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

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Old June 16 2013, 04:46 PM   #31
Charles Phipps
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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.
Except, ironically, we have no evidence the Federation's worlds don't believe in these.
Klingons may have warp drive, but they've barely mastered hygiene and walking upright otherwise.
Klingons are jerkasses, that doesn't mean they're wrong about everything.
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.
Bajorans are kind of the odd man out for discussing religion, despite existing primarily to discuss questions of faith. Their gods are literally real. It's not "science versus religion" when you can scientifically measure Heaven's presence less than a light year away.
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.
The soul, in this respect, is Data's sapience. We can measure our sapience since Descartes.

And as Asimov said (and quoted by SF debris),
"There is no right to deny freedom to any object with a mind advanced enough to grasp the concept and desire the state." But science is all about dealing with unknowns and observing the effects of things on people. Strict materialism is an odd stance since, increasingly, science is about understanding the material is a reflection of a larger more energy-based universe.

(Which has nothing to do with religion other than to state we're in a ****y position to observe all of the universe's mysteries)

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.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a useful rebuttal to religious claims. However, it's not related to what the episode is about.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:47 PM   #32
Chemahkuu
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

"Speciest", racism would imply picking on a particular subset or race of a larger species, this is a remark about the entire species. But then, that would require reading comprehension from you so...

And the Vulcans do cling to older, more conservative ways of life, formality and so on, there's an antiquity to a lot of their ways.

The religious groups in Star Trek have been, intentionally or not, shown to cling to older ways of life and spirituality over those who appear more advanced on a social level as well as technological.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:50 PM   #33
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
"Speciest", racism would imply picking on a particular subset or race of a larger species, this is a remark about the entire species. But then, that would require reading comprehension from you so...

And the Vulcans do cling to older, more conservative ways of life, formality and so on, there's an antiquity to a lot of their ways.

The religious groups in Star Trek have been, intentionally or not, shown to cling to older ways of life and spirituality over those who appear more advanced on a social level as well as technological.
This is true but in Star Trek, we've also noted that while progressiveness is usually the order of the day, DS9 is the odd man out as we have the religious conversion of a man who calls the Prophets "Wormhole Aliens" only to formally embrace religion and the past entirely. Bellana Torres, eventually, adopts religious practices as well.

You're right, of course, that a "new religion" might be an interesting subject for Star Trek.

Q-cults or something.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:50 PM   #34
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

R. Star wrote: View Post
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.
Your pithy "mmmmmm....thut's amusing in a smull way" tells me you couldn't tell, even with the all-caps and multiple exclamation points, that I was joking in 'playing the race card'.
Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
"Speciest", racism would imply picking on a particular subset or race of a larger species, this is a remark about the entire species. But then, that would require reading comprehension from you so...
Wow, you guys really woke up looking for a fight this morning didn't you?

IT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE. About a fic-tion-al people FIC-TION.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:53 PM   #35
Charles Phipps
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Dale Sams wrote: View Post
RACIST!!!

So Vulcans are primitive and backward? And you would think more than any other race they would be atheists.
Do Vulcans believe in afterlives and gods or simply have a religion?

This is something Western readers occasionally have difficulty with but there's plenty of RL religions without afterlives and/or deities. Which, for me, was difficult to wrap my head around but their adherents would object to if you called them philosophies.

But yes, pause a second, Star Trek is a setting with psychic powers and katras. It's not "hard science" by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:58 PM   #36
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Actually, I don't seem to remeber any specific mention of a Vulcan religion. I know they have a vague spirituality, but that might be based around the Katra principle, or their unique way of having their mind downloadable (as we've seen a few times, Spock's Brain unfortunately being the first).

An out-of-body based meditation system based very loosely on Bhuddism. But there's actually something that happens based on their unique brains, not a soul just in some way, a conciousness that can be scooped up and moved out of it's container in an actual, physical (rather icky) way.

Which I don't think counts.
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Old June 16 2013, 04:59 PM   #37
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
Dale Sams wrote: View Post
RACIST!!!

So Vulcans are primitive and backward? And you would think more than any other race they would be atheists.
Do Vulcans believe in afterlives and gods or simply have a religion?

This is something Western readers occasionally have difficulty with but there's plenty of RL religions without afterlives and/or deities. Which, for me, was difficult to wrap my head around but their adherents would object to if you called them philosophies.

But yes, pause a second, Star Trek is a setting with psychic powers and katras. It's not "hard science" by any stretch of the imagination.
I'm only speaking of souls. The Klingons, Bajorans, Ferengi, and Vulcans all seem to believe in them. That's just off the top of my head. I don't know if any other major species seem too.

As Orwellian/Stalinist as the Cardassians are, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest were a future episode to have them shown to have wiped out religion in an 'enlightened way'.

edit: Back to Vulcans. That's something I never understood about ST:III. Was there some 'Well of Souls' they wanted to bring Spock to so he could reincarnate? Something they could put him in so they could communicate with him? Sarek seemed to think it was a pretty big ****ing deal.
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Old June 16 2013, 05:00 PM   #38
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Bajorans are kind of the odd man out for discussing religion, despite existing primarily to discuss questions of faith. Their gods are literally real. It's not "science versus religion" when you can scientifically measure Heaven's presence less than a light year away.
The Prophets are some of the weakest gods ever portrayed on TV. Q is more worthy of being called a god, since he is actually far more omnipotent than the pitiful wormhole aliens.
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Old June 16 2013, 05:12 PM   #39
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
The Prophets are some of the weakest gods ever portrayed on TV. Q is more worthy of being called a god, since he is actually far more omnipotent than the pitiful wormhole aliens.
Q is kind of funny because when you think about it, "an omniscient omnipotent timeless entity who has an interest in testing mankind" is pretty much the textbook definition of a god.
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Old June 16 2013, 05:12 PM   #40
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Dale Sams wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
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.
Your pithy "mmmmmm....thut's amusing in a smull way" tells me you couldn't tell, even with the all-caps and multiple exclamation points, that I was joking in 'playing the race card'.
Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
"Speciest", racism would imply picking on a particular subset or race of a larger species, this is a remark about the entire species. But then, that would require reading comprehension from you so...
Wow, you guys really woke up looking for a fight this morning didn't you?

IT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE. About a fic-tion-al people FIC-TION.
Well seems I wasn't the only one who "didn't get" your joke... and honestly... as often as caps and exclamation points are used on the internet... short of reading minds, it's not exactly reasonable to expect others to tell when you're joking or not in regards to their use.

Oh and if your recent use of caps is another joke... it's not funny.
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Old June 16 2013, 05:15 PM   #41
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

I got it, just thought I'd have a bit of fun back. Besides, how many times to you get to say 'speciest' in a week.
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Old June 16 2013, 05:24 PM   #42
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
GalaxyX wrote: View Post
The Prophets are some of the weakest gods ever portrayed on TV. Q is more worthy of being called a god, since he is actually far more omnipotent than the pitiful wormhole aliens.
Q is kind of funny because when you think about it, "an omniscient omnipotent timeless entity who has an interest in testing mankind" is pretty much the textbook definition of a god.
There's definitely a great overall arc to Q. Were it not for Picard getting Q in humanity's camp by, well, just being Jean-Luc...humanity would have been wiped out. I loved their 'old married couple' relationship at the end.

My fanwank as to the existence of the Q, a race of near-omnipotent beings that have only a vague understanding what it means to be 'human' was that they were a group of telepaths who intentionally crashed through the great galactic barrier.
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Old June 16 2013, 05:25 PM   #43
Dale Sams
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
I got it, just thought I'd have a bit of fun back. Besides, how many times to you get to say 'speciest' in a week.
It immediately made me think, WORF: "I like my speeecies just the way it is."
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Old June 16 2013, 05:33 PM   #44
GalaxyX
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
GalaxyX wrote: View Post
The Prophets are some of the weakest gods ever portrayed on TV. Q is more worthy of being called a god, since he is actually far more omnipotent than the pitiful wormhole aliens.
Q is kind of funny because when you think about it, "an omniscient omnipotent timeless entity who has an interest in testing mankind" is pretty much the textbook definition of a god.
Yup! lol

I think Q was basically the TNG equivalent of most of the near omnipotent TOS aliens acting as gods. Roddenberry seemed to have a hard-on for this trope and included it in practically everywhere he was involved.

I actually like Q as a character more than I do the TOS versions though. Q seems to be a god with which one can reason with to some extent, as opposed to the TOS gods who basically are set in their ways (Kirk either won by finding their weaknesses, or lost because they were too powerful).

Picard on the other hand, doesn't defeat Q, but simply convinces him that humanity is not as bad as Q thinks it is.
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Old June 16 2013, 06:05 PM   #45
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

One thing the storyline with Data forgot is that whenever you hit his off switch, he's completely off. Switch him back on, he's conscious again, like a computer.

Same thing with the Doctor on VOY and he had much more emotional expression than Data.

It seems like the show takes a materialist view and strongly suggests he doesn't.

And yet on Voy there was an episode with Chakotey where he was out of his body and wandering the ship as neural energy or something.

The shows teeters back and forth on whether there is "something else" out there.
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