Atheism, and "Bread and Circuses"

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

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  1. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    No.
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. All kinds of ideologies include atheism - Objectivism, for example, or "secular humanism" - none of which makes atheism in and of itself a belief system, much less a religion.

    For his part, Gillette self-identifies as both an Objectivist and a libertarian.

    The only world view that can be inferred directly from non-belief without adding something to it might be a kind of nihilism. Most people aren't comfortable with that, and have other things they believe in.
     
  3. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Still no. Religion is more than just proselytizing an idea (whether it is about a god or something else). The way you appear to want to define it, any movement that actively seeks to convince people it offers the best option for a given scenario (best political rule, best sports team, best way to educate and train, etc.) is the equivalent of a religion. That's a false equivalency and is often the prelude to intellectual dishonesty (of the kind usually practiced by creationists and promoters of "intelligent design" as a science).
     
  4. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Because then they wouldn't be myths. They'd be facts. Myth, religion, and art have to do with what can't be expressed in words. If you could just verbally express what you want to say, you don't need myth or art in which to say it. Myth by definition transcends all categories of thought.

    The brightest people of the nineteenth century believed light traveled as a wave through the medium of a "luminiferous ether." They weren't simpletons, they were describing the world in which they lived to the best of the scientific knowledge of the nineteenth century. It made sense; if light were a wave it would have to travel through something. Einstein later proved the ether to be entirely imaginary.

    Scientists from the nineteenth century weren't wrong because they were stupid, they were wrong because they didn't yet possess the requisite knowledge to find the right answer. What would be stupid would be to, in the 21st century, to staunchly insist against the weight of all we've discovered and proved in the last century that the luminiferous ether still exists.
     
  5. suarezguy

    suarezguy Commodore Commodore

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    Not just when you think or advocate that an idea about any matter is best but when it involves how you think people or society not only should but must act (and again, with all alternatives are seen as invalid).
    If people truly worship their political leaders and otherwise feel they should be treated as gods, even while admitting they didn't create the universe, why shouldn't that be regarded as a creator-less religion (especially if they feel the question of a universe creator is irrelevant)?
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    "Who are you?"
    Can you give an example, here, of which ideas and which advocates you're talking about?

    Can you give an example, here, of which people and which leaders you're talking about?
     
  7. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can you give an example, here, of which people and which leaders you're talking about?[/QUOTE]

    North Koreans and their leader cult maybe? but I don't think that's what he meant.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The grammar of "If people truly worship their political leaders" suggests that the speaker might have in mind more than a few isolated incidents, so really, I'd like to know more than a single example, for both that and the other thing about advocacy, in order to get a better understanding of what suarezguy is saying.
     
  9. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, I can't speak for suarezguy, but here are a few examples that I know of in regards people worshiping their political leaders:
    Imperial Cult

    The Wiki article goes on to list several ancient cultures that practiced this:


    When discussing Japan, the Wiki states:


    • Arahitogami - the concept of a god who is a human being applied to the Shōwa Emperor (Emperor Hirohito as He was known in the Western World), up until the end of WWII.
    So, we're talking up into the 20th century people were worshiping their political leader as a divine being or god in human form.


    Sometimes worship depends upon your point of view. People may state that they do not worship a certain thing or person, yet they will devote their lives to this thing or individual to the exclusion of all else. These people may even live or die at the command of other individuals. It's these ambiguities over words and disagreements on definitions that cause a lot of confusion when talking about such things as religion, worship and leading a spiritual life.


    For example, some may state that various cult leaders such as Charles Manson, Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite were worshiped by their cult followers; whereas, others (most notably those cult followers) may deny that they worship these men but simply followed them as their leader. Of course, this is getting off track from the question about political leaders worshiped as divine.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So, what's the point? Imperial cults and divine kings are recognized as having occurred, even in the 20th century, .... and?
     
  11. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    But didn't you just ask for more examples? :confused:
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    "Who are you?"
    Well, thanks to Shawnster for posting those examples, which are common knowledge. The question wasn't what are such examples, but rather, what examples does suarezguy have in mind, and what point is he trying to prove with them?

    My most recent post was simply trying to express the idea that there's still no clue what he's trying to prove.

    We'll just have to wait for him to let us know....
     
  13. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed.
     
  14. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    This thread is taking some weird turns.

    My understanding of the episode was that it was basically a rip-off of an old sci-fi story about astronauts chasing after Jesus from world-to-world. I think the author was mentioned on page one.

    One of the many problems with canon is the expectation of retroactive continuity between stories. In the late 1960s, you could not have a happy team of avowed atheists Trekking the stars. It's not just that technology changes in the real-world, making certain "futuristic devices" antiquated, but our moral sensibilities change too. Accept that it's just a show, and a show of it's time, and it is easier to shrug off these questions.
     
  15. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    I suspect what he has in mind would be more suitable for discussion in TNZ, if past posts by him in that forum are any indication (I'll refrain from directly going down that path here as it is not the appropriate place).
     
  16. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    No.
     
  17. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Wrong. GR's personal beliefs--already noted here time and again--did not indicate his being "against religion" all along, but the opposite well into the 1970s. There's no point in believing the sweeping myth (and ignoring history) some use to suit their own worldview.
     
  18. Seska

    Seska Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    So, I'm beginning to see more clearly now that the ancient astronaut theorist and the vicious gaytheist fanboy throngs are the ones to watch out for. Kindly forgive my tardy reply, but s/o brought home a lovely bottle of wine last night and I got a little too drunky brewster to post anything, anywhere.

    WANT... for this thread plz.

    Why not?

    I suppose that being lynched to death was not much of a rarity during antiquity, but when presented with such cases, I usually think "maybe she had it coming." There are divergent historical accounts of the event, but none of us were there to witness it, and hence no proof, right? One can suppose from her works that the lifelong ambition of Madalyn Murray O'Hair was total separation from God. And I think it became a self-fulfilling prophecy in that instance. Perhaps Hypatia was an idolatress, or had some other death wish for complete separation from God. Hard to know for sure, but I do know I'd not much prefer to go out like MMO or Hypatia.

    Yeah, but you know I put my question about the application of science to the unobservable and the incalculable in the conjunctive. Are you saying science has considered the electromagnetic vector potential without performing computations or making determinations? Perhaps you could elucidate us as to why there is no collectable data available on the past and society. Maybe archaeologists believe otherwise.

    It is apparent only to those familiarized with the concept of synonyms.

    I have always thought that atheists shared several beliefs in common. They must believe their existence has its origin in something other than their Creator. Would it not also be a belief to think that matter has the ability to arrange itself over zillions of years into increasingly complex forms? I also identify as a belief that the four fundamental forces, and the Earth's orbit, being precisely balanced for life on this planet must be one hellofa coincidence.

    If you disbelieve in God, and another disbelieves in atheism, why can't each respect the other's disbelief?

    I have no qualms with anybody defining their own beliefs or lack thereof. This is part of what freedom of religion means. What I think is pret-ty sad is redefining entries in the dictionary, or otherwise engaging in semantics, to justify intolerance... on an internet messageboard (!!!). I agree that the term "Bible thumper" is vitriolic and disparaging. It's just hard to see how anyone can roll up into this thread and atheist thump all they want out of one side of their mouth, and gripe about Bible thumping out of the other side.

    Bread and Circuses illustrates a good point. Spock came to the wrong conclusion based on observation of the available facts. It wasn't until Uhura added in the missing fact, the missing piece of the puzzle, that those on the bridge realized they reached an erroneous conclusion about the sun/Son. Two hundred years from now, mankind could most likely think that what science teaches us today is outmoded and maybe even silly, just like we think about many scientific notions 200 years before us. I can't put my full faith in that. Nobody in this thread has solved all the mysteries of the universe, and collected all the pieces to the puzzle of our existence. Without the missing facts, anyone is prone to make an erroneous conclusion, just like sciency Spock.

    Didn't science once inform us that the universe was infinite, and at other times limited, that the data shows the universe was expanding, and sometimes the conclusion is that it is contracting?

    The atheists posting in this thread have not agreed among themselves what they disbelieve other than God's existence, and what, if anything, they do believe in. I give MMO a tremendous amount of credit in the promotion of atheism, and she is probably qualified to pontificate on what atheism is or isn't just as well as anyone else, probably better. When she says that atheists love themselves, their fellow man, and no god, that doesn't seem to me to leave much room for abounding love. Atheists do not return God's love. Many atheists in this thread won't love their fellow post-ers without pre-approval of their beliefs. So that leaves loving yourself, something a little selfish. Perhaps this accounts in part for the lack of popularity of atheism. Atheism should offer something better. How about a little hope and selflessness? This being-hateful Herbert-to-the-hilt shtick is gross.

    I come here to be entertained, to read the fun, to read the funny, to enjoy the creative. Like Gath said on VOY, "I don't enjoy being judged like this. It's very upsetting. Not at all pleasurable." It just seems like if we can't make this thread Trekker Lovefest 2013, an ongoing discussion is pointless and hopeless. Besides, if I'm ever going to make it to lt. cdr., I need to start making shorter posts, and perfecting my arguments as to why Janeway is both the best and the worst captain in the Starfleet seems a lot more appealing at this moment in time.

    Thus, kindly allow me to leave you with some parting words of encouragement and the sort. First, if your knees are knocking before the Judge of the Living and of the Dead, the defense of "I disbelieve" or "I am faithless" may not be of too much help. Why not try harder? We can be "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth". "let God be true, but every man a liar". "seek, and you will find".

    May God richly bless our bbs staff, and all those in this thread who express tolerance, hope for the future, peace, and above all, love of your fellow Trekkers.

    So you see, that, as they say, is that.

    kthxbai!

    Peaceee,
    Your Pal Seska
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd ask you to kindly explain this phrase, especially "gaytheist".
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    New word. I'm trying to parse it's meaning and failing.
     
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