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Religion in the 22nd Century


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Report this Dec. 03 2012, 3:53 am

I've been continuing my watch-through of Enterprise, and noticing several features of the time period which originally escaped my notice. In "Cold Front" (the episode where they welcome pilgrims aboard the ship to view a cosmic plume), Phlox reveals that he has attended Mass at a cathedral and is well-versed in human religion, including what people in the Hindu faith believe ( present tense!) Religion appears to be alive and well in the 22nd century!

This is a departure from previous Trek series, which have generally ignored religion or actively disparaged it. Archer does follow in the tradition of Sisko and the others by giving an agnostic answer to his own views on religion, but given the fact that we had to wait until 1994 to even get an answer on whether people still celebrated Christmas on Star Trek, this is somewhat of a bold choice!

What do you think? Is there a place for religion in Star Trek? Is this episode consistent with the progression towards the world we see in later series?


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Report this Dec. 12 2012, 3:38 am

We will carry our culture, our beliefs and our faith to other planets just as we carried them from distant shores. Our humanity is not just biological. The totality of the human experience is in our writings, our hopes, our interactions, our imaginings and in our search for meaning. Religion will continue to a part of us as long as we exist.

All the best,Wayne


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Report this Dec. 12 2012, 4:13 am

I like how Babylon 5 dealt with religion.  They acknowledged religion as a part of many people's lives, but didn't push any 1 religion, even when they established what religion a major character was.  In an episode, Sinclair had to put on some demonstration of Earth's dominant belief system, and he was having trouble figuring out what to do.  At the end of the episode, he had the ambassadors enter a room with a long line of Humans, each a different religion (or atheist) and introduced them by name & religion.


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Report this Dec. 12 2012, 2:33 pm

Religion wasn't completely devoid in the Star Trek universe prior to Enterprise.

Star Trek V attempted to cover religion, or at least acknowledged it still existed in the future (even later than Enterprise-era).

There have been several times that the Enterprise has encountered "gods," or rather highly advanced aliens who had passed themselves off as gods on Earth (Apollo, Lucifer, Quetzalcoatl).

The interesting question is what the Q are. They are omnipotent and probably omniscient and omnipresent too. Picard goes to a bright white room and meets Q after he dies. It seems the only thing not making the Q gods is lack of worship.

There is an interesting Trope about this topic.

I think religion can still fit into Star Trek, not just among Bajorians, Vulcans, and other aliens, but Humans also. Maybe after all the other socio-economical issues were solved, people just embraced their religions' more loving, self-improving aspects and dismissed the parts that have been causing fighting forever?

Perhaps Starfleet captains just don't go around spreading their personal beliefs because it's not part of Starfleet diplomacy?


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Report this Dec. 12 2012, 7:34 pm

Quote: kiarra_ourulle @ Dec. 12 2012, 2:33 pm


>The interesting question is what the Q are. They are omnipotent and probably omniscient and omnipresent too. Picard goes to a bright white room and meets Q after he dies. It seems the only thing not making the Q gods is lack of worship.


The inhabitants of Brax call him the God of Lies.


On the question of religion in Star Trek, I'm with Nakal.

"The future is in the hands of those who explore... And from all the beauty they discover while crossing perpetually receding frontiers, they develop for nature and for humankind an infinite love." - Jacques Yves Cousteau


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Report this Feb. 03 2013, 2:39 pm

I am a religious person, but I'm okay with Star Trek using fictional regligions and staying away from it in general, because now with it done the way it has been, it can be enjoyed by both Christians and non-Christians or any other views out there, without alienating anyone.


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Report this Feb. 03 2013, 4:29 pm

TOS was full of Bible references. Both Spock and McCoy quote it often. In the other serieses it was mostly ignored aside from a few references. I agree with Sora on that. It's good to leave out controversial material.

"Borg. Sounds Swedish."


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Report this Feb. 08 2013, 5:39 pm

The Klingon version of Hell was shown in a Voyager episode, and it looked similar to Christian Hell. Torres was supposedly really there too.

If I remember correctly they didn't try to pretend like it never happended at the end of the episode. Like try to say it was a dream/hallucination or something.



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Report this Feb. 26 2013, 1:28 pm

It seems like there was an increasing openness to religion and matters of faith as the shows progressed. Never underwriting one particular faith perspective, but giving greater possibility to the spiritual and not simply a material existence.

In one of the books in Dominion War series, there was mention of one of the characters belonging to a church in Brooklyn. I thought that was cool. Not canon, of course. But spoke to the reality that faith (or non-faith) is a fundamental part of the human condition.


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Report this Mar. 17 2013, 12:54 pm

I think there is room for religion being a part of Starfleet does make it so we cannot have religion. T'Pol meditates every night that is some form belief in higher spirituality. The way I see it being a Starfleet officer or enlisted is just a military job outside of that you have your own life, free to believe or keep faith in whatever you choose to.



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Report this Mar. 17 2013, 3:48 pm

Psychiatry is Modern Religion in the Western World
and, as TNG would have it, continues into the future.
It justifies the wrong we do, allows us to pin it onto
other people and defines Politically Correct standards.

Otherwise, Traditional Religion is considered all too
judgemental and intrusive - even going so far as to,
with some of the major ones, forbidding the use of any
contraception, having an abortion, being homosexual or
engaging in sodomy ... even deciding what's OK to eat.

In a hedonistic culture, which of the two appeals more?
It's happening today and will persist into the 22nd Century.

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