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Bread and Circuses, Who Mourns for Adonis...

deiradinn

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POSTS: 6

Report this Mar. 29 2013, 1:36 pm

Please no spoilers in replies to anything after Bread and Circuses, besies the clips mentioned. Thanks.

I'm a Science guy,  , through and through, and my friend pointed me to Star Trek because he said it was a branching look at the future without religion being any important part of life or politics. I'm a big Sci Fi fan too so it seemed like this would be my kind of show. I'm not religious at all. Now, if you're offended about that POV then I can't help it, I don't want any religion vs Evolution debate like "Distant Origin". So I'll move on. Just seen a clip of that on YouTube.

I've ran across more than one instance where they're seemingly Christian overtones in some of the episodes that made me cock my head like a dog hearing a strange, out of place, noise. Who Mourns for Adonis has Cpt. Kirk saying that the one god is sufficient enough, and then at the end of Bread and Circuses he mentions wouldn't it be amazing to see it all happen again. Well, if you enjoy the wonderous joys of the dark ages, murder, fear, and Scientific oppression, then sure it would've been a blast. Not to mention all the holy wars, bigotry, slavery, etc. Anyway, to my long winded point. Am I missing something here? You get in one hand, Star Trek making religion look outright silly, than praising it in another. Is this due to different writers? I seen Roddenberry's name in the writing credits, and that makes no sense due to his stance on the subject. So I'm just confused, it seems that Star Trek in itself is contradicting it's views.

Question I'll propse, what is the overall view of religion in Star Trek moving forward through all the series without spoiling anything? Guess I'm looking for a generalised answer without giving stories away. I've seen clips of Pikard damning religious fanaticism, but heard after Roddenberry's death it became more of a theme. Also heard Voyager was pro Christian, and many of the stories after his death. My friend said he couldn't watch it anymore after Roddenberry's death. I enjoy the stories, the acting, and they're only small hiccups like that, that could be attributed with the Cpt.'s thoughts and not the whole crew. Sorry if this was long, just wanted to have a conversation about it.

Thanks for any and all answers!  

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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POSTS: 46303

Report this Mar. 29 2013, 2:36 pm

You will see many references to religion from multiple species/worlds.  In the vast majority of cases, the Federation's policy is to respect the individuals' beliefs as longs as they don't conflict with Starfleet.  This is why people are able to practice their religions privately and may see religious items in their personal quarters, but you won't see them on a person's uniform.


Additionally, if you're watching TOS, then think about the time it was filmed in the USA - a time where religion was much more prominent in society than today.


 


One thing I'll also add... Star Trek, via its stories, talked about major political and social problems.  They were just able to do it in a way that wasn't "in your face."

Beershark

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Report this Mar. 29 2013, 9:23 pm

 


I don't understand why you find those two incidents contradictory. They both seem to indicate that Kirk, if not a Christian may have at leats had a christian background. I find the contradiction to be found more between these to examples and the episode Cat's Paw, where it's waved off as old superstitions. I won't go into detail to avaid spoilers (funny thing to worry about in context of a tv series nearly 50yo!)


Also, don't discount the fact that many things religeous can become cultural over time. I've heard many an athiest say things like, "Thank God!" or "Heaven Help us." or even blessing some one after they sneeze. So by Kirks time, saying "we find the one god sufficient" may not have the religeous context we put on it now. As for wondering what it would be like to see it all happen again, that most likely has more to do with Kirks love of history than anything religeous.


As for any thing else, I found TNG to be a little hypocritical in it's treatment of values and religeous principles that had a more or less christian base while being more tollerent of the alien religeons.


CORPORATIONS AREN'T PEOPLE! Soylent Green is people.

MelaK

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POSTS: 18

Report this Mar. 30 2013, 10:35 am

I think of "Bread and Circuses" in historical terms.  The Christian and Muslim religions, among others, have been historically important, some times more than others, some times for what most of us would consider good and at other times for what most of us would consider bad.  If you try to think of "Bread and Circuses" in historical terms, you may find it less offensive, though I loathe the whole premise, that another planet has our identical history, just as I hated it that Miri's planet has our identical geography.  Inexplicably bad science, both of those.  That said, I enjoy both episodes on the whole, but I cannot watch the closing scene of "Bread and Circuses."  I think Mr. Shatner handles his part professionally, but I've always thought that Kelly and Nimoy look and sound uncomfortable, and, sorry, but I think Ms Nichols puts on the earnest breathiness that we hear in the voices of many Christian speakers and most Christian music.  But my loathing of that put-on breathiness could have me imagining it in her voice.


Mela K.

deiradinn

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POSTS: 6

Report this Apr. 03 2013, 4:02 pm

To Beershark, not those two instances but the stance of Star Trek beyond religion and then glorifying certain aspects of it. I guess I'll just have to put up with different aspects popping up here and there. So far the end of the episode is the lowest part of TOS for me. They have to know that genocide and Scientific oppression was about to be a major part of that planet. Not that they'd interfere but admiring it is stupid and the mention of christ, who probably never existed, was cringe worthy. 

fireproof78

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Report this Apr. 03 2013, 8:36 pm

Roddenberry's views changed with his age. He wasn't necessarily antithetical towards religion as he downplayed it. I mean, "Balance of Terror" has a chapel, but no specific deity is referred too.


Again, TOS is as much a product of its time, including a very patriotic tribute in "The Omega Glory." Again, given the time it was created, it had more more political relevance than perhaps we give it.


I think later episodes, like "Who watches the Watchers" in TNG reflect Roddenberry's later view. I think he was a man who changed over his time, but I don't think Star Trek shows a mixed view of religion, reflecting actual human beliefs.


And, if Voyager is pro-Christian/pro-religion, I'll eat my socks


I think DS9 offers the most interesting take on religion as it places a Starfleet officer at the center of a religious conflict.

Sora

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Report this Apr. 03 2013, 10:33 pm

Before I begin, let me say that I am a Christian, and I love Star Trek, and for the most part Star Trek stays respectfully neutral. Star Trek looks at both sides of the argument. It looks at religion, and it looks at science, but when it does look at religion, it often looks at some alien religion or something to that effect. For the most part, I will say this, the laws and principles of Star Trek usually do respect and follow God's law. However at the same time, Star Trek is very much rooted into the science side of things, and goes with the whole, we all became alive from magic goop accidently forming. There are many episodes that not only refer to evolution, but straight up shows evolution. TNG Season 7, Genesis the crew goes backwards and de-evolves. TNG All Good Things, Q takes Picard back to the beginning, where the said magic goop is supposed to create everything. Enterprise Season 1, Dear Doctor. Doctor Phlox states that evolution is more than a theory, it is a fundamental scientific truth. Voyager Season 2, Threshold, Paris finds a way to travel at Warp 10 and evolves into a Salamander sock puppet. Pretty much all the series support the scientific evolution theory. But uses religion when and where needed. And while I am a faithful Christian, and firmly believe in God and the story of Genesis of God creating everything in 7 days, I am fine with that. Because it allows for anyone of any religion to watch the show without being insulted, as Star Trek isn't opposing or approving any said religion one way or the other. And the un-religious such as yourself will watch the show too. But I appreciate that for the most part they follow Christian ideals.

stovokor2000-A

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Report this Apr. 20 2013, 3:07 pm

Quote: deiradinn @ Mar. 29 2013, 1:36 pm

> Am I missing something here? You get in one hand, Star Trek making religion look outright silly, than praising it in another.


when did Star Trek ever make religion look silly/


Question I'll propse, what is the overall view of religion in Star Trek moving forward through all the series without spoiling anything? Guess I'm looking for a generalised answer without giving stories away.


I would say the show always was on the fence on the issue, they spoke of those that had stronge religious beliefs and about those with none.


I've seen clips of Pikard damning religious fanaticism,


and in Star Trek Generations, we see he fantazy life, celebrating X-mas with his family.


but heard after Roddenberry's death it became more of a theme.


Durring TOS, I believe there was a mention of a ships X-mas party.


 


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Flanaess

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Report this May. 09 2013, 5:30 pm

They seem to focus more on alien beliefs than Earth ones.


 


Now, Babylon 5 is the one that has a good balance of spirituality and atheism.


 


 

buchworm

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Report this Jul. 07 2013, 5:37 pm

Different characters have different attitudes toward religion and have very different religions.  On the whole, the humans are less religious than the nonhumans.  None of the religious people are what many of us would call, "religious fundamentalists", though I would say that Kira gets close at times.

Pooneil

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Report this Jul. 08 2013, 8:36 am

I once read an interesting interpretation of "Who Mourns for Adonais?": When Kirk says "We find the one god sufficient" he's not talking about "God" in a monotheistic sense; instead he's saying "Why would we need any other gods when we've got our hands full just dealing with YOU?"


There are many religious references throughout TOS, and fewer in the spinoffs. Apparently the network wanted a minister or vicar of some sort on the Enterprise, but Roddenberry refused, because he thought it was ridiculous for only one religion to be represented in the future.

Pooneil

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Report this Jul. 08 2013, 9:02 am

Quote: Sora @ Apr. 03 2013, 10:33 pm

>

>Before I begin, let me say that I am a Christian, and I love Star Trek, and for the most part Star Trek stays respectfully neutral. Star Trek looks at both sides of the argument. It looks at religion, and it looks at science, but when it does look at religion, it often looks at some alien religion or something to that effect. For the most part, I will say this, the laws and principles of Star Trek usually do respect and follow God's law. However at the same time, Star Trek is very much rooted into the science side of things, and goes with the whole, we all became alive from magic goop accidently forming. There are many episodes that not only refer to evolution, but straight up shows evolution. TNG Season 7, Genesis the crew goes backwards and de-evolves. TNG All Good Things, Q takes Picard back to the beginning, where the said magic goop is supposed to create everything. Enterprise Season 1, Dear Doctor. Doctor Phlox states that evolution is more than a theory, it is a fundamental scientific truth. Voyager Season 2, Threshold, Paris finds a way to travel at Warp 10 and evolves into a Salamander sock puppet. Pretty much all the series support the scientific evolution theory. But uses religion when and where needed. And while I am a faithful Christian, and firmly believe in God and the story of Genesis of God creating everything in 7 days, I am fine with that. Because it allows for anyone of any religion to watch the show without being insulted, as Star Trek isn't opposing or approving any said religion one way or the other. And the un-religious such as yourself will watch the show too. But I appreciate that for the most part they follow Christian ideals.

>


You don't know much about the theory of evolution, Sora, but neither do the writers of those episodes. Brannon Braga may be an outspoken atheist, but he was scientifically illiterate -- and he was responsible for some of the worst offenders, like "Threshold", which makes absolutely no sense from an evolutionary perspective, and "Genesis", which isn't much better. TNG's "Transfigurations", from before Braga's time, is another one that gets it wrong. The "science vs. religion" debate doesn't have to enter into it; this is just sloppy, silly writing from people who don't really know what they're talking about but think it'll make a fun story anyway.

chator56

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POSTS: 498

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 7:39 pm

Here's my 2 cents,


Roddenberry believed religion was something that humanity would eventually outgrow. In other words, he believed that religion was a carry over from the time when superstition, not science held sway over people's beliefs. In Star Trek's alternate human history the decline of religion is necessary to end wars and bring about world peace. In "Bread and Circuses" Kirk is simply making reference to Hodgkin's law or theory of parallel planetary development, he even mentions this law in the early part of the episode. His interest in seeing it "happen all again" is historical, not religious. Star Trek has been pretty anti-thetical toward religion in many episodes and movies. Most religious cultures in Star Trek are shown to be primative, or more primative than the non-religious, but religiously tolerant humans. Star Trek is not pro-religion, or pro-Christian. If you are looking for that in your sci-fi maybe try a different franchise. Original series Star Wars is more pro-religion, the Jedi were based on the Knight's Templar, though the religious philosophy was more influenced by Buddhism than Christianity. Battlestar Galactica is also more pro-religion, though the humans are polytheists, not monotheists.

TwistedTitan

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 4:23 pm

I am not sure how relevenat this comment is, but I thought it adds additional information to the thread.  In Bread and Circuses, Rome was portrayed as never having fallen.  I think the inclusion of religion, ie Christianity, in this episode was very important. The onset of Christianity was a large game changer for Roman history.  I am not saying that this single factor caused the downfall of the Empire (there are many factors that lead to its demise), but the fact that Christianity emerged in their 20th century indicated that that Rome was about to go through some socio-political changes that our real Roman Empire went through in the 1st and 2nd century.  Tieing this into the posts' conversation, while other episodes may have included religion in it for other reasons, I think the inclusion in Bread and Circuses was to serve as an indicator that chnage was coming and the same factors that lead to the real Roman Empires' fall would happen to "this" Rome.  So all in all, I believe that religion merely served as historical indictator rather than an inclusion from the writers based on what religion is present in Star Trek canon... if that makes any sense.

TravisMalcolm

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POSTS: 118

Report this Sep. 18 2013, 7:43 pm

TwistedTitan, I agree with you for the most part. Not mentioned yet, the words "Christian" & "Christianity" are not used. Indeed, when we first hear of any worship in B & C it is the context of "Sun worship" Yes "Sun". There is one shot of immediately after one of the worshipers talks about worshipping the sun. He looks up to the roof of the cave, then the scene changes, everyone is outside in a thicket & the camera shows us a picture of the sun. The crew thinks that the Romans are worshiping the sun. The replication of an Earth civilization seems viritually exact, with that one seemingly very strange exception. It is aesthetic in its nature--the surprise ending. Also not mentioned from Ent "Chosen Realm". That is a very religious falavored episode. Of course any marriage scene can be seen as religious thanks to the rituals (as oppossed to thinking of them as customs). Finally, in  Mourns for Adonis if memory serves, it has been a while, McCoy finds that the heart of the 'god' is different from any other being he has ever studied (or scanned). So a medical reason is given for the being's great physical power. & I really liked the question. Thanks.


 


Blalock & Nimoy were the best two actors in the Star Trek universe. Go Vulcans!

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