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Old December 14 2012, 08:21 PM   #211
Darkwing
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
I said creationsist are either uneducated OR denying science. Both options were covered. There is not third one.
There is room for multiple theories in science. Adhering to a non-scientific belief in that respect need not prevent them from doing good work in any field other than astrophysics.

And examine actual policies of Reagan. especially economically he is left on Republican party of today. It seems that Republicans rather suicide the economy than raise taxes. Reagan raised taxes many times when it was needed. And while never particularly pro-choice, as a governot he signed a law helping women to get abortion. Tea party would have none of that. In any case, the claim that the Republican party has moved left seems to be factually incorrect.
1. Reagan made pragmatic deals with the democrats that they welshed on.
2. Raising taxes is not necessary to rescue the economy, and isn't going to raise enough to matter without spending cuts. Obama ius willing top go over the fiscal cliff because the media will sell the false idea that it's the republicans' fault.
3. I never said they moved left. They just aren't as far right as portrayed.

And really saying that Fox News leans left is like saying Klingons are a peace loving race. It is utterly bizarre claim; in fact easily the bizarrest claim you've made in this whole thread. I'd really like to know your standards for centrist media... If it seems to you that all media leans left, maybe it is just because your perception of reality is completely skewed?
Ever watch them? Or do you just accept what the other media and talking heads claim? There's the news portion, and then there's the infotainment section - Fox at least has a right and left guest on those segments. They've had leftist shows, as well. Can't say what they have on right now, haven't had cable in a while, and only bother watching once in a while, because I prefer to read.

Also how would a secular nation infringe people's rights to their religion? They can build temples (but not with government money), they can pray all they like and they can express their views freely. Pretty much all the examples ever on secularists or atheists limiting religious freedom are actually just examples of limiting the ability to force religious views on others or get them enshired and venerated by government institutions. It is funny how the sharia law is such a boogyman to the religious right, even though they are doing the exact same thing, truing to force their religious views on others by laws. That shit just have to stop.
Secular means religion isn't welcome. We're going that way, and it's been mostly suits to prevent people using the word christmas, have nativity scenes, roadside crosses, and the like. A suit recently demanded that all the crosses in a cemetary be replaced with secular markers. That's infringing on people's rights. Your claims that the 'religious right' is acting just like the "islamofascists" is hyperbole. Some on the fringe WANT to be able to do so, but there's just as many on the opposite extreme wanting to eliminate the right, as well.

Furthermore, your constant claims that other people's positions must be unexamined because they do not see wisdom of your words is rather unfortunate. You do not know me or Xhiandra, nor have you any idea how we are arrived to our current positions. I do not know how you're arrived to yours, and I am not starting to guess. Though with that Fox News one it must be quite a story.
You do not read with comprehension. I explained my philosophy of religion and morals, and gave background. You both took that as a direct, personal statement. Your mistake. I respect anyone's RIGHT to believe whatever, but unless they've done their growing up, don't take seriously their belief. Anyone, baptist or communist, who espouses the beliefs their parents instilled, hasn't come to those beliefs by their own effort, and should not expect their depth of belief to be respected, which is a wholly different thing than repsecting their actual belief. And that journey is part of growing up.




Xhiandra wrote: View Post
Darkwing, I was trying to outline your assumptions with light-hearted humour.
If you can't laugh, well, that's just sad.
It wasn't clear if it was supposed to be funny.

Let me be less subtle:
You don't know my age, yet presume to be older (and implicitely wiser).
I intended to show that the assumption I was religious just because I defended the right to those beliefs was false, and to give some idea of how long ago I came to my views. You added the other nuance yourself.

You don't know my country, yet presume it is filled with agit-prop (btw, I do not need to look it up to guess what it stands for); and agit-prop about US politics, no less!
The entire developed world is awash in propaganda, and more of it today is aimed at shaping opinions for political purposes than used to be tolerated in the once-supposedly objective media.

Do you really believe the rest of the world is constantly focused on you guys?
Did I ever say that?
Have you never left american soil?
I've been to much of this planet, and would be surprised if you've been to as many places.

You don't know how I arrive(d) to any conclusion, yet presume they emerge from teenage rebellion (though if I read you right, you apparently believe all convictions emerge from teenage rebellion); they do not.
Read above.

You accuse me of reading what isn't there, then, in the next breath, repeat the very implication you just denied, and with a heavier hand.

You presume to teach wisdom, but rely heavily on emotional appeals such as the one below.
Wisdom is emotional.

On the matter of US politics, I will concede that I didn't know of JFK's catholicism. I thought Obama was the first non-WASP; and that the P still stood.
But the point remains: no non-christian (and very few non-protestants) have the political capita to make it in your country.
Of course, the obstacles aren't institutionalised; but that's not the point, the point is that they couldn't make it, even though they're allowed to try.
For a while there, religion didn't matter. It came to matter again when the left tried to marginalize it, and many felt threatened, and became polarized in their defense of it. Left alone, they'd've slowly faded.

You're trying to paint the exceedingly dominant majority as suffering the joug of militant atheism; it's quite frankly FoxNewsish.
No. The US was founded by christians, as a christian nation, but the founders didn't want a theocracy - they expected most people to be christian of one stripe or another, but didn't want any particular sect to dominate. Over time, other faiths and atheism became acceptable, until christianity became somewhat less than the majority, and many religious elements came to mean little. Some people have tried to purge religion from public life, which has led to an unfortunate resurgence in the virulence of some believers. If "merry christmas" is threatening to those folks, they're insecure. If I'm wished "merry christmas", I smile and say the same. If I'm told "Jeeesus is the reason for the season", I smile and wish them a merry solstice and a happy Sir Isaac Newton's Birthday. If I'm told I'm going to hell because I'm not praying with them, I ask them if they even know the name their savior actually wore when he walked this planet. I tolerate their right to believe, as long as they tolerate me.

By the way, if FoxNews is a left-leaning organisation, then I suppose the media that actually try to be unbiased (BBC, The Times, Le Monde,...) are full-on anarcho-communists!
No, but ain't nobody trying to be objective anymore.


So, anyone that answers the thread's question negatively is a militant atheist?
But anyone answering it positively isn't a militant theist. Obviously not.
No double standard here.
You misunderstand. The vehemence is the reason. "I don't see it fitting because..." is one thing. "Absolutely NOT!" is another.
He cited canon? Yes. So did plenty of other people. Many many threads on these boards end up heavily citing canon. Why is it anathema in this particular case?
Are you impressed when some cites Paul? As opposed to giving an independent rationale for their opposition? And since Roddenberry's views changed between TOS and TNG, I don't feel obligated to accept the less-tolerant later views as the only acceptable position.
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Old December 14 2012, 08:23 PM   #212
Darkwing
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

nightwind1 wrote: View Post
Nice attempt at a straw man.
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Old December 14 2012, 11:26 PM   #213
Iamnotspock
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Santa CPA wrote: View Post
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.
"Horrifying... Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!"
- Jean-Luc Picard
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Old December 15 2012, 03:19 PM   #214
Elvira
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Iamnotspock wrote: View Post
"Horrifying... Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!"
(From Reunion) ... the Enterprise crew currently includes representatives from thirteen planets. They each have their individual beliefs and values and I respect them all.

Iamnotspock, how would you reconcile these two Picard quotes. In the latter, we see the Picard who is respectful, tolerant and believes in multiculturalism. This Picard is very much the cosmopolitan being who commands the starship Enterprise.

In the former quote, there is a separate Picard, one who is narrow minded, intolerant and is disdainful with ideas that he himself doesn't personally embrace. He insults the Mintakan's former spiritual beliefs, using derisive terms like "dark ages" and "ignorance."

Where did this separate Picard come from? He obviously isn't the Picard who exists elsewhere in the series.

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Old December 15 2012, 08:24 PM   #215
Longinus
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Darkwing wrote:
There is room for multiple theories in science.
Yes there is. In areas where there is uncertainity or new unexpected evidence. With evolution neither is the case. Creationism is pretty much as valid theory as Flat Earth theory.

Adhering to a non-scientific belief in that respect need not prevent them from doing good work in any field other than astrophysics.
It demonstrates the mentality that if the evidence conflicts with the personal beliefs, the evidence will be dismissed. Such person is not fit to work in any field that requires scientific analysis of information.

1. Reagan made pragmatic deals with the democrats that they welshed on.
Right. And this pragmatism is something wich is not tolerated in the Republican party of today. There is only room for fanaticism and ideaological purity. Anyone who dares to actually work with the 'enemy' is labelled 'RINO' and ostracised.

2. Raising taxes is not necessary to rescue the economy, and isn't going to raise enough to matter without spending cuts. Obama ius willing top go over the fiscal cliff because the media will sell the false idea that it's the republicans' fault.
Hmm. I think that's why Obama is willing to make spending cuts too...

3. I never said they moved left. They just aren't as far right as portrayed.
Oh?

Darkwing wrote:
Fox is slightly left of center, the rest of the media is farther left, and even the republicans have been sliding left for years.
Seems to me that you did.

Secular means religion isn't welcome.
No it doesn't. Can you tell apart public and private?

We're going that way, and it's been mostly suits to prevent people using the word christmas, have nativity scenes, roadside crosses, and the like.
On public land. Private people and organisations can bo what they like.

A suit recently demanded that all the crosses in a cemetary be replaced with secular markers. That's infringing on people's rights.
You mean this?
ACLU wrote:
The ACLU is not pursuing, nor has it ever pursued, the removal of religious symbols from personal gravestones. Personal gravestones are the choice of the family members, not the choice of the government.
Most of this stuff you mention is just not true. Maybe you should stop watching Fox News?

Your claims that the 'religious right' is acting just like the "islamofascists" is hyperbole. Some on the fringe WANT to be able to do so, but there's just as many on the opposite extreme wanting to eliminate the right, as well.
Either you think that is okay to push laws that force other people to conform to you religious views or you don't. Both religious right and the fanatic islamists seems to be in the same camp on this.

No, but ain't nobody trying to be objective anymore.
There are a lot of news organisations which try to be objective. Of course human beings cannot be 100% objective all the time, but at least some try. And if organisation as whole aims to be objective, it can do it quite well. BBC is quite decent in that regard. There are many others.
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Old December 15 2012, 08:45 PM   #216
Longinus
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Iamnotspock wrote: View Post
"Horrifying... Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!"
(From Reunion) ... the Enterprise crew currently includes representatives from thirteen planets. They each have their individual beliefs and values and I respect them all.

Iamnotspock, how would you reconcile these two Picard quotes. In the latter, we see the Picard who is respectful, tolerant and believes in multiculturalism. This Picard is very much the cosmopolitan being who commands the starship Enterprise.
You can respect someone and still think their beliefs are complete bollocks.

Furthermore, all the Starfleet personnel are probably from pretty highly advanced cultures, I doubt that their beliefs contain much blatant superstition.

In the former quote, there is a separate Picard, one who is narrow minded, intolerant and is disdainful with ideas that he himself doesn't personally embrace. He insults the Mintakan's former spiritual beliefs, using derisive terms like "dark ages" and "ignorance."
He is a rationalist and what he says is true. How is 'ignorance' not an accurate description for believing things that just are not true? Should Picard respect the Mintakans' blatantly mistaken belief that he is a god?

I think that all Federation members have shared respect of scientific reality and knowledge. That things can be known, that they can be studied, and increasing knowledge makes us better people. They're not people who would be insulted if someone told them that their beliefs are not true. They would ask the person to explain why they think that and then they'd have a civilised discussion on the matter.

Respecting beliefs do not require accepting false things as true. Respecting someone's beliefs do not require you to refrain from saying that you think their beliefs are not true.
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Old December 15 2012, 11:17 PM   #217
Elvira
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
You can respect someone and still think their beliefs are complete bollocks.
Actually no, respect has long ended when you begin to believe that someone else's beliefs are "bollocks," simply because they don't coincide with your own personal/group beliefs.

A while back, I was a bridesmaid for a friend of mine, part of the ceremony included the couple conduct seven circles of the Fire deity, who was a witness to their wedding vows

Even though I am Christian, I do not consider the deity Agni to be "bollocks." Agni simply isn't within my Christian spiritual beliefs. I would never dream of disrespecting her beliefs with derogatory terms, solely because they don't corresponded with mine.

Picard was not exhibiting "respect." Expecting all others to embrace your particular positions and your beliefs, borders on the ridiculous. Doesn't matter if it's religion, politics or who'll win the next super bowl.

Longinus, your belief that there is no God, no gods, no spirituality of any kind is your belief, that's fine. Going beyond that personal/group belief, and labeling others negatively who don't share it is arrogant.

How is 'ignorance' not an accurate description for believing things that just are not true?
No, the things that you hold to be "not true." Not quite the same as actually being "not true." Longinus, you wouldn't have you current long list of various personal beliefs if you didn't think that they were "true." That doesn't automatically make others with a different long list ignorant.

Should Picard respect the Mintakans' blatantly mistaken belief that he is a god?
And by "the Mintakans" you mean a single individual within their society?

At the end of Who Watches The Watchers, Picard told a small group Mintakans who he was and what was going on. He was vague in places and lacking in detail, but he was also honest with them.

His end statement of "you must progress in your own way" showed the understanding and respect that was absent earlier.

ACLU wrote:
The ACLU is not pursuing, nor has it ever pursued, the removal of religious symbols from personal gravestones. Personal gravestones are the choice of the family members, not the choice of the government.
But there the ACLU has taken it upon themselves to determine where the religious symbols can be (personal gravestones) and where they can't (i.e. national memorials). The ACLU feels perfectly free to employ the court system to force their views upon others who don't share it.

Can you really see one of the many Christian churches attempted the same thing?

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Old December 15 2012, 11:23 PM   #218
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

EmperorTiberius wrote: View Post
Bishop76 wrote: View Post
Well, I also assume that finding alien life will cause some major religious upheaval as well, changing a lot of belief systems drastically. But I would consider a nuclear physicist a high science position that a creationist could fill without much problem, so why not a ship's engineer? It's admittedly quite unlikely, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. There is a certain level of suspension of knowledge to believe creationism that I don't fully understand, admittedly, but I don't think it would eliminate them from EVERY Starfleet position.

I also don't see all religions disappearing overnight either. In fact, if there was a WW3, they would strengthen before they weakened. And most modern religions have been around a long while - like over a millennium - I don't see them just up and fading away into nothing in the next 2-300 years. Even if there was less fundamentalism than there is now, there is a basic human need in a lot of people to believe in some sort of afterlife/deity/whatever.
Somehow I think our religions would adapt quite easily. They've shown extreme elasticity. So much so, the first warp-capable ship heading to the alien world would have missinaries to show the aliens the light.
Not wanting to get too involved into this discussion, but announcing the virtue of a religion to adapt... isn't that in essence saying, that the teachings of a religion are not set in stone?
And if that's the case, why have the religion at all?
If those teachings can be changed on a whim or be discarded just because there is new undeniable evidence to the contrary what is their actual worth?
What you are left with is the god of the gap to fill in the blanks that we have not yet discovered, and since we learn more every day, those gaps are getting smaller and smaller.
It will inevitably reach the point where god (any god) has to hide behind the threshold of unobservability, which is in what we call the big bang today.
But a god that can only exist behind that threshold has no influence on anything in the observable universe and can be treated as non existant and has no say in how we live our lives or how we treat others.
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Old December 15 2012, 11:58 PM   #219
Longinus
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Merry Christmas wrote: View Post
Actually no, respect has long ended when you begin to believe that someone else's beliefs are "bollocks," simply because they don't coincide with your own personal/group beliefs.

A while back, I was a bridesmaid for a friend of mine, part of the ceremony included the couple conduct seven circles of the Fire deity, who was a witness to their wedding vows

Even though I am Christian, I do not consider the deity Agni to be "bollocks." Agni simply isn't within my Christian spiritual beliefs. I would never dream of disrespecting her beliefs with derogatory terms, solely because they don't corresponded with mine.
'Bollocks' was merely a humorous colloquialism to indicate 'not true.' Yes, I agree that it would be disrespectful to call someone's beliefs 'bollocks' to their face.

Do you believe that Agni exists? If you don't then you think that your Hindu friends hold a belief that is not true. And it is not disrespectful for you to do so. It is not even disrespectful for you to say that in a relevant context.

Picard was not exhibiting "respect." Expecting all others to embrace your particular positions and your beliefs, borders on the ridiculous. Doesn't matter if it's religion, politics or who'll win the next super bowl.

Longinus, your belief that there is no God, no gods, no spirituality of any kind is your belief, that's fine. Going beyond that personal/group belief, and labeling others negatively who don't share it is arrogant.
Do you accept that a reality exists and human beings can have knowledge of it? Because if we accept that, then it follows that there are true and false beliefs about reality.

We humans can study reality and learn from it. And not all beliefs are equal. Believing that Earth is flat is ignorant. We have good evidence that pretty strongly suggest that it is in fact a sphere (I know, not a perfect sphere.) Similarly Picard had good reasons to assume that the Mintakans' beliefs were indeed in error.

And by "the Mintakans" you mean a single individual within their society?
So how many people have to hold a belief before it becomes a religion warranting special protection and respect?

At the end of Who Watches The Watchers, Picard told a small group Mintakans who he was and what was going on. He was vague in places and lacking in detail, but he was also honest with them.

His end statement of "you must progress in your own way" showed the understanding and respect that was absent earlier.
He informed them of the true state of the things, yes. That was respectful.


But there the ACLU has taken it upon themselves to determine where the religious symbols can be (personal gravestones) and where they can't (i.e. national memorials). The ACLU feels perfectly free to employ the court system to force their views upon others who don't share it.
They uphold the law and the distinction there is perfectly clear. A state separated from church cannot endorse specific religion. Individual citicens can do as they please.

Now personally I do not much care in one way or another about old crosses, symbolic mentions of God or bible quotes, but what ACLU is doing is quite logical.

And about war memorial monuments specifically, think it like this. Not all those who died were christians. They might have been buddhists, muslims, atheists, whatever. And they did not die fighting for christianity, they died fighting for their country. Putting a specifically christian symbol on such a memorial is disrespectuful for those non-christian war heroes and their families.

Can you really see one of the many Christian churches attempted the same thing?
Advocating for equal treatment of all citicens? Sure, many churches are for that.

It is however unfortunate that even more churches are for pushing laws that force their religious views on others, such as various same-sex marriage bans.
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Old December 16 2012, 12:22 AM   #220
Darkwing
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
Yes there is. In areas where there is uncertainity or new unexpected evidence. With evolution neither is the case. Creationism is pretty much as valid theory as Flat Earth theory.
Well, evolution is not fully developed - we can demonstrate it happens, but are still not able to demonstrate the mechanism - kinda like electricity at one time. And hopefully by the 2rd century we'll have that. But I also remember how James P. Hogan, in his Gentle Giants of Ganymede series was heavy-handed and preachy on the topic of evolution, and how well-thought-out his books have been. Yet he has gone over to ID in recent years. So smart folks can do good work, yet still hold these beliefs.

Adhering to a non-scientific belief in that respect need not prevent them from doing good work in any field other than astrophysics.
It demonstrates the mentality that if the evidence conflicts with the personal beliefs, the evidence will be dismissed. Such person is not fit to work in any field that requires scientific analysis of information.
Such a hard-nosed attitude. Strange that that doesn't disqualify many climatologists.

Right. And this pragmatism is something wich is not tolerated in the Republican party of today. There is only room for fanaticism and ideaological purity. Anyone who dares to actually work with the 'enemy' is labelled 'RINO' and ostracised.
According to your sources. I don't see this fanatacism except in HuffPo and similar cliques.

Hmm. I think that's why Obama is willing to make spending cuts too...
Mostly, he refuses to discuss them, and has retracted some he was willing to make earlier. And cuts set to happen in 10 years mean nothing. Later congresses will override those. It's intensely frustrating that we added a few republicans to the house and a few democrats to the senate, then sent back pretty much the same teams as before that couldn't work with each other, because no-one is willing to really consider anything serious.
I don't understand it. Packing each house with one party or trying to swap which party is the majority in each house would have been comprehensible. Electing a different president while keeping the same congress, or keeping the president and changing out congress as much as possible would have made more sense than what we got: More of the same, just a little fringe modification.

Regardless, Obama, Reid, and Pelosi should be challenged for asserting it's all the republicans' fault. They are all equally culpable.
Oh?

Seems to me that you did.
You're right, I did. Should have reread previous posts before replying.

No it doesn't. Can you tell apart public and private?
What I see is private citizens being told that public doesn't mean "don't use public money", but "don't let it be seen in public". That's not tolerant.


You mean this?
Most of this stuff you mention is just not true. Maybe you should stop watching Fox News?
1. As mentioned before, I don't have tv. I see tv news only when I'm somewhere with tv, like a hotel or a friend's or a public place. Haven't paid for cable for years, since shortly after returning to the US.
2. ACLU is not the only organization challenging organizations. I did read an article on that challenge recently. So ACLU denying it does not invalidate the statement.
3. Your blithe dismissal of Fox tells me you probably haven't watched it at all. When I have seen them, they didn't seem as bad as MSNBC, and no worse than CNN - which ain't sayin' much, I know, but my experience tells me that, as tv news goes, they're NOT what the political pundits claim.

Either you think that is okay to push laws that force other people to conform to you religious views or you don't. Both religious right and the fanatic islamists seems to be in the same camp on this.
Again with the rigid views.

There are a lot of news organisations which try to be objective. Of course human beings cannot be 100% objective all the time, but at least some try. And if organisation as whole aims to be objective, it can do it quite well. BBC is quite decent in that regard. There are many others.
When did this happen? I recall hearing recently that BBC sat on Savile story, for example. Honest and objective?
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Old December 16 2012, 12:36 AM   #221
Darkwing
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
Not wanting to get too involved into this discussion, but announcing the virtue of a religion to adapt... isn't that in essence saying, that the teachings of a religion are not set in stone?
And if that's the case, why have the religion at all?
If those teachings can be changed on a whim or be discarded just because there is new undeniable evidence to the contrary what is their actual worth?
people are flawed, so is religion. Rigid views that can't adapt are comforting to some, but can marginalize an organization over time. Personally, I respect "cafeteria christians" more than whole-hog doctrinaires, because they've at least thought about their religion, rather than allowing someone to dictate to them.

What you are left with is the god of the gap to fill in the blanks that we have not yet discovered, and since we learn more every day, those gaps are getting smaller and smaller.
It will inevitably reach the point where god (any god) has to hide behind the threshold of unobservability, which is in what we call the big bang today.
But a god that can only exist behind that threshold has no influence on anything in the observable universe and can be treated as non existant and has no say in how we live our lives or how we treat others.
Plenty of people 'see' the hand of god (by whatever name) in their everyday life. Shall we disenfranchise them and call them fools for seeing Mary in a muffin? Beyond that, churches are social clubs, and give children a good early exposure to a moral code. Shop around and you'll find a variety, ranging from infallible KJV bible zealots to barely-recognizable as religious unitarians and non-denominationals, wiccans who only believe in skyclad sex magic, pagans who earnestly and strictly believe in Gaia, buddhists who hardly deserve the name and those who are a shoe-in for nirvana. They help some people, and comfort others they don't directly help. That's good enough reason to let them be.
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Old December 16 2012, 04:53 AM   #222
Elvira
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Longinus wrote: View Post
Do you believe that Agni exists?
Agni isn't part of my faith, however that doesn't translate into "non-existence" for those people for whom Agni is part of their faith.

If you don't then you think that your Hindu friends hold a belief that is not true.
So, you're saying that if I don't believe in your beliefs Longinus, your beliefs then become "untrue?" How does that work? Certainly they would continue to be true for you, despite my (or others) disbelief in them.

It is not even disrespectful for you to say that in a relevant context.
My not embracing her beliefs (which she is of course aware of) is in no way disrespectful to her beliefs, or of her beliefs. Her adherence to her families religious heritage has alway been one of the things I admire about her.

Remember, Hinduism exist in the Star Trek universe. The Hindu faith exists in the 22nd century (Cold Front), there is a Hindu navigator aboard the Enterprise in the 23rd century (That Which Survives), and there is a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, in the 24th century aboard the Enterprise D (Data's day).

In the three episode just noted, I don't remember any specific mentions of future atheists. Maybe TPTB forgot.

Do you accept that a reality exists ...
I accept that the physical corporeal world is only a portion of the totality of reality.

Longinus wrote: View Post
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Longinus wrote: View Post
Should Picard respect the Mintakans' blatantly mistaken belief that he is a god?
And by "the Mintakans" you mean a single individual within their society?
So how many people have to hold a belief before it becomes a religion warranting special protection and respect?
I was question your use of the term "the Mintakans," seemingly to indicate the entire species in general, when the story made clear only a single individual believed Picard to be a "god."

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Old December 16 2012, 10:22 AM   #223
Longinus
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Do you accept that whether we can accurately perceive it or not, there is an objective reality That Agni either exists or does no exist, that Yahweh either exists or doesn't exist, that leprechauns either exist or do not exist, that Australia either exists or doesn't exist?

we can have an opinion on these things and we can be either right or wrong.

Liko had s sincerely held religious belief that Picard was a god (and other Mintakans started to believe it too). Why was it okay for Picard to crush this belief? Why was it okay for him to say 'this is not true?' Why it was not okay for him to say same about the ancient Mintakan beliefs?
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Old December 16 2012, 11:36 AM   #224
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Darkwing wrote: View Post
people are flawed, so is religion. Rigid views that can't adapt are comforting to some, but can marginalize an organization over time. Personally, I respect "cafeteria christians" more than whole-hog doctrinaires, because they've at least thought about their religion, rather than allowing someone to dictate to them.


Plenty of people 'see' the hand of god (by whatever name) in their everyday life. Shall we disenfranchise them and call them fools for seeing Mary in a muffin? Beyond that, churches are social clubs, and give children a good early exposure to a moral code. Shop around and you'll find a variety, ranging from infallible KJV bible zealots to barely-recognizable as religious unitarians and non-denominationals, wiccans who only believe in skyclad sex magic, pagans who earnestly and strictly believe in Gaia, buddhists who hardly deserve the name and those who are a shoe-in for nirvana. They help some people, and comfort others they don't directly help. That's good enough reason to let them be.
I don't deny that there are nearly as many flavours of religion and believe as there are people.
But there can only be one truth.
Truth is not a flexible thing. Either it is, or it isn't.
That means those many many different flavours of believe are by definition not true. Only one of them can be in theory, and what are the chances of that?
If there is something supernatural, chances are no one got it right yet, and as long as there is no evidence there is no reason to believe it.
And evidence means, something universally observable, verifiable allowing others to come to the same conclusion.
The face of Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich is no different than seeing bunnies in the clouds. Someone can be convinced it is true, because he WANTS it to be true, but that doesn't mean the Easter Bunny is real, even though you can't disprove it.

It is also true, that some people draw some form of comfort and hope from religion.
But again, those is true for all religions and beliefs, so for most if not all people this must be purely psychological or a placebo effect. No supernatural being required.

Religion as a source of morality...
Yeah, can't let that fly, as I always find it mildly insulting when religion is declared a requirement for a moral compass.
That implies that atheists are immoral, which is not the case.
I am sure you know a few atheists and you wouldn't call any of them immoral.
Morality comes from reason and compassion for others and is found in any social structure.
What is or is not moral is defined by our experiences and what we deem acceptable behaviour in a social context.

No ancient books that claims exclusivity on moral required.

Now if someone finds himself incapable of being moral without his religion and starts murdering, raping and stealing, please, let him stay religious, it's saver for others. but I trust that this is not true for most human beings.
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Old December 17 2012, 01:47 AM   #225
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Re: Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
I don't deny that there are nearly as many flavours of religion and believe as there are people. But there can only be one truth.
Truth is not a flexible thing. Either it is, or it isn't.
That means those many many different flavours of believe are by definition not true. Only one of them can be in theory, and what are the chances of that?
That's a very strict view. Truth may or may not be flexible, but our path to it is. Religion may or may not have any validity, but it's a road that may lead to the right place eventually. How are we to know? All roads lead to Rome, after all. How important is the specific path taken to get there?

If there is something supernatural, chances are no one got it right yet, and as long as there is no evidence there is no reason to believe it.
Does there have to be a god for a belief in one (or more) to be a positive influence in society? Does the lack of an actual deity or pantheon make any faith a negative influence?
And evidence means, something universally observable, verifiable allowing others to come to the same conclusion.
Maybe to an engineer. But to a refugee giving up hope, saying "Give me a sign", seeing a rescue chopper at the right moment is not merely evidence, but practically proof of whatever divinity they prayed to.

The face of Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich is no different than seeing bunnies in the clouds. Someone can be convinced it is true, because he WANTS it to be true, but that doesn't mean the Easter Bunny is real, even though you can't disprove it.
Hey, on behalf of E. Aster Bunnymund, I take offense to that!

It is also true, that some people draw some form of comfort and hope from religion.
But again, those is true for all religions and beliefs, so for most if not all people this must be purely psychological or a placebo effect. No supernatural being required.
Non sequitur. The existence or lack thereof of actual godhead does not indicate that Starfleet can prove the same, nor that religion is dead and that, therefore, chaplains serve no purpose. And a religious funeral service is a catharsis for the survivors, so the actual hope of resurrection of the deceased is not the real reason to attend. That hope of return helps comfort the bereaved as they share their pain with their social set.

Religion as a source of morality...
Yeah, can't let that fly, as I always find it mildly insulting when religion is declared a requirement for a moral compass.
That implies that atheists are immoral, which is not the case.
That's your problem, not mine. I see churches as social club and a venue for teaching kids the broad brush strokes for your socieities morality. And they're useful in that way. Anything deeper is up to each individual to decide for themselves. Yeah, some churches are better than others for that. Growing up, I knew kids who were taught at their parents' church things I felt were seriously messed up. When I found out my own church held infant damnation as point of doctrine, I started asking why we had to accept such a repugnant idea as part of god's plan.
But kids usually only get the simple ideas, and so the church serves a social purpose. The faith itself, may or may not be valid, although I hope not. But to it's members and society, churches can be very good things, so long as they have no temporal power.
I am sure you know a few atheists and you wouldn't call any of them immoral.
I wouldn't go that far. There are moral and immoral people from any ism. So, yeah, some atheists I know AREN'T moral. I've known such people who later got religion, and think they're more moral now, but some of them really aren't, IMO. I've known religious people who, like me, lost their faith. Some lost their moral compass, because they didn't know how to separate the good ideas from church from the bad.

Morality comes from reason and compassion for others and is found in any social structure.
What is or is not moral is defined by our experiences and what we deem acceptable behaviour in a social context.
And the social club we call church is one of the vehicles that can impart that.

No ancient books that claims exclusivity on moral required.
True. But a certain old book, arrogantly named BOOK, as in The One Book, is also the source of much of the moral code we developed for western civilization.

Now if someone finds himself incapable of being moral without his religion and starts murdering, raping and stealing, please, let him stay religious, it's saver for others. but I trust that this is not true for most human beings.
Now this is simply nonsense. Losing faith and one's moral compass may mean sleeping around, petty theft, etc, but is hardly liable to result in Bernie Madoff, Ted Bundy, and all the rest.

So, let's try to get back on-topic. Given the stipulation that a Trek series were to feature a chaplain as a main character, how should that best be implemented?
1. In-story - you'd want a good character, who'd be an asset to the crew.
2. Meta-story - for drama, you might want a bad character to play a specific role and create conflict, or you might want a good one to help explain how some of the crew get through tough times when you have an arc like the Dominion War.

Now, from my real world experience, the Navy used to station chaplains on every ship. To reduce manpower and save money, they now only permanently station them on big-deck ships (carriers, LHAs/LHDs), and at base chapels and squadrons. Smaller ships only get a chaplain when they go on deployment, and s/he is sent temporarily to that unit for the deployment. That helps and hurt. When chaplains were part of the crew, BuPers assigned them, and all they have to go on in deciding that is the record - what fitness report marks, what qualifications, etc. So good chaplains and bad made it to different commands. Now, since they belong to a given chapel or squadron, there's some latitude for a local authority, who actually knows each one, to decide who gets sent. So ships tend to get better, more-ecumenical chaplains, who aren't as wrapped up in their own doctrine. But they also aren't there with the crew all the time, and have to wait till pre-deployment work-ups to start getting to know the crew they'll be ministering to. That makes their relationships shallower at first.
I've known good, caring chaplains who were there for sailors, and I've known (some well-read, some ignorant) strongly-opinionated chaplains who placed the doctrine of their denomination before the needs of their flock. Both ends can make good fodder for story purposes. So, both from an in-universe and from a writer's external perspective, how should a chaplain be integrated into and used in a series as a main character, and why?
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