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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old June 16 2013, 03:53 PM   #16
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
I think TNG made it pretty clear those silly superstitions are a thing of the past. I doubt anyone on the Enterprise believes they have a "soul".
So..what exactly did that one guy project into Data when he possessed him in Season One?

And that's not even touching the numerous other similar eps that had a more sci-fi angle.

edit: In fact, after encountering numerous wonders to satiate desires both subtle and gross....I seriously doubt more than a handful of Enterprise crew sit there smugly going..."Pttt. There's no such thing as a soul."

Last edited by Dale Sams; June 16 2013 at 04:06 PM.
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Old June 16 2013, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

R. Star wrote: View Post
The soulless minions of orthodoxy rule the future.
That's a great line, but I forget where it comes from.
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Old June 16 2013, 03:58 PM   #18
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

^ DS9 "In the Cards"
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Old June 16 2013, 03:58 PM   #19
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Portal wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
The soulless minions of orthodoxy rule the future.
That's a great line, but I forget where it comes from.
That DS9 episode where Jake tries to get a baseball card for his father.

Edit: ninja'd
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Old June 16 2013, 04:09 PM   #20
Chemahkuu
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Well, the problem is that the soul has to be something tangible, or it would keep getting left behind during transport.

And I would love to see the religious bend-over-backwards explanations as to how a soul binds to a machine instead of the brain.

I'd think maybe Data would notice that some weird energy field was attaching itself strangely to his positronic net. And the fact that deleting his ethical subroutines does not trigger this imaginary soul to compensate.

Or that Thomas Riker and William must now be in possession of half a soul each, Voldemort style.

Or that creatures resembling this aethereal form, energy born, seem to be largely evil or devoid of anything a soul is meant to impart. Strange, given that they're the closest to it.

Sorry but, really? Data may never exist in any form at all no matter how advanced our technology becomes. He acts the way he does because of the script and an entirely Human actor dictating that he does.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:09 PM   #21
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

And yes...it's hilarious that the very first thing to come into my mind is Patrick Stewart's voice, "I don't know. Do you! Do YOU?!"
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Old June 16 2013, 04:16 PM   #22
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

The issue is more complicated, even if you're an atheist (I'm not but that's not relevant). Soul can mean more than something that lives on past death but a certain Greek "spark of life" which renders something a person.
You are correct that the Greek word for soul is actually better translated as "life-force".

Ancient Greeks believed in the afterlife, so they believed your essence survived death. They just weren't sure what that essence was.

I tend to agree with those that say we don't have souls. Therefore I don't believe Data has a "mystical" soul either.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:16 PM   #23
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Well, the problem is that the soul has to be something tangible, or it would keep getting left behind during transport.

And I would love to see the religious bend-over-backwards explanations as to how a soul binds to a machine instead of the brain.

I'd think maybe Data would notice that some weird energy field was attaching itself strangely to his positronic net. And the fact that deleting his ethical subroutines does not trigger this imaginary soul to compensate.

Or that Thomas Riker and William must now be in possession of half a soul each, Voldemort style.

Or that creatures resembling this aethereal form, energy born, seem to be largely evil or devoid of anything a soul is meant to impart. Strange, given that they're the closest to it.

Sorry but, really? Data may never exist in any form at all no matter how advanced our technology becomes. He acts the way he does because of the script and an entirely Human actor dictating that he does.
Obviously the Klingons and Bajorans believe in a soul. And I think our 'so-called more enlightened Feds' do as well. After all some of them ran off with Worf to help Jadzia get in Stovokor. Without even bothering to ask "Why would a Trill go to Klingon heaven?" And they did NOT appear to be doing to support their ignorant superstitious friend.

The smartest person TODAY is the one who says he doesn't have all the answers. In the future? In the STAR TREK universe with all they've seen??? I wouldn't want to have lunch with someone so smug and closed minded.*

*Then. In the Star Trek universe mind you. I would have lunch with anyone on this board.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:26 PM   #24
Charles Phipps
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

And I would love to see the religious bend-over-backwards explanations as to how a soul binds to a machine instead of the brain.
Well, Lxanna Troi seems to think that thought and life are interconnected. The Travelers believe that thought, space, and reality are the same. If you want to treat the hokey New Age spirituality seriously versus Orthodox religion - basically, "A soul exists because a person thinks for itself." Whether said person is metal, steel, plastic, crystal, or an ugly bag of mostly water doesn't matter.

Of course, taking this philosophy to its natural conclusion means that the universe of Star Trek is essentially the Matrix.

(I actually use Star Trek in my religious studies group as it has some nice ideas for examining the nature of theology)
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Old June 16 2013, 04:27 PM   #25
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
I think TNG made it pretty clear those silly superstitions are a thing of the past. I doubt anyone on the Enterprise believes they have a "soul".
How 'bout Worf?

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Old June 16 2013, 04:31 PM   #26
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Sran wrote: View Post
How 'bout Worf?
Also, the TNG issue is a bit more complicated. Picard objects violently to the idea that HE is personally worshiped as a god. However, he's also offended that Q claims to be a God in a manner which might state that he views the concept of God with some reverence.

Likewise, Kirk has (in part due to Bill Shatner) been pretty much identified as a Deist of some stripe. Uhura also seems to be of this kind of person. Religion seems to be a more personal thing in the future but, given they're all government employees, that simply may be Starfleet policy.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:34 PM   #27
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Sran wrote: View Post
SonOfMogh wrote: View Post
I think TNG made it pretty clear those silly superstitions are a thing of the past. I doubt anyone on the Enterprise believes they have a "soul".
How 'bout Worf?

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"Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millennia ago. They were more trouble than they were worth." -Worf
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Old June 16 2013, 04:36 PM   #28
Chemahkuu
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

The alien cultures that believe in afterlives and souls are often shown to be more primitive and backward in several other ways.

Klingons may have warp drive, but they've barely mastered hygiene and walking upright otherwise.

Bajorans have been shown to be incredibly stubborn and heavily indoctrinated, their religious class more or less ruling the masses and running their schools as current advocates of "intelligent design" would drool at the thought of being able to.

When someone even demonstrates the soul exists, we can wait for Data to be built, then debate whether that "life form" has one. But if such a thing exists, we should be able to just measure it and see anyway.

Hell, I can claim I have magic purple tentacles in place of a soul, but just as invisible and made of the same "stuff", prove I don't.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:40 PM   #29
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
The alien cultures that believe in afterlives and souls are often shown to be more primitive and backward in several other ways.

Klingons may have warp drive, but they've barely mastered hygiene and walking upright otherwise.
RACIST!!!

So Vulcans are primitive and backward? And you would think more than any other race they would be atheists.

/endthread
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Old June 16 2013, 04:45 PM   #30
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Really? Playing the race card on a fictional race? That's amusing in a small way.

But hey, Vulcan temples make great spy outposts since most people don't like blowing up churches.
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