Spoilers Yeah... I give up - Star Trek has abandoned philosophical naturalism - it's depressing/juvenile

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by INACTIVEUSS Einstein, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    I disagree that Abrams Trek didn't present some of the idealism.
    That doesn't make it necessary to establish the ideals first, though I could see how it would be preferred. Instead, you have Michael have to endure training under the ideal (Georgiou's "Starfleet doesn't fire first") and meet the messy world.

    It might not be cut and try but I think it is there, and can be expanded upon further as the show continues on. This show is not even finished its first season and yet the expectation is for it to be fully realized and complete story.
     
  2. cultcross but on halloween

    cultcross but on halloween Every lie incurs a debt to the truth Moderator

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    I think Star Trek has talked about its ideals for years, but it has been a long time since the characters actually displayed idealism. Probably not since the dawn of the Dominion War arc, with a few small exceptions (I agree that JJ films 1 and 3 probably came the closest). I thought we might be having that particular discussion as a theme in the pilot of Discovery, which explicitly references the disparity between ideals and actions, but it didn't go anywhere sadly.
     
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  3. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    Think it started to come back with Past is Prologue. Saru and his crew was ready to sacrifice it all to save everyone. That was a Captain Garret type decision.
     
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  4. cultcross but on halloween

    cultcross but on halloween Every lie incurs a debt to the truth Moderator

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    I do have hope for a crew under Saru. He is similar in sentiment to Georgiou but with a shade more practicality. They started setting that up when he ordered the release of the tardigrade.
     
  5. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I take it that you haven't read the Old Testament...
     
  6. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, I have read it plenty of times. The idea that God is only about wrath in the Old Testament is a common myth. The fact is that God had moments of wrath and mercy in both the Old and New Testaments.
     
  7. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Old Testament God is a colossal dick. I'd much rather take my chances with Q than him.
     
  8. GeekUSACarl

    GeekUSACarl The Last Starfighter Fleet Captain

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    I'll take my chances with O.G.

    He was at least "kinda" predictable.

    Q? ugh I couldn't imagine having to listen to his diatribes all the time.
     
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  9. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    Plus he plays chess with Trelane.
     
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  10. INACTIVERedDwarf

    INACTIVERedDwarf Commander Red Shirt

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    The objection to the episode's use of the mycelial network isn't in the possibility of spiritual interpretation, the objection seems to be to the way in which it was presented, in a way that stretches the audiences credulity.

    I've not seen the episode since last week, so my memory is hazy.

    But, I guess what is being argued is this... that the more contrived and faux-prophetic things are presented as, the more a drama lacks 'social realism', because in the real world, burning bushes do not generally solve Police Detective's cases for them, whether the burning bush is "all in the mind" or not. The principle of Occam's Razor, is that you should limit the number of assumptions in formulating a theory. It isn't an ironclad rule, inviolable, or anything, but in general, is a good idea. What happens when drama starts ignoring statistical likelihood, and justifying increasingly arbitrary things, like pseudo-mythological occurrences, treating psychological states more and more like visits to fae netherworlds from Celtic mythology? Then it perhaps seems more contrived on a sliding scale of audience credulity, or maybe even passes some qualitative border into being a non-naturalistic show. Symbolically, other worlds are often metaphors for psychological states, but they don't actually appear as such in reality.

    Modern drama, perhaps being influenced by Lost, is full of horrible contrivance, based in a desire by writers to use tropes from religion and myth. That would never have made it into TOS or TNG. The principle behind TOS was to make a show that could plausibly be accepted as on par with police procedurals and stuff.

    I don't know if I'm articulating this very well, I think I'm touching on the issue, but missing some of the details, but I don't really have time to re-watch the episode right now. Star Trek treated everything as natural, and I think that distinction is perhaps important. Also, almost nobody in TV uses the subconscious plausibly, i.e. full of humorous/ridiculous imagery..

    I always took TOS's occasional use of words like soul to be poetic licence by the likes of Kirk, McCoy, etc.

    Growing up in the UK, all schoolchildren that attend a state school listen to Church of England sermons in assembly each morning. So when I was a kid, I had some vague notion that we were a country with a Christian history, and that the Bible was a source of wisdom for people, but that the age of it being taken literally as a historical or scientific document had passed. Even then, I figured that since souls were unprovable, people largely used them in terms of poetic descriptions of a person's overall essence or personality.

    Now, with more exposure to philosophy, and remembering Kirk's apparent familiarity with Spinoza (from "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), I theorise that he may have had beliefs similar to say Albert Einstein, or the deist founding fathers and later presidents of America (Kirk was a Lincoln buff); Baruch Spinoza basically redefined god as a natural/impersonal/non-sentient force, akin to Tao in Chinese philosophy.

    As Jung said, you can learn a lot about yourself from the images thrown up by your subconscious, which works on a much faster level than the conscious part of the brain, and I see religious phenomena as having a basis in this, as well as nature and secular philosophy. The ethics and metaphysics of the major religions are all presented in much the same way by non-religious, or pagan, philosophers, sometimes centuries before they were appropriated by said religions. Avatars, Rishis, Messiahs, Yogis, Prophets, Sadhus and Buddhas achieved insights through dreams from their subconscious, meditation, mental illness like psychosis, metaphysical reasoning, ethical reasoning, psychological reasoning, and emotional insight. People like Jung, and the people that followed, quite plausibly explained the subconscious, albeit in a "soft science". Neuroscience explains the relationship between mind and body. In the East, humanity was seen as perfectible, and phenomena of the mind seen as natural (in say Taoism, Buddhism, and some forms of Hinduism), but in the West, prophets who may have suffering psychosis (which can entail helpful as well as unhelpful voices from their subconscious), might be taken to be receiving these things from outside themselves, i.e. a god, since there was not such a strong idea that such phenomena could originate within us.

    But no human in any reliable record, has ever experienced anything outside of nature; that should tell everyone all they need to know about the paranormal/supernatural; in 150 years of cinema, nobody has recorded a ghost or miracle, and stories that claim the supernatural are inherently unfalsifiable; these concepts cannot be falsified by design, where pretty much everything in nature can be falsified.

    I'm spiritual, in a secular sense, of reflecting on my life philosophically.

    But I do not believe in gods, afterlives or immortal souls (neither do Buddhists, as an example of a agnostic religion, or possible Taoists). But again, this wasn't really the issue. The issue seems to have been the use of Biblical tropes in more and more genre fiction, when they are a poor fit.

    Respectfully, I disagree.

    A god in the Christian/Muslim sence, is most often interpreted as something outside of nature. For all their powers, and for all their literary similarity to gods in fiction, the aliens of Star Trek have never been treated or presented as actual gods are in these middle eastern religions; they are within nature, and comprehensible to scrutiny. They have always been presented as part of the natural world. And that is an important distinction, I feel. It has massive philosophical repercussions.
     
  11. lawman

    lawman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You are, very well indeed. Wish I could like it more than once!...
     
  12. Kol-Ut-Shan

    Kol-Ut-Shan Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Are we confusing philosophical naturalism and our common sense assumptions? Trek has always challenged these assumptions. Lester inhabiting Kirk, raising Spock and Kirk from the dead,etc.