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Old September 26 2013, 12:10 PM   #16
Bad Thoughts
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Obviously who are what is a god can be a messy affair, but I don't see why the veneration of Kahless would be much different than of Buddha.
Maybe Buddha didn't set the pattern for Earth tyrannies?

Excalbian rock: Captain, Mister Spock, some of these you may know through history. ... Kahless the Unforgettable, the Klingon who set the pattern for his planet's tyrannies. We welcome the vessel Enterprise. ("The Savage Curtain")

Bob
That dude was as dumb as a rock!

Last edited by Bad Thoughts; September 26 2013 at 02:39 PM.
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Old September 26 2013, 01:46 PM   #17
Phily B
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

I always thought it was pretty obvious religion isn't really something around on Earth anymore. Look at Picard's attitude to Q, the Federation's attitude to the prophets - they look at the scientific explanations first.

The Federation should have a great grasp on the origins of the universe when you look at the progress of humanity in that field, but you can't really expect the writers of a TV show to hazard a guess at this.
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Old September 26 2013, 03:07 PM   #18
C.E. Evans
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Phily B wrote: View Post
I always thought it was pretty obvious religion isn't really something around on Earth anymore.
Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and several Native American religions are still around, or at least their practices and customs are continued to be observed (the same is likely true for Judaism and some other religions too).

I think it's just a case that most Humans don't tend to openly flaunt their personal religions. It may be a case that Earth actually has more religions than most worlds and one way Humans have been able to keep the peace with one another is by becoming a more nondenominational society.
Look at Picard's attitude to Q, the Federation's attitude to the prophets - they look at the scientific explanations first.
Picard looked as Q as being a very powerful life-form, like so many others that the Federation has encountered before. And the Federation's attitude towards the Prophets was based on a similar philosophy, but perhaps soured by the idea of the Bajorans mistaking just very powerful aliens as gods, IMO.

I think the definition of God is something that will always be an arbitrary one by whoever defines it: Is it just one god or many gods? Male or female? Creator of the Universe or just one aspect of it? Human in shape or not? Unless there's a universal answer to all of these, there will always be a question raised--are you really God?--whenever Starfleet encounters a very powerful life-form, because it's so easy to mistake them as gods.
The Federation should have a great grasp on the origins of the universe when you look at the progress of humanity in that field, but you can't really expect the writers of a TV show to hazard a guess at this.
I think this is one area where Trek tries not to be preachy, so it allows different points of views. It may be Starfleet policy to be more secular, but quite a few of the alien civilizations they encounter have thriving religions.
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Old September 26 2013, 03:13 PM   #19
Greg Cox
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

oddsigve wrote: View Post
The question of a "higher power" have been tackled in different ways in the different series/movies. Too me the whole notion seems redundant in a Star Trek universe with species like Q,"wormhole aliens", Okampans, etc.

These are some of the questions i ask myself:

-A problem with the English language? Phrases like"Oh, my god" are hard to avoid.
I don't think that's really a problem. At this point, those sort of phrases are just common figures of speech, often devoid of meaning, and are hardly evidence of sincere religious belief.

If I stub my toe and exclaim "God damn it!" I'm not literally calling upon a higher power to condemn an inanimate object to eternal perdition. Ditto for "Oh my God!" or "Oh, for God's sake!" or even "Jesus f-ing Christ!"

If we accept that characters in Star Trek routinely speak 20th-century colloquial English, as they have for decades, the occasional "Dear Lord!" or "Damnit, Jim!" are just par for the course and don't actually prove anything about the status of religion in the 23rd Century.

Hell, I'm a lifelong atheist and I just said "hell."
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Old September 26 2013, 06:14 PM   #20
Shawnster
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Obviously who are what is a god can be a messy affair, but I don't see why the veneration of Kahless would be much different than of Buddha.
Maybe Buddha didn't set the pattern for Earth tyrannies?

Excalbian rock: Captain, Mister Spock, some of these you may know through history. ... Kahless the Unforgettable, the Klingon who set the pattern for his planet's tyrannies. We welcome the vessel Enterprise. ("The Savage Curtain")

Bob
That dude was as dumb as a rock!
All the data the Excalibans had about Khaless came form Kirk and Spock's memories. Not exactly unbiased sources.
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Old September 26 2013, 06:42 PM   #21
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Plus the Excalibans are, y'know, rocks.
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Old September 26 2013, 07:12 PM   #22
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Klingons killed their gods.
The klingons sure like to think so.
But faith drives their lives to a very large extent - all the Sto'vo'kor, etc beliefs.
The klingons killed nothing; they merely stroked their ego.
Being atheistic does not preclude having mysticism, mytholgy, superstition or beliefs in an afterlife (or at least a process by which such things as joy and suffering are sorted out). mysticism, mytholgy, superstition or beliefs in an afterlife (or at least a process by which such things as joy and suffering are sorted outObviously who are what is a god can be a messy affair, but I don't see why the veneration of Kahless would be much different than of Buddha.
Actually, as per the definition of the concept, being atheistic DOES preclude having mysticism, mythology, superstition or beliefs in an afterlife - unless they are proven and not based on faith.

As for the klingons, their belief is based on faith. Most of them are devoutly religious.

PS - buddhism is a religion as well.
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Old September 26 2013, 08:32 PM   #23
Bad Thoughts
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

^Irreligion and atheism, although often associated, are not the same thing. Moreover, many Buddhists have no gods (including the Buddha). The OP concerns the portrayal of gods, not religion in general. If the latter were so, we would need to discuss things like Vulcan religion.
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Old September 26 2013, 09:07 PM   #24
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
I don't see why the veneration of Kahless would be much different than of Buddha.
Maybe Buddha didn't set the pattern for Earth tyrannies?
Well, maybe not Buddha, but l can think of a few religious figures that wouldn't blush compared to Kahless...

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Actually, as per the definition of the concept, being atheistic DOES preclude having mysticism, mythology, superstition or beliefs in an afterlife - unless they are proven and not based on faith .
As an atheist, I wish that was true. But atheism is not necessarily based on rationalism. I know atheists who believe in ghosts.
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Old September 26 2013, 09:40 PM   #25
Robert Comsol
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Shawnster wrote: View Post
All the data the Excalibans had about Kahless came form Kirk and Spock's memories. Not exactly unbiased sources.
Correct. Then it was Federation propaganda at the expense of the Klingons?

@ Edit XYZ

While Buddhism is practised as a religion in Eastern Asia I recall reading that when the Buddha passed away he asked that his teachings are remembered and cherished, not his person.

And supposedly the Dalai Lama once said "We are not here to believe but to learn". This doesn't strike me as religion but rather a "constitutionalized" philosophy / spirituality.

Bob
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Old September 26 2013, 10:01 PM   #26
Greg Cox
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Shawnster wrote: View Post
All the data the Excalibans had about Kahless came form Kirk and Spock's memories. Not exactly unbiased sources.
Correct. Then it was Federation propaganda at the expense of the Klingons?
Exactly. That wasn't the real Kahless, that was how the crew of the Enterprise imagined Kahless, based on their own experiences with Klingons and what little they knew (or thought they knew) of Klingon history.

I imagine the clone on DS9 was closer to the real thing.
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Old September 27 2013, 12:31 AM   #27
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

R. Star wrote: View Post
Kassidy mentioned her dad wanting her to be married by a minister so... they're still around even if not given the spotlight, I'd say.
How does that prove anything? People get married by Elvis today. I'd imagine in Star Trek getting married by a minister would be about the same thing.
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Old September 27 2013, 03:57 AM   #28
R. Star
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

Well I guess getting married by Elvis is more meaningful than being married by a member of the military as Trek puts forth as the status quo.
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Old September 27 2013, 06:38 AM   #29
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

I just picked up a book at the library dealing with the religons of Star Trek. There was a lot of religous beliefs during all of the series. TOS had tons of religous references in it and dealt directly ("Who Mourns For Adonis" for example). The Bajorans were deeply religous and that was a theme in both TNG as well as the entirety of DS9. DS9 was hugely based around religon. Voyager had some religous type themes from time to time.
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Old September 27 2013, 10:17 AM   #30
Robert Comsol
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Re: The question of God or a higher power in ST

SignGuyHPW wrote: View Post
I just picked up a book at the library dealing with the religons of Star Trek. There was a lot of religous beliefs during all of the series. TOS had tons of religous references in it and dealt directly ("Who Mourns For Adonis" for example).
Apollo seemed like an adolescent version of Trelane ("Squire of Gothos") who needed worship rather badly but didn't answer "why?". Looks as if just like Trelane he used people for his amusement like toys and had these kill off one another just like in the legend of Troy. The opening line of the episode could suggest that:

CAROLYN: Here's the report on Pollux Five, Captain. This entire system has been almost the same. A strange lack of intelligent life on the planets. It bugs the percentages.

In general, TOS attacked the petrified beliefs in false gods, but I don't see that much debate regarding actual religious or spiritual matters and IIRC that's one thing Gene Roddenberry wanted to keep out of Star Trek.

SignGuyHPW wrote: View Post
The Bajorans were deeply religous and that was a theme in both TNG as well as the entirety of DS9. DS9 was hugely based around religon. Voyager had some religous type themes from time to time.
Wasn't it made rather clear early on that the Bajorans believed the wormhole aliens to be gods? I remember mostly all the conflicts that arose from the religious organization they had set up but not really that any spiritual issues were really discussed or explored.

Bob

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@ EnterpriseClass

Nice Trek BBS name you picked. I'd assume that some BBS members would have felt that should have been mine...
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