The Reality of Star Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Enow, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Back in the 80s, I had two friends that became fundamentalist Christians. These were smart guys, and big Trek fans to boot. It was sad to see how they lost their critical thinking skills and turned into a couple of scripture spewing God-bots after hearing The Word.

    Anyway, things are getting better, even though they don't seem to be. If you could go back in time to the American south in 1850, for example, a description of our present-day world would sound like fantasy to people of that time and place. And just think about how far we have progressed since then, in every field of endeavour.
     
  2. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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    This is going to be my only post in this thread. Those who understand what I say will and those who don't won't.

    I have no religion but Star Trek.

    I will say that again for those who might think I miss typed.

    I Have No Religion But Star Trek.

    When I was young I was raised non denominational more or less fundamentalist Christian. I stayed because of a fear of eternal torment. You know the eternal torment that a "just and loving god" promises those who don't fall in line with his program?

    I tried, as hard as I could to stay a christian. But the more I read and thought the more I realized that any deity who was "jealous" was not a deity worthy of my respect let alone my worship.

    So I quit. Gave it right up.

    I tried material reductionism for a while but I've had experiences that suggest to me that there is something more out there than meat and chemicals and self delusion. Right now I broadly identify as Pagan.

    But the real truth is that I am a Trekker.

    I am on the ongoing human voyage of becoming if only microscopically better a person than I was when I started. And to me the teachings of Trek are articles of faith.

    There might never be warp drive (although never say never) and there might never be transporters. Hell there might not even turn out to be aliens. But I believe that there can come a day when there is more decency instead of less. A day when people care more about contributing than about getting rewarded without putting forth any effort.

    To me that future is as real as the taste of honey on my tongue. Some days it torments me because it is so far away. Other days it is the only thing that keeps me from taking a gun and blowing my brains out.

    And now someone comes along singing the old song. The song of death and hatred and self loathing. The words of the bible are not a balm. They are a poison. They are hate speech. They speak of a hatred of mans potential. They tell us that we are weak and worthless and that if we want any hope at all we'd best grovel. Beg a god who HATES us for his favor.

    Well if there is a god, if a extranormal entity did create the human race, and he behaves like that then I'd rather burn an eternity in hell than spend one minute in his heaven.

    There will come a day though. You see I have no problem with the idea of persons of faith continuing to exist in the future. Because the people who will exist will be lovers of life and will use their faith to celebrate life, to celebrate human potential and human achievement. In contrast to most now who celebrate death and hate.

    By the way when I broke with the faith I was raised up with, I spent quite a bit of time dealing with night terrors. Working through my fear of hell took some doing. Would you like to know what comforted me through those times?

    It was a simple country doctor, who when asked by a being pretending to be a god if he doubted that man replied, "I doubt any god who inflicts pain for his own amusement."

    I held on as tight as I could to that life raft until the fear became a thing of my past.

    It's the reason why I love that movie even as awful as some of it is. It saved my sanity and it saved my soul.

    So for those who wish to look for signs of the impending downfall of humanity and look with eager glee to the end times, go right ahead. And then when you are dead and buried those of us who have kept the true faith, the faith in the future will get on with the business of living and working to make it a place worth living in.

    Peace and Long Life.
     
  3. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps, to you.
     
  4. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    Seeing as how there have been many failed prophesies, no, it's not just to him. There is no such thing as people who know the future, sorry. If there were, they should be more specific about the times, places, and people involved, and then it might be worth listening to, and not just coincidence or eager people trying to connect dots. Whenever they are specific, that's when they end up being wrong.
     
  5. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    If not to you, too, then we have a basic disagreement as to the definition of the term "reality".

    To keep this Trek related - does the proliferation of the cell phone mean that the depiction of the 60's Trek communicator was a "prophecy"?
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just the basic idea of having a small wireless telephone. A wish, not a prophecy.
     
  7. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Speculation, gifted insight.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Probably not...

    Many of these writers and producers were active in World War II. The communicator seems to be more of a simplified, more powerful "Walkie Talkie" (handheld transceiver).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walky_talky
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And yet people help each other every day and the global per capita violence rate is at a historical low.

    Yeah, humanity will never be perfect, but that doesn't mean the social problems we face now will never be solved. It just means it will probably take a really long time.
     
  10. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    The faith to which Enow ascribes is one that is untenable if you feel that God is both just and merciful (though one can't really be both). That statement does not apply to all Christians. You can PM me about it if you like. I think the topic's actually getting back on track now, and I'm not inclined to derail it. :)
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the refreshing honesty. That was exactly a major cover (!) article of Germany's Der Spiegel back in the 1990's (how I wish I had saved this copy!), where the author claimed that Star Trek and Star Wars had taken the form of substitute religions. I always wholeheartedly agreed with the article and don't think it's a bad thing.

    I think I know what you're getting at, Moses 5th book :ack:
    And I thought and still think exactly how you did.

    In contrast The New Testament looks like a contradiction but that's really the only part of the Bible which is a must read, IMHO (it's shorter than a Star Trek novel ;)).

    The way I see it the problem with many Christians seems to be that they sing the songs and go to church, thinking that this is what makes them better people, while in fact it's not the words but their actions that will determine that.

    I think one of my favorite actors (Bob Gunton aka Captain Maxwell of the USS Phoenix) in my favorite film The Shawshank Redemption portrayed the ultimate Christian hypocrite.
    But I fail to see how the abuse of the gospel has any relevance to the actual content of it. Jesus didn't tell people the things they wanted but needed to hear (and we're still not listening).

    "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31) is possibly the ultimate Christian message - despite attempts of chief atheist Richard Dawkins claiming (in his overrated and mediocre bestseller) this actually to be the first commandment of atheism. :lol:

    Bob
     
  12. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Then God must have a hard time living with himself, since by that account he created faulty humans, and then blamed them for his own mistakes.

    The original sin story is so full of shit that it's actually sickening. But at least it's honest: in the Bible, knowing is bad. Experimenting is bad. Testing authority is bad. It's a religion designed to keep people oppressed, ignorant, and scared. Thankfully, most Christians don't actually follow it.

    Beside, Bill Shatner would totally kick Kirk Cameron's arse.

    The fact that you think "reality" is subjective is a big clue here.

    Ridiculous conceptions like "chief atheist" aside, that's exactly the point. The Christian message is "treat others as you would like to be treated": the idea of people having different wants or needs is out of question. Your values are everybody's values, and if people don't follow them, then they are actively rejecting your values, instead of simply following their own. Your religion is the solid centre of the universe, and everybody moves in relation to it: towards, against, or around it. You want to be a good Christian, so everybody must want to be a good Christian. I mean, who wouldn't want that, right? Wrong.

    The humanist message, on the other hand, is: treat others as they want to be treated. Take an interest in people. Allow for differences. Be kind, but don't be overbearing. Treat them with respect. Don't ever think you know what people want or need. Or, more succinctly, "don't be a douche".
     
  13. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    chief atheist isn't a thing. just like being chief of Not believing in The Tooth Fairy isn't a thing.

    anyway to make this post vagely trekkified, religion is like that sinister mind-clown from that voyager episode and janeway is the atheism that will slowly cause it to fade from existence. richard dawkins is harry kim.
     
  14. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    I am terrified to learn who is Neelix.
     
  15. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    glenn beck. he shall now be known as gleenbix.
     
  16. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Neelix is the Antichrist.
     
  17. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes. We do. But that's okay.
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Correct quote from Gene Roddenberry (who also didn't understand the symbolic meaning of Eucharist and assumed this to be a cannibalistic ritual).

    That used to be my interpretation of events, too, but after taking a bite from the "apple" the protagonists had reached a higher level of consciousness and therefore had to face a test of character - and failed.

    Since you would apparently criticize God if he had brainwashed / reprogrammed the protagonists (which apparently had free will) he instead send the protagonists into the world to learn (the meaning of life, IMHO), hoping they become able to fix this appalling character flaw (the other one, IMHO) which brings us to

    (I think it's fair to say that nobody wants to be blamed or held accountable for things she or he didn't do?)

    :confused: Isn't Mr. Dawkins the prominent spokesperson of Atheism?

    I'm sorry, I don't see the essential difference and why you are trying to make something that's easy to understand and grasp into something unnecessarily complicated (apparently, neither did Mr. Dawkins see the need for that :rolleyes:).

    For me it's the essential content that matters and not the wrapping paper (i.e. words). YMMV :)

    Bob
     
  19. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    some of that essential content from the bible:

    Titus 2:9
    "Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them"

    1 Peter 2:18
    "Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh."

    Col 3:22
    "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord."

    Eph 6:5
    "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ."

    so would you be happy to see uhura as kirk's slave?

    gods pretty keen on slavery. or is all that one of those bits of bible christians are allowed to overlook because its outdated and stupid while using other equally hideous bits as some sort of moral justification? :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  20. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    I guess you never heard of sarcasm.

    And if he hadn't tasted the God-forbidden knowledge, then he would have never reached the "higher level of consciousness". Which means God never wanted us to achieve full sentience. (Or he wanted that, and used reverse psychology to fool a dumb ape into a human being. Which is kinda idiotic.)

    No such thing. He's a somehow famous scientist and scientific writer who sometimes speak against religion. Dawkins is no more "chief atheist" than Christopher Hitchens, George Carlin, Voltaire, Epicurus, or any number of smart, opinionated thinkers through history. Atheism is not an organized religion.

    I know. That's the point.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013