Why Not A Starfleet Ships Chaplain As A Main Character?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Knight Templar, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    How is depriving people of their right to spiritual beliefs any different than depriving someone of their right to marry interracially?

    Most religious people I know actually don't try to force people to conform to their morals and I've met just as many, if not more atheists who are even MORE obnoxious than religious folk in trying to force people to conform to their (lack of) a belief system.
     
  2. Queen Mab

    Queen Mab Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Is this a serious topic?

    Surely they wouldn’t be under the impression that gods and things like that are real.

    Would they? They all seemed to be fairly intelligent and enlightened characters.
     
  3. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    For crying out loud, no one is trying to deprive people their right to their spiritual beliefs.

    If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, you are perfectly free to refrain from any homosexual acts. However demanding that other people do that too, or trying to enact laws that discriminate against gays is not okay.

    You are perfectly free to believe that instead of evolving from other animals, humans were created by a god. You are perfectly free to believe that instead of being born, babies are brought by storks. However, trying to get public schools to teach those things instead of actual science is not okay.

    You are perfectly free to pray five times a day at specific times. Trying to force other people to do that too is not okay.

    Are we clear?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  4. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    Son, your views are too black and white. Life ain't that simple. We're getting off topic here, so I won't go into a long discussion of the different views that get lumped together or the abuses of each side. But you have the classic liberal disease of thinking "I'm a tolerant man, only those jerks on the opposite of the issue are intolerant". If you can't see that the other man isn't TRYING to be evil, and doesn't see himself as evil, you may be able to work with him to your mutual benefit. If not, then you may be able to at least kill him without warping yourself with hate.
     
  5. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Sure - I totally get what you're saying. What I'm saying is that it makes for interesting drama in a TV show if you have characters having this argument in much more dramatic fashion. That it would be really really fascinating to see conflict arise over these issues on a starship where you really can't get too far away from the people who are bugging you about this stuff (religious or atheist). Maybe even go so far as to have a fundamentalist character that everyone else needs to tiptoe around.

    My argument is entirely based on how interesting this would be to see play out as a conflict arising between characters.

    IDIC, right?
     
  6. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    The democratic party in general, and Michael Newdow and the ACLU in particular, are attempting to do so daily.

    Push them too much, and you're gonna convince a lot of them that it is not only ok, but a good idea, too.

    You are also free to believe in catastrophic anthropogenic warming, disarmament of civilians, prohibition of drugs, public nudity, bans on public nudity, and a variety of other religious or pseudo-religious ideas. But we tolerate that nonsense, too, as no-one has all the answers, and anyone who claims to should be sent to coventry.

    Trying to shut up people praying is also not okay. Deliberately inventing a wall of separation between church and state that the founders never intended is not okay.

    It's clear you have strong opinions, not yet tempered by experience or wisdom. You need not respect any belief or opinion, but you must respect their right to hold it if you want them to respect your right to hold any particular belief or opinion.

    Trying to bring this back to topic, a chaplain as a character makes logical sense to anyone who's ever served, but to a producer, author, or other creator, really only works as a back ground character, or for a main character, as a philosophical counterpoint. To a militant atheist, it is, of course, a heinous idea, but then militant atheists rarely have any tolerance anyway.
     
  7. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Of course no one thinks themselves as evil. That much should be obvious. And kill? I am not going to kill anyone, with hatred or otherwise. What the hell are on about?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  8. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    This is obviously not true. No one is trying to stop people from having spiritual beliefs. Newdow is however trying to stop people from printing their spiritual beliefs in national currency, or forcing every shool children to recite those spiritual beliefs. That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

    Convince people that homosexuality is a good idea? Do you seriously believe that it is possible to convince a straight person to become a homosexual?

    The first is a scientific fact, only uncertainly might be on the magnitude of the catastrophe. The rest are matters of opinion, in a sense that they're policies, benefits and disadvantages of which can be debated.

    No one is trying to stop people from praying.

    Also are we talking about the founding fathers who specificly put the separation church and state in the American constitution? The founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson who wrote his own version of the Bible, editing out all the supernatural parts he considered to be nonsense?

    I usually refrain from commenting posting style or personality of my fellow board members, but as you keep mentioning things like this, I have to say that neither wisdom, nor respect are the first things that come across from your posts.

    Do you know what the word 'militant' means?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  9. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    We see things like this occassionally, for example Worf's Klingon beliefs or the whole Bajoran religion thing DS9. However, regardless of their personal beliefs the Starfleet officers are rational, scientifically minded people and tend to put their duty first. A person who cannot do that do not belong in the Starfleet. Of course, such conflicts can be better explored with new aliens and other non-Starfleet quest characters.
     
  10. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Yeah, but that gets boring after a while. Too many aliens-as-archetype episodes. It's difficult to take the Klingons or Ferengi or Romulans seriously as a culture when they're basically avatars for human traits. I would like to see it in a Starfleet role. More diversity among humans in more capacities than just their skin color would be MUCH more interesting.

    You also notice your language when discussing this? That people who work in Starfleet are rational, scientifically-minded people? And that anyone not of that mind-set is inherently too flawed to fit into Starfleet?
     
  11. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    In a sense. They must be able accept the scientific reality (this does not necessarily mean they have to be an atheist.)

    I cannot imagine a person with a level of disconnect from reality and mistrust of science exhibited by creationists and climate chance deniers working in the Starfleet.
     
  12. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I can understand denying a creationist the ability to work in the life sciences department of Starfleet maybe, but why not astrogation? Helm? Weapons? My point is that while creationism may seem silly to you (and frankly, to me as well), it doesn't seem silly to a lot of people. Some of them are rational and understand that other people have different belief systems, some of them are not.

    My point is that it's arrogant and intolerant to write people off for a belief system.

    And I also wanted to say that the Bajorans don't count because they actually have physical evidence of their "gods" existing. It's not really a faith at that point any more, it's worship of a more advanced being. That always bugged me...
     
  13. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    If you are not well educated it is possible to be merely misinformed. But Starfleet personnel are well educated (and I actually think that all Federation citizens are pretty well educated by today's standards.) Retaining creationist beliefs while being well informed requires active denying of scientific evidence. And I'm not talking about any specific beliefs anyway, but the mindset. If a person cannot take scientific facts objectively, he has no business being in position that requires evaluating of scientific facts.

    I am talking about science deniers working in a field that requires science (and any Starfleet position does.) I am not passing judgement on them as human (or alien) beings. It just is not the right place for them.

    But they didn't always have that evidence. In any case, I never understood the point of faith anyway, but yes, it can make good TV drama.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  14. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, I also assume that finding alien life will cause some major religious upheaval as well, changing a lot of belief systems drastically. But I would consider a nuclear physicist a high science position that a creationist could fill without much problem, so why not a ship's engineer? It's admittedly quite unlikely, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. There is a certain level of suspension of knowledge to believe creationism that I don't fully understand, admittedly, but I don't think it would eliminate them from EVERY Starfleet position.

    I also don't see all religions disappearing overnight either. In fact, if there was a WW3, they would strengthen before they weakened. And most modern religions have been around a long while - like over a millennium - I don't see them just up and fading away into nothing in the next 2-300 years. Even if there was less fundamentalism than there is now, there is a basic human need in a lot of people to believe in some sort of afterlife/deity/whatever.
     
  15. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Religions do not necessarily entierly disappear. However, with better education religions that make claims that directly contradict science will invariably disappear.
     
  16. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Somehow I think our religions would adapt quite easily. They've shown extreme elasticity. So much so, the first warp-capable ship heading to the alien world would have missinaries to show the aliens the light.
     
  17. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    That's pretty much what I meant. It'll still throw a lot of belief systems into turmoil but they always adapt. I don't know if this is true or not, but didn't Catholicism even state recently that the acknowledge the possibility of life on other planets? I may be wrong, but I thought I heard that somewhere.

    Regardless, religion is likely to exist into the future. Babylon 5 is actually a great example of spiritual diversity. Sure, there are big reveals about that through the series but no one is treated shoddily because of it.
     
  18. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    I agree with you that they'll be around in the future. However, if humanity undergoes a kind of change shown in TNG, I doubt realigions will survive the change intact. But most people today are arguing that such a change in human nature is impossible. I disagree with that stance, but that's a different topic.
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    But Humanity is only one of hundreds of species in Starfleet and the Federation, although yes a dominate one in Starfleet.

    The "change' in TNG (which I don't entirely see) would only be a justification for the absence of a Chaplain if all the species in Starfleet service also experienced a similar change.

    :)
     
  20. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Oh come on, Starfleet is heavily dominated by Hewmans. The only species that comes close are Vulcans.