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Star Trek & Modern Politics

Dude108

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POSTS: 60

Report this Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

Note: This is intended to be a civil and well-thought out discussion. An exchanging of ideas. Any posts that include mudslinging, personal attacks or incivility will be deleted.

In another thread, the terms "Democrat" and "Republican" were being utilized. One person even put forth that they were a staunch Republican, yet firmly believed in the Vulcan principles of IDIC.

I don't see how a person could maintain staunch Republican views and IDIC/Trek/Roddenberry views simultaneously without experiencing cognitive dissonance.

From what I gather by observing GOP members of the US Congress and those that claim to be strongly conservative, today's Republicans can be characterized as upholding the following tenets:

1) Strong Christian faith.
2) Strong belief in Capitalism and the free market.
3) Strong belief in militarism.
4) Strong support of faith over science.
5) Strong sense of individualism, at the expense of others.
6) Lack of inclusion.
7) Strong insistence of adhereng rigidly to party guidelines.

Yet, in the realm of Trek:



1) Religion, at least on Earth and in Starfleet, is almost non-existent. When Roddenberry turned in the first script to the producers, one of them asked,"Where's the Chaplain?" Roddenberry responded,"It's the 23rd century. There won't be any need for Chaplains."


2) Humanity realized there were enough natural resources for everyone's basic needs to be met. Money is no longer needed. The goal of life is no longer about owning things or gaining power through business, but about improving one's self as an idividual. If one tries to in any way put forth today that natural resources should be shared, people on the Right scream,"Socialism!"

3) Although military capabilities are needed, Starfleet was created, and throughout most episodes, functioned as an organization that explores and protects. The US military is greater than the next 22 countries' militaries combined. That sounds more Klingon than Starfleet or Vulcan.

4) At the very heart of Star Trek is the utilization of science to improve the lot for humanity and everyone else. Yet today, "staunch" Republicans consistently deny science based on myths written in the desert 2,000 years ago. Global warming, stem cell research...even the appointment of a US Scientific Laureate ....are all denied by the GOP.

5) In the realm of Trek, you help others. Yes, every individual is responsible for bettering themselves, but part of that paradigm, especially within IDIC, is helping those that need assistance. Watch FOX news or GOP politicians, and its quite clear that the emphasis is more on "me and mine" then "them and theirs."

6) Look at any crowd for any rally involving Democrats, and one will see people from all walks of life. What do you primarily see at a GOP rally? Star Fleet embraces multicuturalism. If Karl Rove picked a crew for the USS Enterprise, it wouldn't be too difficult to figure out race and gender.

7) Whenever a big issue arises, both FOX news talking heads and GOP politicians eerily maintain the same talking points, as if one person wrote them and disseminated them to all parties involved. During the primaries, if a politician broke from the pack and uttered views that ran afoul GOP ideology, their campaign was dead in the water. If a GOP politician stretches a hand across the aisle and works with a Democrat on something, they're quickly turned into a black sheep and will most likely lose their next election. Critical thought, reason, skepticism...which are all considered valuable tools within the Trek/Vulcan realms, are consistently shot down and frowned upon within "staunch" GOP circles.

Am certain that exceptions to any of these can be found. But generally speaking? Am surprised there hasn't already been a Congressional hearing on how the Trek universe is covertly trying to manipulate our population into accepting Socialist Atheistic Scientific materialism.

If one has rational points to put forth regarding this, please do so.

And again, any ugliness will simply be deleted.

Now, if you want to compare modern US Republicans with Bajorans, that I can see.

LLAP

darmokattanagra

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 388

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 11:07 am

Having discussed these things with the religious and right-wing Trekkies here I think I can briefly summarize their counter-arguments:

1. Star Trek is not critical of EARTH religions, only ALIEN religions.

2. The Federation still uses currency, it's called "credits."

3. It's the strong military that allows the Federation to explore and protect the galaxy.

4. The science and technology in Star Trek is made up.

5. Conservatives and Christians give more to charity than liberals and atheists.

6. Democrats manipulate minorities into voting for them by giving them hand-outs.

7. Democrats are guilty of this too.

Also, you can only delete your own posts and reporting the posts of others is pointless unless it's some blatant violation like porn.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:04 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

>
From what I gather by observing GOP members of the US Congress and those that claim to be strongly conservative, today's Republicans can be characterized as upholding the following tenets:

1) Strong Christian faith.
2) Strong belief in Capitalism and the free market.
3) Strong belief in militarism.
4) Strong support of faith over science.
5) Strong sense of individualism, at the expense of others.
6) Lack of inclusion.
7) Strong insistence of adhereng rigidly to party guidelines.

>
I guess you must not follow politics at all.  Nothing can be further from reality. The Republican Party is having a major identity crisis as so many of the Republicans (especally their leadership) are big time ProRegressives.  Boehner, McConnell, Christie, McCain, Graham etc.  They are in support of big government.   This is why so many of them are fighting against Cruz, Paul, Bachmann, Chaffetz, Lee, Scott, etc.


Additional Notes:


#3:  Why is it that Obama and his supporters are trying to start yet another military action?  I think you're confusing strong defense with being militaristic.


#4:  That's just plain antagonistic.  There's a major difference between using science to explain faith than what you said.


#5:  As opposed to what?  The ProRegressive view of tyrannical government at the expense of liberty?


#6:  Inclusion of what?


#7:  Both parties are guilty of that.  So many of them are Democrats or Repubicans first - instead of Americans upholding the US Constitution (which they swore to uphold.)  How many of them only vote in party lines.  And what I find is interesting is that when the Republicans are in power, the Democrats vote against something, but as soon as they're in power, all the sudden they vote for it...


 


Here's something to think about:


"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the bums out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy. Either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies." -- Carroll Quigley, "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time"


 

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:09 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

>2) Humanity realized there were enough natural resources for everyone's basic needs to be met. Money is no longer needed. The goal of life is no longer about owning things or gaining power through business, but about improving one's self as an idividual. If one tries to in any way put forth today that natural resources should be shared, people on the Right scream,"Socialism!"
Depends on how it's done.  Take a long look throughout history and you'll see why we prefer freedom over socialism/tyranny.  Also, are you familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?  Even when everyone's basic needs are met, there are things above it.  And even in the Federation, there were people doing whatever they could to control others.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:12 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

>3) Although military capabilities are needed, Starfleet was created, and throughout most episodes, functioned as an organization that explores and protects. The US military is greater than the next 22 countries' militaries combined. That sounds more Klingon than Starfleet or Vulcan.
As a US veteran, while I do agree that we spend too much on our military, it's much smaller than the socialist programs.  There's an old saying - "Peace through strength."  I want our military so strong that nobody else wants to even think about attacking... but that doesn't mean we use it to conquer.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:18 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

>
4) At the very heart of Star Trek is the utilization of science to improve the lot for humanity and everyone else. Yet today, "staunch" Republicans consistently deny science based on myths written in the desert 2,000 years ago. Global warming, stem cell research...even the appointment of a US Scientific Laureate ....are all denied by the GOP.
As I said above, people don't deny science in favor of faith - people combine them.. using science to explain faith.  Yes, there has been some history of blind faith ignoring science, but that's the extreme.


As for the "global warming" debate, the science still isn't there.  The more people study it, the more they are saying that climate is cyclical.  (It's already been proven that the hockey stick chart is false.)  Remember a few decades ago when science "proved" we were in "global cooling" and they were talkng about figuring out a way to melt the icecap?


Just because someone calls something "science" doesn't mean it's accurate.  It just something we have to study...


 


Now... one thing I think we can all agree on is figuring out how to decrease actual polution.  (And saying that your exhale is "pollution" is really funny.)

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:24 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

>5) In the realm of Trek, you help others. Yes, every individual is responsible for bettering themselves, but part of that paradigm, especially within IDIC, is helping those that need assistance. Watch FOX news or GOP politicians, and its quite clear that the emphasis is more on "me and mine" then "them and theirs."
Take a look at the numbers of who donates the most....  Let's compare Romney vs. Obama....   Okay... okay - I know Romney isn't a consevative, but you seem to be focused on political parties, not values.   See...  real charity is ingrained in the lives of real conservatives/libertarians.  We believe in a hand up, not a hand out.


There's a HUGE difference between having our money forcefully taken by the government - taken from those that are responsible to those that aren't.  The best solution is to allow people to CHOOSE to take their money and help others.


 


My parents are socialist - they NEVER gave money to others, but expect others to give to them.  And whenever I earned money, they decided what to do with it - not me ...exactly like big government.  Even now, they always contact me to try to get me to do stuff for them or pay for stuff..... They tell me that I have money but they don't - so I "owe them."

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:26 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

>6) Look at any crowd for any rally involving Democrats, and one will see people from all walks of life. What do you primarily see at a GOP rally? Star Fleet embraces multicuturalism. If Karl Rove picked a crew for the USS Enterprise, it wouldn't be too difficult to figure out race and gender.
Guess you've never been to a Tea Party rally.


Oh... Karl Rove is about as conservative as Obama is...  Both lovers of big government.


And remind me again who pushed through the civil rights acts and which party filibustered against them?

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:27 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 13 2013, 9:14 pm

>7) Whenever a big issue arises, both FOX news talking heads and GOP politicians eerily maintain the same talking points, as if one person wrote them and disseminated them to all parties involved. During the primaries, if a politician broke from the pack and uttered views that ran afoul GOP ideology, their campaign was dead in the water. If a GOP politician stretches a hand across the aisle and works with a Democrat on something, they're quickly turned into a black sheep and will most likely lose their next election. Critical thought, reason, skepticism...which are all considered valuable tools within the Trek/Vulcan realms, are consistently shot down and frowned upon within "staunch" GOP circles.
Democrats use the same playbook.

Dude108

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 60

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:39 pm

First off Darmok, thanks. This is a cool process. And second, I trained in the Indo-Tibetan tradition of logic and debate. The purpose of debate is not to prove one's self right, but to find the truth. Please keep that in mind when I put forth counter-arguments.

If what you put forth is what you commonly hear from people claiming that Republicans can live in line with Trek principles, again, I must state, there are holes in the reasoning. Cognitive dissonance must be a functioning thing within their realms. I'll address each of your points, one by one.

"1. Star Trek is not critical of EARTH religions, only ALIEN religions."


It is critical of religion in perhaps the most subtle, yet powerful, way: the absence of Earth religions on the show. Not one major character ever claimed to be a believer, let alone a major believer. The show clearly puts forth that one can be a good, kind person that contributes to the benefit of others without the need for any organized religion. And that wasn't accidental. Roddenberry himself was a staunch humanist.


"2. The Federation still uses currency, it's called "credits.""


A seemingly valid point on the surface and I to this day wonder how that credit system works. Maybe only set up so that members of Starfleet have a way of interacting with economic systems on other planets?


Thing is, on Earth, all basic needs are met. Capitalism clearly is no longer extant. Picard put that forth very distinctly in one of the episodes of TNG.


Even if credits exist, they are not the center upon which everything else revolves.


"3. It's the strong military that allows the Federation to explore and protect the galaxy."


Again, a good point: a strong military is important in the Trek universe as well as our world. But its a matter of emphasis.


Starfleet's purpose is to seek out new life and new civilizations. To explore. It's not military centered. The military is a spoke of the wheel, not the hub. Also, war on Earth has been eradicated. Yet, today, the countries that have the highest levels of violence are the ones who claim the highest levels of participation in organized religion. And within the U.S. itself, the states with the highest levels of violence claime the highest levels of Republicans/Christians. Whereas countries and states that have the highest levels of Liberals/non-believers are the most peaceful.

If you'll note, the Trek episodes where a strong military presence is emphasized are the "alternate universe" episodes.


"4. The science and technology in Star Trek is made up."


I think it's safe to say this argument holds little water. Three points to be made:


A) A good portion of the technology is made up, but actual scientific principles are consistently put forth as their basis. I read Lawrence Krauss' book on the science of Trek. He explains things, and then always reaches a point where he says,"We don't know how to do this, or at this time, our knowledge/technology means it's impossible."

B) Within Trek, there were things once thought impossible: communicators (cell phones), tablets (iPads), flatscreens, Google goggles....yet they all now exist. Saying that since something is make believe it holds no validity is short-sited.

C) And perhaps the most important point of all: Trek emphasizes science. Relishes in it, cherishes it. Logic, reason, empirical data....all driving forces within the Trek realm. Yet today's GOP openly and actively deny not only scientific findings, but the importance of science itself. Just this week, on a clear party line vote, the GOP refused to let Obama appoint a Scientific Laureate. There are GOP Congressmen on the Science committee that openly claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. North Carolina Republicans actually passed a law that forbid the use of "global warming" in any legislation regarding real estate. How....illogical!

"5. Conservatives and Christians give more to charity than liberals and atheists."


Depends on what sources you believe. Just did some research, and studies are all over the place. One from Forbes (I believe a trusted source regarding economics) puts forth that Liberals/Conservatives are both willing to give....it just depends on the charity. Read a great article on this topic sometime ago, and you'll have to take my word on this because I don't remember the source, that put forth Christians/Conservatives are good with generosity, but only within their own religious/local communities, whereas Liberals/humanists give all over the place.

What I do know is this: Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, George Lucas and so forth....all the major billionaires that actually give billions to charity....are atheists.

On Earth, in the Trek universe, all needs are met....health, food, shelter. Yet if someone tries to offer the same needs to everyone in the US in 2013, people on the right instantly yell,"Socialism!"

And wait...why is being generous part of this discussion again?


"6. Democrats manipulate minorities into voting for them by giving them hand-outs."


I assume this is regarding diversity, which the Trek universe embraces. The point automatically assumes that anyone who is not white is no smarter than Pavlov's dog. "Oooh! I get free stuff! I'm going to vote Democrat!"

Reality is a bit more complex than that. Not everyone who votes Democrat gets free stuff. Not everyone who votes Democrat is ignorant of important political and life issues. And many that choose to not vote Republican do so because they see how GOP politicians consistently do all they can for the wealthy, while simultaneously cutting: education, funding of infrastructure, social services (police, fire dept) and so forth.

"7. Democrats are guilty of this too."

Regarding diversity of thought: The facts beg to differ. Democrat politicians and supporters have varying view points and they are generally accepted. There are countless varying coalitions within the Democratic party from many, many backgrounds and viewpoints. The diversity of perspectives vastly outnumbers those found in the GOP. If someone can't see this, Kiteo...his eyes closed.

Thanks for pointing out that I can't delete posts. Am still somewhat of a rookie on these boards.

LLAP

Dude108

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 60

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 2:52 pm

And for the record BamBam, regarding your posts:

1) The Tea Party may have been a viable movement when it started, but its clearly controlled by the Koch brothers right now. The Ferengi are in charge.

2) Science and faith cannot coexist. The former is based on empirical data and logic. The latter is believing something for which there is no evidence. You can't build a starship on faith.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 3:02 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 14 2013, 2:52 pm

>

>And for the record BamBam, regarding your posts:

1) The Tea Party may have been a viable movement when it started, but its clearly controlled by the Koch brothers right now. The Ferengi are in charge.
Nope... The Tea Party isn't controlled by anyone - that's the design... no central control.  It really sounds like you're just spouting the DNC talking points without doing any research.


And it's still quite viable...  They're working hard at fixing things... but we all know that fixing things takes longer than destroying them.  The Tea Party can't turn it around in just a couple of years - there's decades of socialist programs that need addressed.


 


Like quite recently.... two tyrannical dictators Colorado Senators were thrown out of office this week by ordinary people.  Spending was 6 - 1 in favor of the senators (much of it donated by billionaire Bloomberg), but the grass roots still won.  I applaud the grass roots people.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 3:05 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 14 2013, 2:52 pm

>2) Science and faith cannot coexist. The former is based on empirical data and logic. The latter is believing something for which there is no evidence. You can't build a starship on faith.
That's very closed minded of you.


I think science often explains HOW God did something.  Creation is amazing and we'll never be able to answer all of the questions we have about its complexities.


 


It's your choice not to believe in God ... I don't have that much faith.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 3:13 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 14 2013, 2:39 pm

>"5. Conservatives and Christians give more to charity than liberals and atheists."

>Depends on what sources you believe. Just did some research, and studies are all over the place. One from Forbes (I believe a trusted source regarding economics) puts forth that Liberals/Conservatives are both willing to give....it just depends on the charity. Read a great article on this topic sometime ago, and you'll have to take my word on this because I don't remember the source, that put forth Christians/Conservatives are good with generosity, but only within their own religious/local communities, whereas Liberals/humanists give all over the place.

What I do know is this: Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, George Lucas and so forth....all the major billionaires that actually give billions to charity....are atheists.
But they also only give to specific things that are important to them... which is their right.  I don't want them forced to give to things they don't support, but I shouldn't be forced to "give" (via taxation) to things I don't support.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 46315

Report this Sep. 14 2013, 3:18 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 14 2013, 2:39 pm

>Regarding diversity of thought: The facts beg to differ. Democrat politicians and supporters have varying view points and they are generally accepted. There are countless varying coalitions within the Democratic party from many, many backgrounds and viewpoints. The diversity of perspectives vastly outnumbers those found in the GOP. If someone can't see this, Kiteo...his eyes closed.
They only accept views that are in-line with their own - anyway that they can build a bigger government.  They NEVER accept those of us that are wanting to go back to a Constitutional government....


Why do you think Obama had the IRS target Tea Party?  How accepting of the Constitution is Obama and his supporters?  Or take a look at Pelosi and pushing her agenda.


We can even look at your thread on STID - saying anyone that didn't agree with you liking it as "haters" and "illogical."  Or take how you describe people who are religious... very intolerant.


See... those that support tyranny love silencing other people who's not in their group... I believe in more voices, not less.

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