajor needs a miracle, stop those ships."

As for prayers, do you seriously think that they can alter the reality in real life?
Okay, let's slide this back somewhat towards the OP shall we?

From what we've seen on screen, there are people within the Star Trek universe who seriously believe that prayer can achieve a positive result. Praying to the Christian God like Angela at the end of Balance of Terror. Rhada and the Hindu symbol. Chakotay talking to his ancestors. Bajorians and the Prophets. Vulcans and their gods, shrines, temples and monasteries. For these people, the presence of a Chaplain aboard ship would be of service.

There are people in the Star Trek universe with whom we don't know one way or the other what they believe. A Chaplain and a ship's chapel might have no place in their lives, but neither would it be of a detriment to them if both were presence somewhere on the ship.

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Old December 3 2012, 03:18 AM   #102
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

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.
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Old December 3 2012, 05:55 AM   #103
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

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.
Wow. Just wow.
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Old December 3 2012, 06:24 AM   #104
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

EmperorTiberius wrote: View Post
Star Trek is pretty agnostic, or in some cases atheistic. The only person who is a strong believer is Worf and Klingons. There is no character in TNG through Voyager that you could point at and say he's such and such fait, except may be Chakotey, but it's unclear what his religion is.
Well, you have Kira, who was extremely religious, and Sisko did become more involved in the religious aspect of his role as Emissary.

I don't see how having some religious characters be some horrible thing to Star Trek. It didn't destroy Babylon 5. They don't need to beat you over the head with a Bible but it certainly would be a beneficial change to highlight the diversity of humanity.
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Old December 3 2012, 08:36 AM   #105
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

I would love to see a Chaplain in Trek. It would bring a modern day issue to the franchise that has not been seen before. Imagine the stories of conflict it could provide. Especially religion over science to explain the unknown.

Regarding the Katra side discussion. Perhaps it isn't a case of the Katra is a spirit or it is a scientific process the Vulcans understand. Perhaps it is something the Vulcans cannot explain. They are ware of it and how to collect and preserve the spirit but not actually what it is. There was no evidence to suggest that they had any doctors who knew what was happening. How could you scan the Katra with a tricorder? It probably doesn't even read as a second brain wave on tricorder scans.

That it exists - but there is no explanation makes it either a pre-paradigmatic psi-science or a spiritual oddity.
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