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Star Trek & Modern Politics

Dude108

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 3:28 pm

Well Darmok....we had a good thing going there while it lasted. Thanks.

Sora

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 5:35 pm

I am a big Republican, and a Christian and I love Star Trek. Sounds to me like you are saying that being a democrat is or should be a requirement of being a Star Trek fan....I love that money isn't needed in Star Trek, but that simply isn't reality. At least not the reality of today's world. If the world ever does become like Star Trek, than the democrat way probably would be better, but for today's world, the republican way is what works.

rodsterinfl

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 7:29 pm

What a great thread! My friends and I have had this discussion at my kitchen table more than a few times with only similar points. You bring up to general arguments which I will also share my thoughts:


The political points of today, Republican versus Democrat and the social issues as you state are partly correct. 


1. It is true that many Republicans are Christian but not all of them so that is not a tenet of being Republican.


2. It is true that most Republicans strongly support a free market capitalistic market but one must remember that America is the definition of such - independence, indivdidual right, freedom to pursue one's dream per se. The opposite is a marxist philosophy moving toward social communism (now called Progressivism) It is believed that the vast majority of Democrats are Progressives and around twenty percent or so of Republicans share the philosophy. This explains why we see direct violations of Constitutional law in government as they have no regard for it and seek to overturn individual right through treaties with the UN and others. 


3. The Republicans are no more war hungry than Democrats. Remember that Democrats also voted for war with Iraq including some of the very leaders that, when it became a political issue, they pretended otherwise and, note how quickly they are trying to keep a weak unified front to support Obama with Syria where 1400 or so Islamic people were gassed; but before that, 100,000 Christians were killed in buildings marked with X- not a word or concern. Is is really all about Sarin gas or something else. Who really gassed the people? Did Obama stage Benghazi? Why were the ambassador's and friend's pleas for help ignored by the military, and state department? You see, in the game of war both parties are quite active.


4. First, it takes more faith to believe in most scientific claims than in God. I do not refer to the scientific process  but rather to scientific conclusions/understandings based on observations of men. Why? Science is usually wrong. Consider how many times science has changed what they claimed as fact- the Earh is flat, Carbon dating- ha! What is more interesting is how the Bible, that which was written as you say in the desert as myth 2000 years ago, has over and over proven to be dead on- finding oil deposits, pinpointing archeological sites, naming a group of people no one knew existed, etc. The examples are overwhelming. The Bible says that the fool or insane man that does not believe there is a God. Ps14:1.


5. Those who believe in a free market economy understand the balance between responsibility and individualism. In other words, it is not your responsibility to pay for my expenses. We each have our own duty to look after our own. What is so great though is that free markets are also the most giving of any system for needs. There would be no Bill Gates or anyone with money if there was not the freedom to do so. The thing is, that need is not to be continuous. That is disrespect and irresponsible. This too reflects the Judeo-Christian American heritage- he who does not work should not eat balanced with alms for need and caring for those who cannot care for themselves. It is not at the expense of others in a free market- that is exactly what progressivism does. 


6, and 7 These are either party. As a matter of fact, the Democrats have held many more behind closed door sessions. I just watched the movie J Edgar the other night. It was interesting to note how the activist who "refused to answer" invesigative questions was deported as it was known she worked against the government. How often have we seen our recent government officials caught and pleading the 5th or refusing to answer. What has happened to them? Nothing. WHat about officials who have gone to other countries in the current admin and aplogized, speaking against our country. That is treason. What has happened to them? Nothing. 


 


Now TREK:


Religion is prolific in Star Trek. Vulcans and Klingons to name a few along with various episodes. Now, it has been downplayed for sure. Roddenberry was a humanist/eastern religionist or at least influenced by such. So it is understandable that he would've determined to have a more subdued indvidual ideology of religion- to each his own per se. 


As far as the science/religion argument, there were several episodes where scientists went overboard and crossed moral boundaries or worse, thought they were gods themselves. Yes, in Star Trek science is mostly used to help people but it is also obvious that even though a rosy picture of man is proposed, especially is some episodes by Picard, the nature of man is unchanged as evidenced by greed, murder, etc. 


As far as political issues go, I would caution you on perhaps accepting the propaganda of the current political circus. For example I as an American embrace different races but I do not accept multicultural philosophy which says that everyone has a right to their own heritage and customs and it is to be accepted by everyone else. No, everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want in their home, etc. but we are all Americans and share a single culture. The problem is, as you stated, that we are a melting pot. This is true but we are also one country. What culturally unites us all together? See we are so busy learning about each other's different culture that we fail to learn OUR culture together. When I watch star trek I note how they wear uniforms, follow rules, etc regardless of race or species. They are Starfleet. Granted they respect other races and customs but if any of those people become starfleet, they must conform or be kicked out. Austraila for years has addressed these kinds of issues quite well, as has Japan. America, while a melting pot, has not considered the issues that prevail when for example an islamic family moves to the US and for example the father kills his daughter (committing murder under our country's laws) but claims Sharia law rights under his cultural law. Japan has no issues like this because they do not allow muslims in their country for the most part. Those who enter thorugh business must practice their religion privately at home. The government has declared that muslim religion is more than belief- rather an aggressive culture. I am not implying that the US close its borders it muslims but other countries are dealing with issues to make the host country have sovereign law. 


What is really scary about appointments in government or special awards - Nobel, etc. is that it has mostly been used to proliferate an ideology rather than acknowledge greatness. This is difficult to say in brief but many award winners were not the best at what they did at the time, they were jsut the ones chosen BECAUSE they ascribed to a chosen philosophy that is what influencers want to "platform". Not long ago, in an article reporting on global warming six or so of the top scientists from the governmental team supposed to make reason for such, came forward stating how this whole thing could not be supported scientifically, they were removed from their positions. Understand that these were top scientists in our country BUT they would not "create" evidence to support the claim so they were axed. You may or may not know but in the seventies they tried to grab environmental control through global freezing but people were not gullable enough yet. 


What you said about Republicans is reversed. It was Republicans who fought slavery primarily and also who sided with black civil rights. It is still that way today but now we have a party with a political stranglehold promising free stuff to voters. They will get it for a while while the remains of a free market exist then when it is gone, poverty will ensue along with every other problem history reveals of communism. 


The fictional world of Star Trek is every bit as complex as ours. There are ties to culture as well as science. Example? T'pol states several times that the Vulcan Science Directorate has stated that.... when referring to time travel. Example of culture and science faux pas. 


There are others but this is quite a post. Took some TIME. Dude 108, if you doubt or dispute what I say regarding modern political issues and their conclusions see the book from 1958 titled Naked Communism. I did not realize just how much kool-aide our culture (me included) had consumed until looking at that book. It is like reading about our history for the past fifty years when it was written like an infiltration manual for fabian communists. On the issues on the claims against the GOP, you may have some claim; however, you are holding to assumptions as facts that you use against them. Consider the Earth origin argument- billions of years old or 6000 years old. How do you know, who observed this, what proof is there? What are the origins of these claims? To seek truth, one cannot assume. We already have evidence that science keeps changing its facts on many fronts. Perhaps the "GOP" is not resisting science but rather holding up science and faith. 


 

Dude108

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 8:23 pm

Rodster - First off, thanks for posting. That took much time and effort. I feel like I could respond to every point...but then I'd end up writing for the next two days!

One of the drawbacks of communication via online forums. What two people can say over a few hours in a coffee shop or over a dinner takes forever via typing.

Therefore will just address one point you made. You stated: "4. First, it takes more faith to believe in most scientific claims than in God."

Facts and empirical data do not back up that statement. Faith is not required at all to accept and operate within the principles of the scientific method.

A hypothesis is put forth. It is tested. If the testing doesn't support that hypothesis, then back to the drawing board. If testing results are positive, then others within the scientific community check the hypothesis. If they also achieve positive results, then the hypothesis is considered fact.

Faith, which is believing in something without evidence, has absolutely no place within science.

Whereas "God?" That requires complete and total faith since there is no proof for it's existence. And the argument,"Well, you can't disprove him either" is invalid.

The inability to disprove something cannot logically be used as proof for that thing.


I could sit here and say I'm a genetically engineered being from a planet a thousand light years away. You're not being able to disprove that doesn't mean its true.

If you say the bible is proof for God, then which version? There have been dozens. And why the bible? There are "holy" books from other cultures that could be considered just as valid.

Any "predictions" that may have come from the bible are happenstance and merely exist because of the laws of probability within large numbers.

The bible says the earth is no more than six thousand years old. Empirical data clearly indicates that is not true. The bible states humans have only been in existence for six thousand years. Again, there are mountains of evidence that indicate otherwise.

The scientific method has lead to countless things upon which we rely every day: medicine, surgery, air travel, the internet, computers, electricity and so forth. The study of cause and effect, not faith, is what has lead to an almost complete eradication of polio and has gotten us to the moon.

And what does all of this have to do with Trek?

Trek clearly puts forth: To be a good human, to be a happy human, to advance as a human, one does not need religion.

And yes, even though there may be exceptions, if one wants to be considered "Republican," its expected that one must be Christian. Can you name one GOP politician that isn't Christian? If I went to a Republican group and proclaimed myself an atheist or Buddhist or Muslim, all factors indicate I would be rejected, whereas if I claimed to be Christian, it would be "Come on in!"

I think it better to say that Christians are closer to Bajorans. Even when scientific evidence is put forth contradicting ancient dogma, they still cling to those beliefs.

Yes, Vulcans utilize ancient myths, but only in the context of supporting their modern psychology and science.

And the Klingons? Religion is given lip service, but Worf said it best himself: "Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millenium ago.  They were more trouble than they were worth."

And Picard broke the prime directive in order to prevent a Vulcan-like culture in early development from leaving logic and embracing religion.

And to conclude, yes...science has been wrong in the past, and it will be wrong again. But when it's right, it can be confirmed. It can be built upon. And science is ever ready to admit that its wrong, which is not the case for religion. For after all, if a god said so, how could he be wrong?

Science doesn't require faith at all and Trek gives countless examples of that.

The thing is, science requires doubt, analysis and experiment....none of which are required by faith.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 9:47 pm

Rodster,


I would QFE your entire post but it's just too long.  And while I could nitpick at a few things (like faith in science maybe misconstrued by the others,) I agree with the vast majority.  Thank you for using logic.



 


 



 


 

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 9:55 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 14 2013, 8:23 pm

>And science is ever ready to admit that its wrong, ...
Only if they're true scientists in the pursuit of truth.  Sadly, politics are now involved and scientists are now often the pawns of politicians with an agenda.  If the scientist doesn't create something to agree with the agenda, they don't get funding.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 9:57 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 14 2013, 8:23 pm

>... which is not the case for religion. For after all, if a god said so, how could he be wrong?
But there is often a major difference between "religion" and God.  Man has used the name of God to do very bad things.  We can easily see this through history.  Man often says God said something, but He said no such thing.


Man, in his lust for power, uses many vehicles... abuse of religion is just one.  Or politics, or force...

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 14 2013, 10:01 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 14 2013, 8:23 pm

>And the Klingons? Religion is given lip service, but Worf said it best himself: "Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millenium ago.  They were more trouble than they were worth."
Is that why he was praying at Boreth?

Dude108

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 8:16 am

@BamBam - Rodster was using logic? A vast majority of what he wrote included prime examples of the absence of logic. I think what you mean is that what he wrote supports what you choose to believe. And a very important thing to know in life is this:

Believing in something does not make it true.


Regarding scientists and politicians, the only scientists that seem to have a political agenda are the ones funded by Christian organizations. 99.9% of all other scientists, from across the globe and hundreds of different organizations, all reach the same conclusions. If you look at the facts, it would be impossible to conclude that such a vast array of people and organizations are driven by one political goal.


As for Worf at Boreth, that happened before his comment about Klingons killing their gods. His final conclusion was that religion is hokum.

There's a distinction to be made between what the West calls "prayer" and what other cultures refer to as prayer, when what they actually mean is meditation. On Boreth, as well as what Spock was doing during his Kolinar, is actually meditation. Prayer is supplication to an external deity. Meditation is purposely utilizing mental techniques to reach a particular psychological/spiritual state.

And if you read the Bible, man has not twisted it to do bad things....those bad things are in the bible. If a woman is not a virgin when she's married, she can be put to death. If you work on the Sabbath, you can be put to death. If a child breaks any of the ten commandments, they can be put to death. If you touch the flesh of an unclean animal, you could be put to death (which would mean the entire NFL could be stoned.) God himself commits genocide left and right. Religion is the reason for the Dark Ages and why we only started studying quantum physics in the 20th century instead of the 18th.

And to say that Jesus wipes the slate clean for the Old Testament doesn't hold water, since he said he did not come to change the laws. He did however put forth that one should emphasize generosity and love, yet the GOP clearly contraindicates that: "screw the poor" is essentially their message.

And bringing this all back to Trek: The human race in the 23rd century does not practice the Judeo-Christian religions as we know them today, and their is a total absence of Christianity in Starfleet, which indicates Christianity has been rejected. The Vulcan belief system is closer to the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition more than anything else, and that structure does not accept a creator God and wholeheartedly accepts science. The Klingons, again, in general, are not a religious people, since they decided to kill their gods, and Boreth was important to only a small faction and used for meditation.

If you choose to believe that Roddenberry and the Trek universe supports a creator God, that's your choice. But there are people out there who believe that Elvis still lives, that there is a Bigfoot and that the earth is flat.

But again, choosing to believe something does not make it true.


Its clear that BamBam and Rodster aren't here for reasonable debate and discussion based on facts, therefore am done responding to them.

Thanks Darmok for your input.

E pur si muove.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 9:31 am

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 15 2013, 8:16 am

>@BamBam - Rodster was using logic? A vast majority of what he wrote included prime examples of the absence of logic. I think what you mean is that what he wrote supports what you choose to believe.
nope.... just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean he wasn't using logic.  He made multiple points - you just ignore them and, try to invalidate them just by calling them illogical without actually showing it.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 9:32 am

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 15 2013, 8:16 am

>Believing in something does not make it true.
And refusing to believe something doesn't make it untrue.


And when people refuse to believe something that is absolutely true.... well...

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 9:42 am

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 15 2013, 8:16 am

>Its clear that BamBam and Rodster aren't here for reasonable debate and discussion based on facts, therefore am done responding to them.
Dude... just because you don't agree with an argument doesn't invalidate it as lacking reason.  It's okay if you choose to not accept what is put forth by someone else ... and it's also equally okay for others to disagree with you.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 10:11 am

Quote: Dude108 @ Sep. 15 2013, 8:16 am

>And to say that Jesus wipes the slate clean for the Old Testament doesn't hold water, since he said he did not come to change the laws. He did however put forth that one should emphasize generosity and love, yet the GOP clearly contraindicates that: "screw the poor" is essentially their message.
How is the GOP saying "screw the poor"?  Remember... they love redistribution of wealth almost as much as the socialists....  But let's just say that they didn't... and were instead capitalists and Christians as you assert ... that would mean that they wouldn't FORCE redistribution of wealth as the socialists... they would know that capitalism has done more to lift people out of poverty than anything else.  They would also know that capitalists have done more to help others than any socialist program which rewards slothfulness.


And since you're so stuck on political parties (proving my point earlier,) take a look at the studies showing which political party is more generous...


It always amazes me how "generous" the ProRegressives are with someone else's money.  Nope - it is NOT logical to use force to redistribute wealth... that is tyranny/authoritarian, not liberty.  Welfare is NOT charity.

Dude108

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 4:20 pm

Kiteo. His eyes closed.


E pur si muove.

rodsterinfl

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Report this Sep. 15 2013, 8:47 pm

Dude 108, I have absolutely nothing against you. As a matter of fact, I am glad you created this thread. You made some excellent points for discussion. I appreciate your response to my post. 


You managed to tie together major arguments - religion, politics, philosophy and STAR TREK. The first two alone are topics that are usually avoided due to varied beliefs. Nonetheless they are great discussion points. 


No one is forced to agree but, as you said, through debate, we learn. Learning is the result only if we, at all times are seeking what is in fact true. Sadly most do not and revert to their original argument.  As far as the religious part of the discussion, I have some bit of experience in apologetics but if you want examples of full blown logic application to debate consider recorded debates with Ravi Zacharias and various others. While it is common to hear a non religious person banter logic it is rarer to find a Christian so skilled as this man. As a matter of fact he has dumbfounded or won nearly every debate on God, etc. see youtube and his name for examples. Check him out before any critic and you will probably understand what I mean.


I stand by my statement firmly that, it requires more faith to believe in science than God. First, "scientific contrived facts and empirical data" disprove nothing regarding faith origin and Earth age IMO. As I mentioned,  six of our top scientists were dumped because they refused to "create" facts and empirical data to substantiate global warming proves my point as an occurrance that indicates that science can and is often tampered with. As a student, science was my favorite subject in school. I LOVED learning about things around me in my world and their relationship to one another. That said I also realized that in certain areas science was "stretching" its boundaries; making claims not based on scientific method but theorizing. This is most noticed in origin or areas where observation cannot be made. You made a good point about a being from another world genetically created. If I did not observe such or if it is not knowingly possible for this to be in my world, then I can only take the alien's word for it and TRUST him for what he says- a form of faith. There are simply some things we do not know scientifically. We may see evidence but conclusions cannot be drawn (evidence of things unseen)- that is part of the definition of faith. Additionally, on the origin of Earth, there are oddities in the bang theory AND evolution when one considers that theorists like Darwin could not see- through an electron transmission microscope- the specific order and specialization of molecules, cells, etc. This phenominal observation brings question to any understanding of randomness. In the eighties a LARGE number of scientists banned together to address the issue of evolution (BTW that paralleled widespread use of the transmission electron microscope) but they were squelched politically. The newspaper, I remember my senior year, reported that officials were concerned that to change ideology could be perceived as lying to our youth in our schools. The alternative position, creation, is logical, however, religious faith is a choice and one that some choose not to make- though everyone believes in something regardless. So, although fewer facts exist to support bang and species origin, it is perpetuated in the culture politically. I continue to find more and more proven evidence in biblical references confirming facts. This does not denounce science but it compliments it. The two disciplines to me, provide a complete perspective to what can be observed and what cannot but can still be studied and in the process learn more about who we are. 


“Science works by experiments. It watches how things behave. Every scientific statement in the long run, however complicated it looks, really means something like, 'I pointed the telescope to such and such a part of the sky at 2:20 a.m. on January 15th and saw so-and-so,' or, 'I put some of this stuff in a pot and heated it to such-and-such a temperature and it did so-and-so.' Do not think I am saying anything against science: I am only saying what its job is.

And the more scientific a man is, the more (I believe) he would agree with me that this is the job of science--and a very useful and necessary job it is too. But why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes--something of a different kind--this is not a scientific question. If there is 'Something Behind,' then either it will have to remain altogether unknown to men or else make itself known in some different way. The statement that there is any such thing, and the statement that there is no such thing, are neither of them statements that science can make. And real scientists do not usually make them.  C.S. Lewis


I would argue that religion is a part of every culture and, and therefore every person. Those that do not consider anything greater than themselves have only themself as god. Others seek something more than themselves- a higher being. When I watch Star Trek I am not seeking religious doctrine or direction for how to live, etc. I enjoy it for what it is, a show in a created reality written by men. Consider in Star Trek Undiscovered Country there is a painting of Adam and Eve being expelled from Eden as a "depiction of endings," Spock says. Regardless of the connotation, the fact that a biblical reference was used at all indicates a cultural tie for the viewers more than Spock. To Va'laris who was less familiar with human culture it made no sense. Perhaps a discussion on cultural ties in Star Trek would also make an interesting point - To be or not to be!


 

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