Religion & DS9

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Alienesse, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Right now there's yet another round of debates going on about teaching evolution or creationism in schools--particularly in the midwest.

    The main problem besides a dozen others is that it assumes that only the Judeo/christian version of creation should be taught taught as opposed to say the Hindu or New Age version of how the universe was created.


    The funny thing with DS9 and the Bajorans, is that it's not a matter of wondering whether the "Prophets" exist, it's whether to address them by their religious title, or Starfleet's scientific designation.

    I could never understand why Winn was so upset over the religious terminology.

    At least I would be happy to know that the higher power I was taught to believe in, actually exists with an actual location I could find :confused:


    I always thought the idea was cool.

    I think that's Trek's version of salvation--heck, it's their only version of salvation.

    Trek is some ways has a deeply materialistic and atheistic view.

    They repeatedly say humans in the 24th century solved their problems and created paradise without any aid from religion or the 'gods'.

    So it seems that their only other slavation is for humans to one day evolve into some higher life form.

    It looks like evolution doesn't care about the morals of the creatures that evolve. There seem to be a lot of evil, nasty beings that have evolved beyond humanoids.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  2. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    it dealt with religion yes, but not in a way that applies well to real-world ways. As others have pointed out, Bajor's "prophets" were actually powerful energy beings that did intervene in galactic affairs, so the whole "faith" issue is discarded. You don't need "faith," you saw them make 2800 Dominion ships disappear.

    Also, I didn't like the way that they retconned Sisko into half-Prophet. Ira Behr seems proud of that decision, I think it was stupid and changes a lot of early DS9 stuff, like "Emissary."
     
  3. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    To some religious people though, a god did actually intervene in several ways in the past.
     
  4. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    right, but there's no actual proof of any of it. DS9 has disappearing Dominion ships on its logs, as well as the fight between Prophet Kira and pah-wraith Jake. There are living witnesses and recordings of events involving the prophets.
     
  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but there's no proof.

    The Bajoran's have the tears of the prophets, which are obviously real and obviously have the abilities of giving you visions or making you travel through time. Their "religion" is very much grounded in reality. They KNOW their gods exists, instead of simply believing it.

    The religious part chimes in when they decide that the wormhole aliens are their gods and that they need to worship them, even though the Prophets don't care if those folks visit their temples or not.
     
  6. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    For some, the only proof they need is the Bible. Some believe that all of these things did happen back then. That may not be good enough for you and me, but it is for them, and they might see it as analogous.

    And according to Star Trek, Apollo was a real dude. :lol:
     
  7. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    but again, it requires faith to believe the miracles of the Bible.(especially since modern archaeological and scientific evidence disputes parts of the Bible already)


    But the stuff the Prophets do is witnessed and recorded and verified by many. That's why the parallels don't really work for me.

    I mean, yeah, the "faith" part can be whether the Prophets are actually Gods or not, but not whether they exist or act in the galaxy.
     
  8. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Same here - and l studied science for years at a secular university.

    But DS9 was realistic - there are "good" (for want of a better term... since that's relative and vague) religious people and there are bad (violent and intolerant)... the same for atheists or agnostics.

    Really - the world would be a better place - with less hunger and starvation and rape and murder and abuse if people respected each other in general. And that's what the people in the nice parts of the ST universe have. Because of tolerance and cooperation... even if it's not perfect.

    And people only have themselves as individuals to blame for earth not being that way - they control their actions and how many people are that cut off that they can't realize those things are wrong no matter how they're brought up? lf people didn't follow the crazies... they'd be a ranting loner minority and... bad examples?
     
  9. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This may be an incorrect comparison, so sorry if it isn't right, but there are those who believe that psychedelics such as peyote are a sacred gift and put one in communion with the divine.

    Peyote, for instance, is a real, documented plant. Its effects are partially measurable in that we can detect changes in the brain and behavior as a result of ingesting it. The experience of peyote and the significance of it, though, can't be experimented on in a scientific manner because it's experiential evidence rather than tangible evidence.

    The choice to believe that a peyote-induced vision is divine is a religious one that a person makes--even though the existence and scientific effects of peyote are quite well known, this is still the case.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's a fine analogy, actually. The writers seemed aware of it, too. For example, in Accession the "orb shadow" sounds very much like an hallucinogen flashback.

    However, the references in DS9 to faith generally sound very much like they are intended to be taken as metaphors for Christian faith.
     
  11. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    That's begging the question.

    The Bajorans believed in the Prophets even before they knew about "wormhole aliens", or even wormholes themselves. So the "Prophets" remain religious figures even after the Federation comes along.

    A Bajoran would likely respond to you that "your science simply proves conclusively that our Gods actually do exist".
     
  12. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Yes.

    Ultimately, DS9 showed us a better example of IDIC than the secular moralizing of TNG.
     
  13. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    And two thousand years in the future of those events, some will probably come along and say (just as they do today) that all the recordings of their deeds and interventions were made up stories, and there would be no living witnesses to contradict them.

    Again, just as they do with the Bible today.

    The Bajorans in that universe are very lucky to have actually kept possession their Noah's Ark, their Ark of the Covenant in an unbroken chain of custody.
     
  14. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Hey!

    [​IMG]

    Maybe they took their jobs seriously in Star Trek. Good record keepers don't just keep track of their own canon. :p
     
  15. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    again, no. We have recorded knowledge of actual events that happened in the past but have no living witnesses. The existence of the American Civil War is not a matter of "faith." The problem with the historicity of much of the Bible is that the events either took place far enough in the past that records of events were unreliable, or that there's no evidence of them at all. Those issues don't apply to the Star Trek universe.
     
  16. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Don't they? In 2000 years, how far would the computer technology have progressed? We have problems today retrieving data on media less than 30 years old, due to programming changes, deterioration of media, etc.

    And just who determined that the Biblical record was "unreliable". Care to pony up some proof that it is? Jesus and His teachings in particular were even admitted to by those arguably his ENEMIES, such as Josephus the historian.

    We have better provenance for the books of the Bible than we do the books of Caesar. No one doubts Caesar's writings are authentic though, because they are secular.

    Clear-minded, objective thinking can only conclude that the Bible is an authentic historical record as testified to by it's authors.

    The authors of the New Testament even used YOUR argument: "Don't believe us? Ask around. There are living people who saw all this happen." That they are dead now doesn't make their statements any less credible.

    And you really torpedo yourself by bringing up the Civil War. Why was it fought? Slavery or States Rights? Was it legally justified? What did the fighting man on the field think about the war (both sides)? What did the people back home think about the war (both sides)?

    Those issues are already shrouded in the "mists of history", and even after exhaustive searching of the historical record are in contention. Much of that record is routinely ignored/suppressed in favor of the Union point of view.

    You have to look WAY outside the "approved" texts to answer those questions with any factuality.

    So it's easy to see the Trek universe even a few hundred years in the future looking back on that era and asking "what 'really' happened?"
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    This is absolutely incorrect.
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    er, I don't mean to offend you or turn this into a religious debate, but you are misinformed on a few things. First off, putting the NT aside, let's turn to the OT. Archaeologists have found no evidence corroborating the Biblical story of the Exodus. Not to mention the glaring scientific inaccuracy of the Creation account of Genesis. As for the NT, The Gospels were not written anytime near when Jesus was supposedly doing his thing. The first one chronologically, Mark, was written almost FORTY years later. And the supposed "outside" sources you refer to are all basically getting their info about Jesus after the movement had already started, none were giving contemporary eyewitness accounts.

    On the American Civil War, you are conflating two different issues. Debates about causes of events are not debates about whether the events take place. And there ARE soldiers' diaries, journals, and letters from those who fought in the ACW, I don't know where you get the idea that there aren't.



    And we are getting away from Trek-related stuff, so to make this an appropriate post.... Ezri Dax is incredibly hot. :drool:
     
  19. datagal

    datagal Admiral Admiral

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    One of my favorite DS9 episodes is The Reckoning. For me, it was about faith. It also show how much Kai Winn hated Sisko not just because he was the Emissary chosen by prophets and an outsider (human, not Bajorian) but for he had more faith in the Prophets than she did. Sisko was willing to sacrifice his own son in battle of Good and Evil (with Kira) in order to fulfill the Prophets' Reckoning. But Kai Winn stopped it.

    Kai Winn reminds me of the Pharisees in the New Testament.

    I never thought too much about until watched it again a few years back.

    And never say that Christians don't like Star Trek. I remembered several years ago when my Pastor was preaching at another church. I was serving as one of church nurse (helper). IIRC, I was in the host Pastor's office and I was VHS tapes of DS9 episodes and ask him if he was a Star Trek fan and he said that he was. I was very impressed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  20. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Simple: because someone influential on the production side of things is quite religious. So, we get a very preachy, manichean Star Trek show that completely contradicts the humanist vision depicted in TOS&TNG.
    You just learn to ignore the horrible religion-heavy episodes ("The Reckoning" had unintentional comical value, though) and focus on the humoristic ("The House of Quark", "The Magnificent Ferengi",...), action-oriented ("Sacrifice of Angels",...) or poetic/dramatic ("The Visitor", Far Beyond the Stars",...) ones.


    You seem more versed in conspiracy theories than History. We have plenty of direct evidence of Caius Iulius' existence and of the authenticity of his writings, we have very little to none of the bible's claims*.
    No offence, but it's extreme indoctrination such as this that makes me glad of being born on this side of the Atlantic.

    *Note: I'm not saying those claims are false, they could be true even without evidence of their historicity.
    Given that those authors are writing a century or more after the alleged facts, they couldn't have very well done so.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012