Atheism, and "Bread and Circuses"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Zameaze, Jun 7, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Yes, that's what people seem determinedly unable to get, here.

    What Roddenberry believed at a given time and what he was willing to publicly espouse through Trek were two different things.
     
  2. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    Speaking as an athiest myself it always bothers me when I hear M5 saying that "murder is contrary to the laws of man and god".
     
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Whatever GR personal beliefs, I think he was a smart enough writer to create characters that didn't share those beliefs. Life, both fictional and real would be pretty boring if everyone was the same.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    It bothers you that someone thinks differently than you do? M-5 essentially had Daystrom's personality.
     
  5. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Location:
    Ward Fowler's gofer.
    Does it bother you that he's bothered? That bothers me. :)

    But seriously, as someone who doesn't even remotely believe in the divinity of Jesus, the Son worship of "Bread and Circuses" doesn't bother me at all. It's just the product of what the creators believed in/thought the audience wanted to see. If Turkish Star Trek had an episode where Uhura pontificated about there being one true God and one true messenger of said God, that wouldn't bother me either, even though it doesn't reflect my own convictions.

    I don't need Trek as my personal philosophical echo chamber. I need it to entertain me.
     
  6. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Well said (written). Thanks.

    I don't even think we can infer that they "preferred religiosity." They just seemed interested in how the myth would evolve on that world. Would history there diverge from Earth's history after Christ's time, or would it be the same?
     
  7. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    There's more than a few ways to view matters. Roddenberry may have claimed to be an "atheist", among other things, but one view is he was in a sense very religious, with his god being himself, his ego and the extreme's he'd go to feed it. Another was his pursuit of humanism. In a sense, he was a high priest and Star Trek was his vehicle.

    Or some of you could label me for my submission, given my proposal.

    "Bible thumpers" was among a few of the responses on this thread. Interesting label that says much. Does tolerance only apply to some and not to others?

    Or was Roddenberry strictly stroking a specific sector of the viewers?

    Regardless, Gene was certainly smart enough to know what he was doing (when not blinded by certain vices....like any of us)...and me thinks he was particularly adept at reaching people and pushing buttons.
     
  8. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Whoever told you that indiscriminate tolerance is the highest of values?

    As far as political ideologies or philosophies are concerned, I know of none that explicitly elevate tolerance of ignorance to a virtue.

    I'm not talking about IDIC, but about ideologies that actually exist and matter.
     
  9. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Location:
    Across the Neutral Zone
    That's rather offensive, Dennis. It's pretty damned sad when Christians are all lumped together with the extremists in what is a very large diverse group.

    To me, as a Christian, being called a "Bible thumper" is a pejorative, along the lines of calling a Moslem the "R" word or a Jew the "K" word.

    None of these designations should be acceptable, even if the three groups involved have elements in them that are undesirable at times to others (and even to those in said groups, if truth be told).

    Even if one disagrees with another person's religious leanings (or lack thereof), it's only common decency to avoid stereotyping.
     
  10. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Uh-uh. Sorry, but one person here used the phrase "appeasing the bible thumpers" in passing while discussing GR's genuflection toward belief in a 1960s TV show, and AtoZ chose to inaccurately describe that as "among a few of the responses." There's no basis in what Zameaze or I posted for deciding that anyone was "lumping all Christians together" with the "extremists," nor any excuse for AtoZ being victimy about it.

    "Bible thumper" is most commonly defined as someone who is aggressive in imposing Christianity on others or uses biblical literalism to attack and condemn people. You know what? I don't like bible thumpers. I have no patience with the several who approach me on the street to proselytize, as they frequently do in the commercial downtown blocks of my neighborhood. You can call that a slam on "all Christians" if you like, but it's not. It is, however, the truth.

    TREK_GOD_1 is entirely wrong, BTW, in suggesting that Braga misrepresented Roddenberry's expressed opinions about religion during the time that they would have worked together on TNG. GR was not at all shy about expressing his complete disdain for all forms of religious belief and practice during that period of his life. Trying to drag the "Braga is suspect" meme into this discussion is a non-starter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  11. mb22

    mb22 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Does that include every starbase, outpost, colony etc. as well? Are terrans really that impervious to being swayed by the beliefs of other planetary cultures? The current beliefs of our cultures will obviously change in a Trek future, but the above statement seems more wishful thinking than anything else.
     
  12. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Yes, but Star Trek itself is simply an extended exercise in wishful thinking.
     
  13. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Admiral, I stand corrected.

    ....and I do understand your view. :techman:

    As for "AtoZ being victimy about it".....Admiral, you may wish to rethink that assumption. How can you possibly know if I felt that way?
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    It's probably worth noting that Star Trek isn't just the work of a single individual. Given that the various episodes have been written, directed, acted, and produced by numerous individuals, of diverse beliefs, it's unrealistic to expect to find one single, immutable approach to religion throughout.

    And reasonable people can interpret things differently. I once took part in a very cordial public debate on this very topic, opposite some sort of minister or clergyman who was also a devout Trekkie. I argued that the "Star Trek was an essentially secular vision of the future, but the other guy (whose name and denomination sadly escapes me) had no trouble finding evidence of Christian messages and values in STAR TREK.

    Hey, if it works for him . . . cool.
     
  15. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    I found the remark curious. I have read of tolerance on this site as it applies to opinion and various episodes. It struck me as as curious remark given what I have read over time. Beyond that, nobody ever told me, nor would I be given to accepting, that tolerance was the highest of values.

    Admiral, it seems that my one little point of interest has bothered you. Please do not take it for any more than it was meant to be. I get that you are opinionated, confident and smart...and all of that. In fact I respect it, along with your well taken points.

    So enjoy the ride.

    ;)
     
  16. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    Planet Carcazed
    Regardless of GR's views on religion, and certain members' alignment with those views, T'Bonz was right. Some members may not see things the same way, and a little respect is in order.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    I'm about as far from religious as you can get, but I don't need Star Trek to reinforce my beliefs. I know it's a great big world/universe and there are going to be lots of people with differing viewpoints on life. :techman:
     
  18. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    You are the one entirely wrong, as Braga's comment was included the TOS period, which is woefully incorrect. Try reading the posted quote again:

    Braga tossed his own ideological net on the TOS period of GR's life, and could not be more out in left field. From the episodes discussed in this thread, to Lou Scheimer's own firsthand account of GR's interest/faith at his son's christening (years after TOS), Braga's agenda attempted to make a sweeping reboot of Roddenberry's history to suit his own bias.

    The chain of behavior in a man's history cannot be tossed aside in favor of fantasy.
     
  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Sounds like GR was having a bit of fun at the christening.
     
  20. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Italy, EU
    Yeah. Nothing says "devout" as assembling a power party of clerics to boost your offspring into celestial blessing.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.