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Old December 5 2012, 09:07 PM   #136
Longinus
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
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.
This has been studied. There is no reason to believe that prayer has effects distinguishable from random chance or a placebo effect. Funnily enough telling sick people that they were prayed for made them slightly worse (reason is a bit unclear, possibly because this made them more worried, increasing stress.)

Furthermore you don't need to prove that something isn't real, you have to prove that something is real. If I claim that wearing a special red magic hat of my design will make you more succesful in life, I better to be able to prove that.
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Old December 5 2012, 09:07 PM   #137
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
Most atheists do not believe in God the same way they dot believe in Leprechauns or Russel's Teapots.
So atheists believe that there are no such thing as leprechauns.

Hmmm.


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Old December 5 2012, 09:25 PM   #138
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Rational position is to not believe in things there is no evidence for. And this is exactly how most people operate in their day to day lives. Try the opposite. You believe in everything unless you can prove that it doesn't exist. This leads you to believing in all sorts of unlikely and bizarre things. Do you know whether there is an elephant on your yard right now? Until you go to check and see that there isn't, you should assume that there is indeed an elephant there. No one does this.

Russel's Teapot is very old and quite excellent way to illustrate this. It was formulated by philosopher Bertrand Russel.

Bertrand Russel wrote:
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time
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Old December 5 2012, 09:27 PM   #139
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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
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.
The "details" as you put it are not on screen because it was not meant to be a scientific process to any degree. It is purely spiritual/religous. The Katra was plainly defined--on screen--as a "living spirit," nothing else, and it is a natural spiritiual/religous process where the dying individual can pass this spirit to a host (McCoy in this case). Moreover, the restoration of the Katra to Spock's regenerated, mindless body was by the same process devoid of technology as an influence, conduit, etc.

Verbal gymnastics cannot rewrite the meaning and intent of the Katra as defined on screen. Few things in ST were as spelled out as Sarek's to-the-point definition of the Katra.

What sort of mental faculties you'd assume a few days old person to posses? Considering his age, he seemed pretty smart.
He had no ability to think or reason--he had no identity whatsoever.

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.
Touching McCoy made the doctor's mind receptive to receiving the Katra. If you notice, the Katra's visible influence would not occur until Spock's physical death.

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.
Then you have missed much of ST. Charles Evans was granted powers by the Thasians, but there was no science behind it. The Organians' abilites are never defined as being a product of science, and there would never be a "do not yet understand," to their comprehension of said abilities, as it cannot be defined scientifcally.


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.
You conveniently skip over the rest: she acknowledged his status; logically, non-Christians or atheists do not attribute such a status (in a matter of fact manner) to one they do not believe in.
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Old December 5 2012, 10:15 PM   #140
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
The "details" as you put it are not on screen because it was not meant to be a scientific process to any degree. It is purely spiritual/religous. The Katra was plainly defined--on screen--as a "living spirit," nothing else, and it is a natural spiritiual/religous process where the dying individual can pass this spirit to a host (McCoy in this case). Moreover, the restoration of the Katra to Spock's regenerated, mindless body was by the same process devoid of technology as an influence, conduit, etc.
We can scientifically understand biological, neural and psychological processes, none of which include technology. Words which Sarek used to describe the thing do not matter. If 'souls' exist, they can be studied scientifically. There just isn't this category of magic things that do exist, but cannot be studied.

He had no ability to think or reason--he had no identity whatsoever.
Yeah, just like a newborn!

Touching McCoy made the doctor's mind receptive to receiving the Katra. If you notice, the Katra's visible influence would not occur until Spock's physical death.
So you assume Spock do not actually transfer the Katra, that it only transfers by itself later? That is just not backed up by what is said and what happens in the movie. What you say is pure speculation.

Then you have missed much of ST. Charles Evans was granted powers by the Thasians, but there was no science behind it. The Organians' abilites are never defined as being a product of science, and there would never be a "do not yet understand," to their comprehension of said abilities, as it cannot be defined scientifcally.
Do you think that Organians or Thesians or Q or whatever themselves have scientific understanding of their own powers? These are clearly advanced beings, seeming god-like compared to humans, but there's nothing 'magical' about them. It is just like Picard seemed like a god to Mintakans.


You conveniently skip over the rest: she acknowledged his status; logically, non-Christians or atheists do not attribute such a status (in a matter of fact manner) to one they do not believe in.
Stop saying that! She merely repeated what the Romans had said. She had to for the whole son/sun confusion to be resolved. No I am not saying that she could not have been a Christian, but that line does not come even close to being conclusive proof for it.

Last edited by Longinus; December 5 2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old December 6 2012, 01:22 AM   #141
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Stop saying that!
Why? Uhura doesn't say "They insinuate the he's the son of God." Or, "These moronic primitives think this carpenter is the son of God."

Uhura says: " It is the Son of God."

She merely repeated what the Romans had said.
How can you possibly know what the Roman government spokesman said on the radio?

She had to for the whole son/sun confusion to be resolved.
Why clarify it? They could have just left them "Sun Worshipers."

No I am not saying that she could not have been a Christian, but that line does not come even close to being conclusive proof for it.
But beyond mere words, there is vocal inflection and also facial expression. Uhura's voice held the same joy and wonder my own does when I speak of God. As did her smiling face. Most TOS episodes are available on YouTube, should you wish to view the scene for conclusive proof. Empirical evidence.



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Old December 6 2012, 03:05 AM   #142
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

I've seen the scene quite recently. "Not sun in sky but Son of God", she has to say that. "Not sun in the sky but Jesus the Palestinian rabbi", does not make sense if she is attempting to explain the sun/son confusion. And yes, they were glad about it, and at least Uhura and McCoy thought very highly of Christ." And so do I. But I don't think he was a god.

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.

Last edited by Longinus; December 6 2012 at 03:21 AM.
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Old December 6 2012, 11:59 AM   #143
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post

This has been studied. There is no reason to believe that prayer has effects distinguishable from random chance or a placebo effect. Funnily enough telling sick people that they were prayed for made them slightly worse (reason is a bit unclear, possibly because this made them more worried, increasing stress.)
Your "studies" are not universal fact. It is illogical to base a sweeping opinion on a study which cannot account for billions who pray(ed) with results not necessarily known throughout history.

Furthermore you don't need to prove that something isn't real, you have to prove that something is real.
Wrong--you are the one attacking the merit/effect of prayer, thus the burden of proof (that it does not work) is yours, otherwise, you are simply posting in the negative for the sake of atheist agenda, which does not walk hand in hand with truth about prayer, or anything else.
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Old December 6 2012, 12:53 PM   #144
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
We can scientifically understand biological, neural and psychological processes, none of which include technology. Words which Sarek used to describe the thing do not matter. If 'souls' exist, they can be studied scientifically. There just isn't this category of magic things that do exist, but cannot be studied.
Again you place your hope in a scientific study, when it is clear the spiritual is beyond man's attempt to treat it as though it was a chemical formula.

George Lucas tried that with his "midichlorian" nonsensical explanation for the "Force" in the 1999-2005 prequels (when it was necessary to justify a spiritual/"mystcial" power in the original films), and was flooded with criticism for trying to turn his creation's most defining plot motivator (the "will" of the Force and those who employ it) for even trying to turn it into something ro be explained in a lab.

So you assume Spock do not actually transfer the Katra, that it only transfers by itself later?
You must look at the chain of filmed evidence: the more rational explanation is that he "prepped" McCoy at that moment, but the transfer was not complete, for as you say, Spock was still alive for a few minutes beyond that, but once he suffered physical death (thus any other physical hold on his soul was severed), it was only sometime after that (beginning of ST3) that Spock;s Katra--the living spirit--took enough of a hold to influence McCoy's thoughts, speech, etc.


Do you think that Organians or Thesians or Q or whatever themselves have scientific understanding of their own powers? These are clearly advanced beings, seeming god-like compared to humans, but there's nothing 'magical' about them. It is just like Picard seemed like a god to Mintakans.
Again, you make the woefully false leap to a conclusion that all is justified or explained in some scientific manner. To use your own words, your quote above is pure conjecture and not supported by on screen evidence, as the notion of the Thasians or Organians having a scientific explanation for their respective powers was not mentioned by the subjects themselves, nor by any observers.

You are allowing atheist dogma to seek answers to questions deliberately never asked. Star Trek is very clear: when something requires a scientific explanation, writers have attempted to provide said explanation, whether it is the way transporters work, or how the Genesis "torpedo" terrforms barren worlds, but the spiritual is not apporached in this manner, as such abilities/practices/beliefs are accepted for whatever they are said to be.

No, this does not inlcude device driven "superbeings" such as Apollo, Trelane, or humans genetically augmented by external forces (Gary Mitchell).


Stop saying that! She merely repeated what the Romans had said. She had to for the whole son/sun confusion to be resolved. No I am not saying that she could not have been a Christian, but that line does not come even close to being conclusive proof for it.
She was not obligated to recognize his identity/status, as she was adding her own observations about the broadcasts; she just as easily could have focused on his message of brotherly love as being the driving force of the anti-Roman movement. Someone--whether they are an atheist, or non-Christian would be more likely to employ such a clinical analysis for Christ 's status and what was happening, but she did not for a reason, no matter how much you wish the dialogue to say something else.
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Old December 6 2012, 01:13 PM   #145
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Do you understand how studies work? We do not have to ask every voter in the nation for the surveys to get rather reliable results on voter behaviour. We do not have to test a new drug on all the people in the world to know how effective it is.

Now, you can believe what you want, but believing in prayer affecting the external world is exactly the same as believing that broken mirrors cause seven years of misfortune. It is superstition.

Furthermore, I have no 'atheist agenda' if anything I have rationalist agenda. I do not want prayers to be ineffective, it certainly would be nice if we would magic things better, but that just does not seem to be the case. I am for finding what is the truth, regardless of whether that truth happens to be something we like. And Russel's Teapot should illustrate why proving the negative is a ludicrous endeavour. That is not how humans operate regarding any other information, and information on religious matters should be no different.
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Old December 6 2012, 01:30 PM   #146
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Your idea that everything that is not given a sufficient technobable explanation must work by magic is an odd one. And no, I am not going be able to prove to you that this is not the case any more I can prove to you that prayers do not work. I just have to wonder why the hell would you think that.

And comparison to Star Wars is actually good one. These two franchises have marked difference in tone. SW is more of a fantasy story set in space whereas Star Trek has always been a pure Science Fiction series, albeit rather soft one.
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Old December 6 2012, 01:51 PM   #147
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
Do you understand how studies work? We do not have to ask every voter in the nation for the surveys to get rather reliable results on voter behaviour.
The very reason studies of that nature are often rendered suspect when its selected subject base is so small and skewed that it cannot accurately represent the habits or interest of the greater population, particularly in the case of a practice as old as prayer in the annals of human civilization. Further, studies with a pre-concieved conclusion ("prayer does not work") do not consider the near-endless generations of accounts from those who say prayer had specific results.

The moment one does not consider that wealth of believer accounts throughout history, you are left with something as flawed as asking an isolated group of loyal Fox News viewers if they believe Obama is leading the U.S. in the right direction; such a skewed sample to obtain an obviously pre-concieved conclusion is not comprehensive, thus its results cannot be taken seriously.

Now, you can believe what you want, but believing in prayer affecting the external world is exactly the same as believing that broken mirrors cause seven years of misfortune. It is superstition.
Translation: more reactionary atheist screaming for that which you cannot comprehend, while deliberately ignoring accounts throughout history of individuals citing the benefit and/or effect of prayer.

Furthermore, I have no 'atheist agenda' if anything I have rationalist agenda.
The last four or five pages would seem to prove you are driven by the stated agenda.
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Old December 6 2012, 02:07 PM   #148
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Age of a belief is not an indication of its veracity. People used to believe thousands 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?

Last edited by Longinus; December 6 2012 at 10:09 PM.
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Old December 6 2012, 02:38 PM   #149
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

The fundamentalism of some of this board's posters is both incredibly scary and depressing.
Anyway, a chaplain would just about be the most un-Trek element to add to the franchise.

Though I'll grant that fundamentalist oxymora are hilarious. "Atheist dogma". XD.


Edit:

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.
Heh, he's basically re-stating the 4 classical categories and adding more intermediates:

- Strong theist/gnostic theist=Dawkins' "1".
- Weak theist/agnostic theist=Dawkins' "2" and "3".
- Weak atheist/agnostic atheist=Dawkins' "5" and "6".
- Strong atheist/gnostic atheist=Dawkins' "7".
His 4 is impossible: rationally you can think it's 50/50, but from there you either believe or not; some you're either a 3 or a 5.
But the point is true: gnostic atheists (7s) don't really exist outside of strawmen whereas theists are found both in agnostic (most of ours in the EU) and gnostic/fundie (plenty of them in the US and Middle East) varieties.

Last edited by Xhiandra; December 6 2012 at 02:53 PM.
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Old December 6 2012, 03:03 PM   #150
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

The description of category 4 is not the best possible, but I still think the category in itself is valid. There certainly are people who are genuinely agnostic, and refuse to take stand in one way or another. Though most self described agnostics seem to fall closer to Dawkins' category 5. They say they're agnostic but in practice behave as there is no God.
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