Atheism, and "Bread and Circuses"

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

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  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    What beliefs are those? I don't know of any beliefs associated with being an atheist.

    I suppose that would depend on what they believe and how they express it.
     
  2. robau

    robau Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Buddhist-Shinto doesn't really mean anything. I'm guessing it was a traditional Japanese wedding conducted by a Shinto priest and had a smattering of Buddhist elements as is typical with everything in Japan.
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    For the zillionth time, there is no affirmation of any belief, when not believing in a deity. It really can't get any clearer than that.
     
  4. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, to make it clearer.

    It's not like Atheists don't believe in anything. We believe many things.
    Some beliefs may be a direct result or strongly correlated to atheism as far as you can call it an ism.

    Basic atheistic worldview just means it is the default position on the existance of a god.
    Being a sceptic means you are technically open to believe it if you are presented sufficient evidence.

    Now there is also the position of strong atheism, or anti-theism, which I happen to hold and which overlaps with basic or weak atheism, and which actually is the believe that no gods exist.
    Can I prove it to absolute certainty? No. But I also don't need to to reject your claim of a god unless you can provide sufficient evidence.

    A good example is the bubblegummachine.
    There is either an even number of bubblegums in it or an uneven number.
    One of those must by definition be true.
    Short of opening the machine and counting them doesn't give you a way to know and it would be silly to believe in either before that.
    That and nothing more is the basic atheistic position.

    Or the courtroom analogy:
    In a trial a jury or a judge rule guilty or not guilty. They don't vote innocent.
    The defendant can be innocent but that is irrelevant to a ruling of not guilty, because guilt has to be proven first no matter if he actually committed the crime or not.
     
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I'd say that it's safe to say that you aren't speaking for all people who consider themselves atheists.

    To clarify, I don't think your bubblegum machine analogy fully captures the situation, and nor is it best to approach the situation by analogy.
     
  6. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As it has been put wonderfully elsewhere:

    "If atheism is a religion, not collecting stamps is a hobby."
     
  7. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That really depends on if you are talking about strong or weak atheists.
    Rejecting the believe in god without evidence is enough to be the latter, without making a claim of it's own.

    Doesn't mean you can't also be a strong atheist at the same time, but arguing for that position is futile because can't prove the non existance of a deity. (doesn't mean you can't disprove a specific god claim, but that is not the topic here.)
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    No, it really doesn't. Your bubblegum machine analogy falls short, no matter what.
     
  9. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Atheism, or more accurately perhaps, viewing life through a materialistic and empirical framework is only a belief system in an extremely narrow solipsistic sense sense that one can only know what you directly experience with your senses. However, that is physical and independently verifiable by others. It is in no way a belief system like any religious sense which posits a metaphysical reality. There is no way to verify any metaphysical reality. That is completely a belief of faith, which has no way to be assayed, described, or tested independently or observed and verified by any means. Any metaphysical reality is as right and wrong as any other. God has no more claim to reality than Batman and Wonder Woman. To claim 'belief in the physical world is equally a position of belief/faith as 'belief in the metaphysical' is patent foolishness. That is the claim that too many entertain as a valid argument allowing Creationism in the classroom. It's absurd.
     
  10. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    This is one of the most accurate assessmens of religion among humans in TOS as i've read on the board.

    Yes, and that was clear throughtout TOS, as he was not shy about making Biblical references in way more rooted in belief than in a random historical observation.
     
  11. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    The key error of any reference to Braga's statement as evidence of a GR worldview was that he was not just talking about GR at a time when he worked with him on TNG, but he made a sweeping, historically false statement, tossing his own atheist net on TOS--and GR's own TOS era views by association.

    Braga's atheist agenda either robbed him of clarity, or he was completely ignorant of GR's past (including his wedding, the Scheimer account, etc)--only focusing on that which supported his own view--instead of recognizing GR still had some kind of faith up to a point in the 1970s.
     
  12. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    It's a pretty big deal to you, isn't?
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Is Braga an atheist? And does he have an agenda?
     
  14. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, it is your "mere imagining" that Uhura was setting Spock straight. Uhura set Kirk, McCoy and Spock straight, none of whom caught the pun. And the one who responded to Uhura was Kirk, not Spock.

    Philosophical materialism today is a conclusion based on an enormous body of knowledge painfully accumulated through the centuries. I don't know what you could call this in everyday language besides a belief system. But I think here you are equivocating, confusing "belief" as "agreement with a proposition of fact" with "belief" as a "value judgment" or "moral principle" or even "choice." (I think the posters above who object that atheism is not a belief system are objecting to this.) Equivocation is at the best a logical fallacy, by the way, and at the worst, deception.

    You are going to have your own values, and since it is obvious that you will not respond to arguments, certainly I must respect your right to hold them, regardless of what I might prefer in an ideal world. However, in regards to facts and arguments, I do not, nor should not, "respect" misstatements of fact or fallacious arguments.

    For instance, no one should respect your claims that there is no scriptural warrant for the Crusades or the Inquisition, when you know perfectly well that "sola scriptura" is not a universal tenet in Christianity. Nor for that matter should I respect the implicit claim that you, on your personal authority, can attribute these deviations from current social mores to purely secular causes, yet I cannot attribute all consequences of religion, good or ill, to purely secular causes.

    No. For instance, your misreading of this episode as a simple endorsement of Christianity as a pacifist creed advocating freedom shows you don't accept enough diversity in point of view as to read the episode as critical, nor do you include such views as acceptable. Personally, I invest as much interest or belief in IDIC/the Prime Directive as I do in the Force.

    The electromagnetic vector potential is an unobservable, to date (i.e., the last time I looked.) But you're not Dr. Lester, so I'm quite sure that you will not accept one example. Let me add then, the past. And, here's a third, society.

    It is quite obvious that you resent the idea of science, so the only reason you have for pretending to think about the nature of science is to find some excuse to limit it, so that it can only provide material benefits, without affecting your thinking.

    As for the "incalculable," this apparently means "deterministic," which rather overlooks the role of statistics in science.

    The atom was an unobservable and an incalculable for decades. Those who argued that atoms were therefore an unscientific hypothesis were dead wrong. Comte was notorious for declaring that science could never tell us about the stars. The inescapable lesson is that there are no limits in principle to the powers of science. The situation is grimmer than that, since the practical limits are set by human ingenuity.

    Why, sure. I was just reading Paul Levinson's The Plot to Save Socrates, which alludes to Hypatia. Hypatia was a pagan philosopher and mathematician in Byzantine Alexandria during the reign of the regent empress Pulcheria and the floruit of St. Cyril. A Christian crowd seized her from the streets and dragged her into a Christian church. There they stripped her. Then, the reports differ, they either beat her to death (or stoned her) with tiles, or they scraped her flesh from her bones with oyster shells. (The difference hinges on the contextual meaning of word that can mean either.) Her body was hacked to pieces and burnt. Enjoy the happy thoughts!

    PS Kirk screwing the slave was by far the most objectionable aspect to the episode. It was not a love interlude. And if this episode really were about Our Heroes find "US" bravely living peace and freedom in the face of persecution, completely contrary to the alleged theme.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm glad you made the distinction, but it bears emphasis that it is not necessary to view life through a materialistic and empirical framework, in order to have no belief in a deity. One need not be a philosopher to be an atheist.

    As it happens, most of the high-profile atheists, the ones who engage in public debate about it, are philosophers, or fancy themselves to be, but some of them are jack-asses.

    In theory, someone could believe in non-empirical things, such as in aliens from other dimensions that regularly abduct people, yet still be an atheist. I don't know how many, but I'm sure there are people out there like that.

    When unqualified, atheism is something very specific: an absence of a particular kind of belief, period.

    Atheism is not a belief system. Any positive belief that an atheist has has another source.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why does anyone care what Brannon Braga says or does?
     
  17. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    He screwed Jeri Ryan (I think). That earns my respect.
     
  18. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In terms of later day representations of faith in Trek, isn't there a mention in Data's Day of the episode coinciding with a (Hindi? It's been a while) religious ceremony?

    Plus we later find out that not only do they still celebrate Christmas, but Picard loves it enough for it to form the basis of his deepest fantasy. Though he's probably just in it for the presents.
     
  19. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because he's repeating what Roddenberry said.

    Why does anyone care what GR said or did at this point?

    Who knows?
     
  20. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    I hear you-I have to put up with those people myself in downtown Toronto at the corner of Yonge & Dundas near the Eaton Center; the old East European guy standing on the busy northwest street corner saying 'Preese' (his version of 'Preach', I think) while holding a Bible; the Muslims handing out free Korans near the entrance of the Eaton Center itself; and last but not least, this young guy preaching the Gospel also doing his bible-thumping near the Eaton Center entrance last year:

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Now, if these people were doing something that was entertaining as the break dancers in the V For Vendetta masks, the Toronto Elvis guy, the Toronto Spock guy, or the Toronto Batman guy, I wouldn't mind. But they aren't entertaining as the secular others I've mentioned, least of all the old East European guy, who's most likely annoying people trying to get to where they're going, and also spoiling the city for whatever tourists are there as well, in addition to being a hazard to movement on the sidewalk. I wish that they all would find a public park and get lost, leaving that part of Toronto to the secular entertainers instead.

    THIS. Everybody knows that Roddenberry was against religion; that's part of his script for the aborted Star Trek movie The God Thing (which later became the basis for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.) When did he say that he was for it, or that Braga was wrong?
     
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