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Old December 4 2012, 08:12 AM   #121
Gov Karnstein
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

The Enterprise needed some kind of dog like alien to be a mild mannered shoe shine boy. That should surprise Q.
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Old December 4 2012, 01:29 PM   #122
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
Sindatur, you are just wrong. Sorry. Please think of the leprechauns; it should help to get this.
Agnostic: I have no evidence for the existence of leprechauns, but there's no evidence of their non-existence either.. Therefor I have no personal position on their existence, either in the positive, or in the negative. Perhaps more information will be discovered later.

Atheism
: I have no evidence for the existence of leprechauns, but there's no evidence of their non-existence either. Owing to the lack of evidence that I will accept, leprechauns don't exist, belief in them is wrong and should be actively discouraged, people who do believe in them should remain quiet.

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Old December 4 2012, 01:35 PM   #123
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Longinus wrote: View Post
Sindatur, you are just wrong. Sorry. Please think of the leprechauns; it should help to get this.
You can make up definitions all day long, but, if someone doesn't put them in the Dictionary for you, it's unlikely they'll be widely accepted.

Atheism depends upon a certainty of a side to be taken (Either a Disbelief in the positive or a belief in the negative). Straight up, that's what the definition says.

Agnosticism is the one that allows you to softly take a side or refuse to take a side.
Lack of belief is disbelief. And atheism do not refuse to take side. It is certainly 'I do not think there is God'. We are talking about certainity of that conviction. People generally do not believe in all sorts of things there is no evidence for (or evidence is questionable.) Not believing in ghosts or leprechauns do not require indisputable evidence for the non-existence of said entities, merely lack of credible evidence for their existence. This is same with God. This relates to the difficulty of proving negative. I mean I cannot prove that there is not an invisible, intangible pink unicorn in my yard just now, but I have no reason to assume that there is.

Maybe Dawkins seven point scale will help to illuminate various positions:

Dawkins posits that "the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other." He goes on to propose a continuous "spectrum of probabilities" between two extremes of opposite certainty, which can be represented by seven "milestones". Dawkins suggests definitive statements to summarize one's place along the spectrum of theistic probability. These "milestones" are:[2]
  1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."
  2. De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."
  3. Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."
  4. Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."
  5. Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."
  6. De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
  7. Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one."
Dawkins argues that while there appear to be plenty of individuals that would place themselves as "1" due to the strictness of religious doctrine against doubt, most atheists do not consider themselves "7" because atheism arises from a lack of evidence and evidence can always change a thinking person's mind. In print, Dawkins self-identified as a '6', though when interviewed by Bill Maher[3] and later by Anthony Kenny,[4] he suggested '6.9' to be more accurate.
You can apply that to other beliefs besides God. Ask your self how would you rate your belief in existece of ghosts, electrons, Australia or leprechauns on that scale.
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Old December 4 2012, 01:54 PM   #124
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Agnostic: I have no evidence for the existence of leprechauns, but there's no evidence of their non-existence either.. Therefor I have no personal position on their existence, either in the positive, or in the negative. Perhaps more information will be discovered later.

Atheism
: I have no evidence for the existence of leprechauns, but there's no evidence of their non-existence either. Owing to the lack of evidence that I will accept, leprechauns don't exist, belief in them is wrong and should be actively discouraged, people who do believe in them should remain quiet.
Thank you, that is actually pretty good summation. Except the last part on atheism. Taking moral position regarding the information is not required to qualify. Of course many atheists and theists still do. This is only natural. When people believe they have important information they want to share it. That's why I'm never annoyed by Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons that come knocking on my door, I think they are utterly wrong, but they have good intentions. In their worldview my immortal soul is in peril. (Atheist should totally go knocking on people's doors too! "Are you prepared? Jesus is not coming!" )

In any case, I'm pretty sure that most people are not agnostic about existence of leprechauns (more would be about, say, ghosts). It is not really "oh, could be either way, I'm really not sure" type of a deal. Most would just say that they do not exist, period, even though we cannot prove without a shadow of a doubt that they are not lurking there, being all magically invisible and stuff.
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Old December 4 2012, 05:17 PM   #125
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

commanderkai wrote: View Post
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.
Kira is not Starfleet and Bajor not part of Federation. They had only discovered a short time ago that the prophets are actually aliens that live in a wormhole. Give them time to adjust, old generations to die, and young ones to grow up, you'd see the difference.

Sisko never believed in them as prophets but aliens.

Picard believes that there is something out there, and McCoy, who usually uses phrases like "My God" and is considered to be religous by some fans, flat out states that according to myth, Earth was created in 6 days.

No one is stating that you won't have a spiritual person here and there, but Star Trek has always been about rationalism, and there is no need to have characters go to a chaplain on a regular basis. That would indicate a widespread belief abord the ship which is rediculous because none of them believe from what we know. Why would they go to chaplain? So they can pray to whom?
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Old December 4 2012, 06:06 PM   #126
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

^^^ It would make sense that a ship's counselor could serve in this particular role, as it would probably be expected of them to acquire a proficiency in comparative religious or spiritual studies of various cultures (including human) as a part of their curriculum to be certified as such. And the 1701 DID have a chapel (Balance of Terror) - the more spiritually-inclined crew members would be free to pray to whomever they liked in that facility. If they needed guidance or interpretation in their respective scriptures and/or doctrines, the counselor could theoretically be trained to assist in that process.

The resources are all there; they're probably just not as recognizable by our standards. Meta-speaking, we've never really seen it, as the stories have never really called for it, but in various episodes, Troi has always come up with some nugget of wisdom about some particular culture-of-the-week that assisted in solving a particular problem. Why couldn't xeno-spiritualism also be in her bag of tricks?
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Old December 4 2012, 11:10 PM   #127
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
Longinus wrote: View Post
Sindatur, you are just wrong. Sorry. Please think of the leprechauns; it should help to get this.
You can make up definitions all day long, but, if someone doesn't put them in the Dictionary for you, it's unlikely they'll be widely accepted.

Atheism depends upon a certainty of a side to be taken (Either a Disbelief in the positive or a belief in the negative). Straight up, that's what the definition says.

Agnosticism is the one that allows you to softly take a side or refuse to take a side.
Lack of belief is disbelief. And atheism do not refuse to take side. It is certainly 'I do not think there is God'. We are talking about certainity of that conviction. People generally do not believe in all sorts of things there is no evidence for (or evidence is questionable.) Not believing in ghosts or leprechauns do not require indisputable evidence for the non-existence of said entities, merely lack of credible evidence for their existence. This is same with God. This relates to the difficulty of proving negative. I mean I cannot prove that there is not an invisible, intangible pink unicorn in my yard just now, but I have no reason to assume that there is.

Maybe Dawkins seven point scale will help to illuminate various positions:

Dawkins posits that "the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other." He goes on to propose a continuous "spectrum of probabilities" between two extremes of opposite certainty, which can be represented by seven "milestones". Dawkins suggests definitive statements to summarize one's place along the spectrum of theistic probability. These "milestones" are:[2]
  1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."
  2. De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."
  3. Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."
  4. Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."
  5. Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."
  6. De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
  7. Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one."
Dawkins argues that while there appear to be plenty of individuals that would place themselves as "1" due to the strictness of religious doctrine against doubt, most atheists do not consider themselves "7" because atheism arises from a lack of evidence and evidence can always change a thinking person's mind. In print, Dawkins self-identified as a '6', though when interviewed by Bill Maher[3] and later by Anthony Kenny,[4] he suggested '6.9' to be more accurate.
You can apply that to other beliefs besides God. Ask your self how would you rate your belief in existece of ghosts, electrons, Australia or leprechauns on that scale.
No, lack of Belief and Disbelief are not the same thing.

Lack of belief means you do not actively believe it to be true, but, it does not dictate your position on the falseness of it.

Disbelief dictates your active belief that it is false
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Old December 4 2012, 11:38 PM   #128
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

So Sindatur, by this logic, how you feel about the leprechauns?

Also, do you realise that you're basically claiming that Richard Dawkins isn't an atheist?
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Old December 5 2012, 02:50 AM   #129
Elvira
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

EmperorTiberius wrote: View Post
Kira is not Starfleet and Bajor not part of Federation.
But there are Bajorians in Starfleet, and we've seen them wearing the ear piece that is the emblem of their faith. Both Ensign Ro and one of the Enterprise's engineers in Insurrection. We know from Lieutenant Rahda and her bindi (TWS) that religious emblems can be worn on duty.

They had only discovered a short time ago that the prophets are actually aliens that live in a wormhole.
The Bajorians knew for tens of thousands of year that the Prophets lived in a temple, located in the passage, they just didn't know exactly where the passage was. Thanks to Sisko and Dax, now they do.

The Federation's disrespectful use of the term "wormhole aliens" doesn't effect that (when did they ever say "Vulcanoid aliens?). And the interact of people with the Prophets would affirm their faith. The destruction of the JemHadar fleet would affirm their faith.

Sisko never believed in them as prophets but aliens.
Sisko likely believes the Bajorian are aliens too. Admittedly the Bajorian use the word "Prophets" differently that we Humans do, but the indigenous name should be used. Picard never renamed a group simply because he did personally disliked their naming.

Again, Bajorian use the word "Prophets" differently that we do, but Sisko would have to be a fool not to acknowledge that the Prophet are supernatural beings, and that they interact with Bajorians and others. Existing at all points in time simultaneously, the Prophets definitely would met the definition of prophetic. From hundred of light years away, they orchestrated Sisko own conception. Apparently after they first met him.

Give them time to adjust, old generations to die, and young ones to grow up, you'd see the difference.
The first orb from the Prophets arrived thirty thousand years in Bajor's past. When is this "adjustment" going to occur?

... but Star Trek has always been about rationalism ...
No, often we have seen Star trek characters make decisions based upon emotions, intuition and personal experiences.

Why would they go to chaplain?
The confessional. Some prayers require the presence of a religious authority. Some types of prayers are lead. People would go to a Chaplain for religious ceremonies.

Some of these thing could not be done by a ship's counselor.

So they can pray to whom?
God, gods, the goddess, their ancestors, spirits. Or not praying, but engaging in devotional meditation. Or other worship. Or offerings.

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Last edited by Elvira; December 5 2012 at 03:00 AM.
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Old December 5 2012, 03:44 AM   #130
Longinus
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Again, Bajorian use the word "Prophets" differently that we do, but Sisko would have to be a fool not to acknowledge that the Prophet are supernatural beings, and that they interact with Bajorians and others. Existing at all points in time simultaneously, the Prophets definitely would met the definition of prophetic. From hundred of light years away, they orchestrated Sisko own conception. Apparently after they first met him.
First, what do the wormole aliens call themselves? I agree that the Federation should use the name the aliens themselves prefer* but there is no need to use the name Bajorans prefer to call them. It's not like Feds call Romulans 'Green Blooded Traitor Dogs' even thought that would be the name Klingons might prefer them to be called.

* Granted, many alien names are probably just human names for them. Romulans probably do not call themselves Romulans.


Second, and more important point. From Federation perspective there is no such thing as 'supernatural'. This is actually the important thing I want to defend here; Star Trek should be about people who believe that everything can be (at least in theory) studied rationally. There can be things they do not yet understand, but that won't stop them from trying. Superior beings are advanced lifeworms, but they do not deserve any special reverence or worship. Q is in all intents and purposes a god, but there is no reason to worship him.

Putting some things on a pedestal and declaring them to be 'mystical' and 'beyond scientific understanding' is poison to the advanvement of a society. There were a lot of things humans in past believed to be work of gods and spirits. Luckily there were people who dared to suspect that maybe that was not actually case and decided to find out how things really work.
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Old December 5 2012, 01:17 PM   #131
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
From Federation perspective there is no such thing as 'supernatural'
Beings like the Prophets, Q, the Organians and some others are supernatural beings. Unless you are going to start redefining words.




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Old December 5 2012, 02:31 PM   #132
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Longinus wrote: View Post
From Federation perspective there is no such thing as 'supernatural'
Beings like the Prophets, Q, the Organians and some others are supernatural beings. Unless you are going to start redefining words.
supernatural

1. of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.

2. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.

3. of a superlative degree; preternatural: a missile of supernatural speed.

4. of, pertaining to, or attributed to ghosts, goblins, or other unearthly beings; eerie; occult.
Supernatural seems to indicate that things is in a fundamental way beyond scientific understanding (most clearly in meaning 1; 2 and 4 kind imply it too, 3 is a figure of speech.)

That is the thing I won't accept. Sure there are a lot of things we, or people in Star Trek won't yet understand, possibly things that will never be understood (because humans are too stupid and required scientific advances for understanding these things will never be reached), but there is not, and cannot be a category of things that is by its very nature beyond scientific inquiry and understanding.

Also, there is the moral side of things. People in Star Trek tend to believe that all sapient beings are equal, and that goes for 'gods' too. Federation people treat these superbeings as people, not as gods. They are incredibly powerful for sure, but that does not give them any special moral or spiritual meaning.
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Old December 5 2012, 07:50 PM   #133
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
So Sindatur, by this logic, how you feel about the leprechauns?

Also, do you realise that you're basically claiming that Richard Dawkins isn't an atheist?
Of course I believe in Leprechauns, doesn't any sane person? And evreyone knows Australia is a myth, have you seen the outrageous made up animals they claim to have

I can't help what Richard Dawkins calls himself or not, I didn't invent the Definitions, I don't have any involvement in making Dictionaries.
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Old December 5 2012, 08:06 PM   #134
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

You have are however involved in understanding them. If your reading makes about 95% self professed atheists, including the most well known spokesperson for atheism non-atheists, the chances are that you're wrong.

Most atheists do not believe in God the same way they dot believe in Leprechauns or Russel's Teapots.
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Old December 5 2012, 08:52 PM   #135
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
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.
Again, you are no position to post that, as you cannot disprove its external effects on an indivdual, a population or events past or present. You are better off limiting your opinion to one representing yourself.
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