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Old May 28 2010, 07:38 PM   #1
JarodRussell
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Religion in Star Trek

Knowing that the Ancient Humanoids seeded all humanoid life in the Milky Way must have finally destroyed the idea of an almighty God having created Heavens and Earth, and Adam and Eve, no?

Picard referred to religion as childish or absurd once, if I remember correctly (in the episode where he was mistaken by a native tribe for being God).

You think the Pope still exists in the 23rd and 24th century?
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Old May 28 2010, 08:03 PM   #2
milo bloom
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

There's plenty of evidence against God/gods/whatever nowadays and it's still around. There'll always be some people that cling to their beliefs like that.
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Old May 28 2010, 08:29 PM   #3
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

This is one of those retarded things from TNG I just ignore (the no-religion thing... not to mention the 'seeding aliens'... the Warp 7 stuff... and........... so on)
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Old May 28 2010, 09:11 PM   #4
scotpens
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

I never watched TNG much, but the TOS Enterprise had a non-denominational chapel aboard. In "Bread and Circuses," McCoy says the Enterprise crew represents many beliefs. So we can assume that religion is alive and well in the 23rd century. I think we can also assume that, in the spirit of Trek's optimistic view of the future, the more dogmatic, intolerant, fundamentalist aspects of certain religions (I'm not naming names) have been done away with.
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Old May 28 2010, 09:44 PM   #5
JarodRussell
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

Yeah well, between TNG and TOS are 100 years, so a lot of things might change there. But I personally don't think our religions as they are today would survive the confrontation with alien contact, especially not the fundamental taking the Bible literally type of believers.
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Old May 28 2010, 11:30 PM   #6
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

Wasn't there a referance in DS9 to human religion still being active in the 24th century? I'm not referring to Sisko's dad quoting the Bible in Far Beyond the Stars. I'm certain that when Sisko was planning to marry Kassidy Yates, Kassidy said something about her mother wanting "a minister" to perform the ceremony when Sisko suggested Admiral Ross do the task.

Obviously spirituality still exists in the 24th century. Chakotay had his Native American beliefs, as did the Native Americans in TNG's Journey's End.
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Old May 29 2010, 12:11 AM   #7
T'Girl
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

At some point during the twenty-one and a half hours Apollo Eleven spent on the moon, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, a Presbyterian, did received communion. They landed of course on a Sunday. So apparently there is already religion in space.

There are references to Humans, Vulcans, Klingons and Bajorians having faiths.

Klingon's faith includes a form of after life, Sto-Vo-Kor (heaven) and Gre'Thor (hell), Worf would seem to be contemplating Kahless as more of a messianic than just a historical figure in one episode. B'Elanna's experiences in Barge of the Dead suggested a form of ancestor worship might be present as well. The Klingons even have their own Garden of Eden called QI'tu (paradise).

Spock's family (in Yesteryear) are shown to be polytheistic, Tuvok's family's visit to temple might indicate the same or a separate Vulcan religion. And while the series Enterprise's monastery visit turned out to be to a nest of spies, it did establish that Vulcan do have off world (and presumably on Vulcan) monasteries.

Bajorians are also polytheistic, worshiping multiple beings who are supernatural.

Kirk to Apollo: "Mankind has no need of gods [plural] ...we find the one quite enough. Would seem to be referring to the God of Abraham.

Picard's comments would seem to show that he, at least, is either non-religious or anti-religious. So these beliefs exists in the future as well. But then Picard is under the mistaken belief that money also doesn't exist.

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Old May 29 2010, 03:28 AM   #8
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

I completely disagree with the idea that religion is inherently incompatible with the sort of thing we see in the Star Trek universe. Fundamentalist religion, however, you'd be looking at serious problems. At least personally, the Progenitors wouldn't pose even the slightest problem, only push back the timeline on intelligent life tremendously. Nor even would the Q, the Prophets, or any of that.

(I actually wrote an essay on the subject off-site. Anyone who wants a link, shoot me a PM.)
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Old May 29 2010, 06:50 AM   #9
Admiral Shran
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Knowing that the Ancient Humanoids seeded all humanoid life in the Milky Way must have finally destroyed the idea of an almighty God having created Heavens and Earth, and Adam and Eve, no?

Picard referred to religion as childish or absurd once, if I remember correctly (in the episode where he was mistaken by a native tribe for being God).

You think the Pope still exists in the 23rd and 24th century?
Why's that? Were did the Ancient Humanoids come from? Or were they omnipresent until their extinction?

Also, Picard refers to long-lost Cardassian spirituality as something positive in Chain of Command, Part II.

I see no reason why the Pope, or any other religious leader, wouldn't still exist in Trek. After all, we know that Roman Catholicism exists at least until the time of ENT, as Phlox says he once attended Mass at St. Peter's in Rome.

Just because we don't see it, doesn't mean it's not there.
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Old May 29 2010, 10:30 AM   #10
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

I don't see why religions cannot exist in the future. What's the difference between believing in a creator of Earth and life here or a creator of the universe and all life?

Religions give some people comfort in accepting there may be something greater than themselves, something that may understand the craziness and apparent chaos of life.

I liked how Babylon 5 dealt with religion. They didn't parade it, but they did acknowledge it. During a week when many alien faiths were being demonstrated aboard the station Sinclair was challenged to demonstrate humanity's dominant faith. At the end of the episode he chose to introduce representatives of many faiths. He introduced them one by one and was still introducing them as the episode ended. It was a very long line of people to be introduced. One of the main characters, Commander Susan Ivonava, was shown as a Russian Jew undergoing a ceremony to mourn her father's death. Commander Sinclair spoke of spending some of his youth with Jesuit priests on Mars.

I think religion is going to be around for a very long time yet.
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Old May 29 2010, 10:42 AM   #11
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

T'Girl wrote: View Post
At some point during the twenty-one and a half hours Apollo Eleven spent on the moon, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, a Presbyterian, did received communion. They landed of course on a Sunday. So apparently there is already religion in space.

There are references to Humans, Vulcans, Klingons and Bajorians having faiths.

Klingon's faith includes a form of after life, Sto-Vo-Kor (heaven) and Gre'Thor (hell), Worf would seem to be contemplating Kahless as more of a messianic than just a historical figure in one episode. B'Elanna's experiences in Barge of the Dead suggested a form of ancestor worship might be present as well. The Klingons even have their own Garden of Eden called QI'tu (paradise).

Spock's family (in Yesteryear) are shown to be polytheistic, Tuvok's family's visit to temple might indicate the same or a separate Vulcan religion. And while the series Enterprise's monastery visit turned out to be to a nest of spies, it did establish that Vulcan do have off world (and presumably on Vulcan) monasteries.

Bajorians are also polytheistic, worshiping multiple beings who are supernatural.

Kirk to Apollo: "Mankind has no need of gods [plural] ...we find the one quite enough. Would seem to be referring to the God of Abraham.

Picard's comments would seem to show that he, at least, is either non-religious or anti-religious. So these beliefs exists in the future as well. But then Picard is under the mistaken belief that money also doesn't exist.



Money is just a way of getting things you need. There may be different ways of doing this in the future.
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Old May 29 2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

Many will do what we already do - ignore the parts of their religion that are indefensible and feel their way to new beliefs that can fill in the gaps. Shran gives us a perfect example of future such adjustments.

I think religion is the mental stopgap measure that maintains our psychological integrity when we yearn for answers we don't have.

If you dump all the metaphors, and yes lies, taken for historical and metaphysical fact, and keep many of the mental and social codes of conduct, it can actually be very beneficial to one's personal growth and society's potential for good.
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Old May 29 2010, 02:15 PM   #13
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

The OP asks if the Pope will still exist in the 23rd and 24th centuries. The answer is yes, but I'm guessing that for Catholicism to survive, it has to adapt significantly. As a result, the 24th century Pope will be a very cool woman who dresses casually and promotes universally held values of love, tolerance, and forgiveness.
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Old May 29 2010, 02:35 PM   #14
Warped9
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

It isn't just Christianity. Islam and the Muslim faiths will also have to adapt to survive.
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Old May 29 2010, 02:41 PM   #15
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Re: Religion in Star Trek

Voyager tended to treat religion in two ways, according to its function. As a supernatural way to defeat death, Voyager regarded religion as superstition, possibly even fraud. See Emanations, Mortal Coil, False Prophets. As a set of aspirations that give life meaning, it tended to be fairly positive. See Prime Factors, Muse, Omega Directive.

What Sacred Ground says depends on how you interpret the events. If the old folks are indeed the gods, you can interpret the episode as saying that there is something beyond science. If they aren't, you can interpret the episode as saying not to let preconceptions blind you to what's in front of you, even ones drawn from science.

DS9 says that religion works; that good people adore religion; that religious people are only bigoted because of a handful of bad misleaders; that bad people who seem "good" are still evil and may be possessed by demons; that the gods will save us if we give them their due sacrifice. This all strikes me as reactionary BS, but seems to be one of DS9's most attractive features for most of the people at this bbs.

Star Trek, being optimistic, hopes that any religion that survives will be purged of the hateful practices. And isn't much interested in the rest, anyhow. Bread and Circuses criticizes US society as hypocritical, rejecting true Christianity (the worshippers of the Sun/Son persecuted in the episode.) Who Mourns for Adonais? portrays rejection of religion (Apollo worship in this case stands for all of them, no matter that line about the "One.") The seemingly positive portrayal of religion in Balance of Terror really should be viewed in light of the issue of racism addressed in the episode. In other words, Star Trek associated religion with racism.
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