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Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

How did the alien just jump through the force field in sickbay? And does that force field in sick bay also hold in pathogens and stuff so they don’t infect the crew, like a quarantine chamber? I’m guessing yes.
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Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 6:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Contra Jammer, I found this one of the two or three best episodes of the season (that is, one of the only ones that was any good).

But shouldn’t Burnham go back to prison now that we know the guy who freed her was an evil Terran impostor?

Putting Georgiu back in the captain’s chair is risky for sure, but at least Saru and Burnham are on the bridge to keep an eye on her.
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Intergalactic Hegemon
Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Correction on previous comment: after sufficient internet research I realize that is not the same fellow who played Mr. Beuller. I guess I just wanted it to,be him.

Lie to yourself long enough and it becomes truth.
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Intergalactic Hegemon
Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

I'm not confused, friends. In the pilot, when we are first introduced to Harry Kim, he very nervously calls Janeway "sir" upon their first interaction. The reaction from him is total embarassment. The body language on Paris (or was it Chakotay) and Janeway herself after Harry's gaffe clearly back up the idea that Kim effed up when calling her "sir".

If "sir" is in fact completely acceptable even when addressing females, then why was the Harry-calls-Janeway-sir scene ever conceived, written, and put into that episode.

So you may be right, that I shouldn't be upset every time Janeway is called sir. Starfleet protocol...but that calls into question the scene I described above.

Hegemon out.
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Intergalactic Hegemon
Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Relativity

Its November 5. 1955. That was the day he invented time travel. He remembers it clearly: he was standing on his toilet, hanging a clock and slipped and hit his head. When he came to, he drew this...
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Intergalactic Hegemon
Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

I enjoyed this episode, its thoughtfulness, and the perspective on our current times by those hundreds of years in the future. My brain was exercising a good deal as I watched.

But Tuvok only had one line.
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Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

Don’t understand the enthusiasm for this episode. Really, what happened? We spent most of the hour watching Torres watch a story involving genocide. She confronts the aliens about it and they deny it and … well, that’s about it. The moral lesson is “Don’t do genocide and if your ancestors did it, don’t lie about.” Fine. Well, I guess we’re all feeling pretty morally uplifted right about now.

But as a drama? It falls flat. It involves characters for whom we have no attachment and who will disappear as soon as the episode ends. The story has no impact on any of the Voyager characters, whom I’m pretty sure have long adopted the “don’t do genocide” standard of behavior. It doesn’t involve a threat to any crew member (putting aside the rather lame plot point that these dreams were going to fry Torres’ brain - which, we knew that wasn’t going to happen, so why bother?)

These story needed to engage the characters to make choice, because choice is the essence of conflict and good drama. Imagine this was different scenario, one which Voyager needed the help of the aliens because they were going to run out of dilithium in 6 months and these aliens had a ready supply of it. And then in the middle of concluding delicate negotiations, Torres starts accusing the aliens of genocide. Janeway is p*ssed. And now we have genuine conflict. What does Janeway do? Does she reprimand Torres for screwing up the negotiations? Does she support Torres? Does Voyager still deal with an alien race that committed genocide years ago or do they tell them to take a hike - at the possible cost of being stranded in 6 months?

Muddle it up even more. Are the memories real? Or they created memories as has happened with people who create false memories of child abuse? Maybe Tuvok takes the logical approach as says that since we can’t know the truth and anything will do can have no impact on a race that has long since been exterminated, Voyager should make the deal and go on its way. Torres vehemently argues against that, claiming that would make Voyager part of the atrocity. What does Janeway do?

Now THAT would be drama and I think it would be gripping because both sides have a legitimate point. As it is, this episode was little more than virtue signaling: “Don’t do Genocide”. Yeah, thanks for the tip.
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Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 6:45am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Chrome said: "Except there was no second coming in this episode, it’s a hoax...."

That's the point. Almost all religions have a second coming narrative: Maitreya's coming in Buddhism, Kalki Avatar et al in Hinduism, and Judaism, Islam, Rastafarianism and almost all New Age cults all have similar narratives about "paradise on earth" coming only when a savior arrives. The point of the episode is that this progress is achieved not by foretold supernatural dieties, but by the hands of men.

Chrome said: "but the meat of the story lies in catching a fraud in the act."

The meat of the story is that the original Ardra story - the tale of a God providing salvation to people - is itself a fraud which is hijacked by a money-milking con-artist. The second con-artist is almost besides the point.

Peter said: "I actually never did consider Planet of the Apes to be about black/white inversion!"

Planet of the Apes is pretty blatant about its race politics. In 1961, its writer Rod Sterling was asked "what he'd most like to write about next?" He responded: "I'd like to do a definitive study of segregation, from the Negro's point of view." Soon after he'd write "Planet of the Apes", a giant "what if the shoe were on the other foot?" parable about a chauvinistic American astronaut (Charlton Heston) forced to experience racial discrimination (justified along bio-genetic lines) of a type once reserved for blacks. The various revolutions in the original franchise were themselves based on the Watts riots, and tap into a zeitgeist in which some believed that black liberation struggles would threaten the security of white racial hegemony.

Charlton Heston was also cast for deliberate reasons. Heston made a career starring in epics in which Western and non-Western interests collide. In "Gunfighter Nation: The myth of the frontier in 20th century America", for example, cultural historian Richard Slotkin states that the typical Heston character was a "hard and self-willed White male", an uber conservative "who stands for the highest values of civilization and progress but who is typically besieged from without by non-white savages who greatly outnumber him and beset from within by the decadence, corruption and softness of his own society". Indeed, in the sixties Heston seemed to be perpetually fighting to defend an outpost on the margins of Western civilisation from black/brown/oriental barbaric onslaughts (The Naked Jungle, El City, 55 Days at Peking, Khartoum etc).

Peter said: "But reverse your premise and assume religion is correct (or at least worthwhile) and then you can have an alternate read, which is "if not for con artists these people could have gone very far on the power of their faith."

The episode makes it clear that the power of their faith can't get them far, as their faith demands they be crushed and enslaved. This is foretold. This is what they believe. Escaping this teleology is to break free of their faith. The episode makes it explicit that Ardra's "progress" comes at a huge cost. Intellectually defending Ardra thus forces one to pick and choose what aspects of her you deem positive; a delusional belief in Ardra may inadvertently lead to centuries of progress, but it is not belief per se, it is not an honest belief, but a denial and rejection of over half of what Ardra represents. Ardra grants you salvation only to ultimately own and torment you.

And that's the very point of the religious critique. As Data and Picard say, "Fear is a motivating factor", but an irrational and unneeded one. You don't need a fear of God to stop you beating your wife - a fear which will open you up to hysteria (the planet is literally on the verge of mass suicide), subjugation, blackmailing and cons - you have the ability to realize problems and solve things yourself.

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Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 6:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

This is a hugely underrated episode. I have known women who have played appalling and unexpected tricks to get what they want (freebies, attention, love, sex) and Ardra is probably based on someone the writer knew. I am also under no illusions whatsoever that an intelligent woman is a formidable enemy and that most people are too stupid to recognise this. Society would race to the aid of a female devil if she were opposed by a male saint. The gender card isn't played in this episode other than Ardra hitting on Picard, which i think she did brilliantly.

I am an aspie who does not easily fall for tricks, and i have plenty of experience with intelligent and ruthless women to the point where most fiction I write these days is based on true events. I'm not some dumb American Pie reject, and would certainly not be stupid enough to fall into the clutches of that type of woman ever again. And yet Ardra is incredibly appealing. She does not lack for charisma. She's unpredictable, with a sense of humour, and is wrathful when denied. The scariest thing about her is that if I were Picard, then Ardra would be the one woman in the universe I couldn't resist.

And this, combined with brilliant writing and brilliant acting, along with an urgent sense of pace and a suitable atmosphere of "crazed wtf", is why I love this episode.
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Debra Petersen
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

I love this episode, but there is one thing I've wondered about that I don't think I've ever really seen addressed. Maybe it's been missed because people are so taken with T'Pau's presence and impressive air of authority. The fact is that she allows Kirk to make his decision about accepting the challenge KNOWING he doesn't understand that the fight is to be to the death. Spock had broken through a condition that should have made him incapable of speech to tell her so and to plead with her to "forbid", but she dismisses him. Even when that fact comes out and Kirk and McCoy start to object, she basically just cuts them off and tells them to shut up. So what's going on with her? Is it simply that, if someone is going to die, she would rather have it be a human than a Vulcan? That would seem to be an objectionable attitude, and it would make her statement to McCoy that "I grieve with thee" hypocritical. But then there's the fact that she seems to have forced Starfleet to accept the diversion of the Enterprise to Vulcan. And there is never any later indication that Kirk's still being alive is a surprise to anyone on Vulcan. So did she somehow know what McCoy would do, or even influence that in some way? In any case, Spock's reaction on discovering that Kirk isn't dead after all is a truly classic Trek moment.
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Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Sean said: "Besides which, Andra was saying she was their devil, not God"

A common science fiction trick is to reverse "real world things" when doing an on-screen allegory. Witness, for example, how TNG's "Outcast" codes "androgyny" as "normal" and "heterosexuality" as "gay". Witness too how the original "Planet of the Apes" franchise codes "white people" as "black slaves" and "black people" as "the ruling class". We wouldn't say "Planet of the Apes" is not about institutional racism and slavery, would we?

So here, in this Trek episode, instead of the Judeo Christian God abandoning a corrupt world and returning to bring salvation and peace, we have the reverse: a Devil Deity abandoning a perfect world and returning to bring strife and calamity. It's a heretical inversion of the Second Coming narrative (probably inspired by Clarke's "Childhood's End").

And as in Gene Roddenberrry's (a quite militant atheist) original draft for this script, it all ends with an unmasking of God. In Roddenberry's tale, we learn that the fake God was invented by philosophers- enlightened conmen. But the point is the same in both scripts: God wasn't responsible for the planet's progress or achievements. God wasn't responsible for man's Good. Rather, God hijacked these achievements. God, then, is a kind of charlatan, as is faith.

The opening teaser makes these things explicit (Data refuses to believe in a Ghost, despite the "real feelings" it pretends to give). The last segment does the same: "I tried to tell you Jared," Picard says, "you saved your own lives a long time ago". The allusion to Judeo-Christian notions of Second Comings coming to save believers and bring salvation is made explicit here, but only for the purpose of subversion. The panacea promised by religions is demystified as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. We want these things not because they are divine and holy and prophesied - the con - rather, these things are deemed divine, holy and pined for because we want them. Behavior and attitude precede belief.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Hunted

The actor playing Roga Danar had a good screen presence. There was a certain sexuality about him even though there was nothing sexual about the role or story at all.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The High Ground

The intensity factor of Season 3 is off the scale. Love it. "Vengeance Factor" / "The Defector" / "The Hunted" / "High Ground"

That's quite a quartet and far, far cry from the scattered silliness and omnipotent beings of the week in Season 1.

I think "High Ground" is a very good episode. It was more meaningful to me today than it was back in the 20th century. It has the tone of a DS9 episode (that's a compliment).

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Sean Hagins
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due


I really don't think this episode was a bust on religion or God (if it was, I wouldn't watch it). Rather on the charlentons that try to take advantage of people's faith. Besides which, Andra was saying she was their devil, not God
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Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

I've always viewed this episode as a blatant statement about religion. ie - living beings do not need deities to provide moral frameworks or to define or inspire their actions. Civilization, ethics and progress can be achieved without a deity parasitizing these achievements. The episode is a response to the old charge that "morality is impossible without God".

Picard says this himself at the episode's climax. Did God (Ardra) snap his fingers and transform the planet into a paradise? No, Jared the alien says, progress occurred gradually over a long period. Did God form governments and implement peaceful rule? No, the alien says, they personally formed councils and legal bodies to decide courses of actions. Did God advise these councils? No, simple beings did this, and signed non-aggression pacts and fought for constitutions. Did God, Picard ask, heal the environment and build the economy? No, the alien says, they worked toward this logically and rationally. Did God purify polluted waters and air? No, the alien says, they themselves enacted a "series of initiatives covering everything from atmospheric contaminants to waste disposal". Did God, Picard asks, at least pick up a single piece of trash? No, the alien replies, God left centuries before environmental reforms began. His point made, Picard then stands back and does his little philosophical mic drop: "What then did God do? It seems, with a great deal of hard work and courage, your ancestors changed this world all by themselves!"

It's fitting in a way that the episode opens with a coda taken from Dickens, as Dickens was a kind of materialist preoccupied with the conditions of the poor, a poor "sanctified" in place by all kinds of horrible beliefs. It's also fitting that Data, in this coda, calls a ghost out on its notion that "what a believer feels with his senses must thus exist!". "Humbug!" Data says to the ghost, "I feel your touches, but they can be from anything. I do not believe in you! You're a humbug!"
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Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Bloodlines

Jammer said: "I'm not an expert when it comes to blood-for-blood revenge, but somehow the idea of staging the creation of your enemy's son, then threatening to kill him, and then killing him, seems like a really roundabout way of achieving satisfying revenge."

Jammer said it all really. The episode's central idea is very contrived. It's a shame, because Picard and Jason's scenes were beautifully acted - you saw real longing and regret in Picard's wounded face - and this episode gives us TNG's best Ferrengi, some of whom have dementedly funny lines of dialogue ("You can pay me with your son's life!", "I insist on being paid", "There is no profit in this!").

mephyve said: "With the free sex attitude of the Trekkian future you'd think they'd have come up with some sort of birth control to protect yourself in these casual encounters."

Several above have argued that Jason should really have been Picard's son. Others say they are happy that Picard remains without child (this, supposedly, "fits" his character better; Picard does, after all, come across as a kind of celibate Renaissance man). But I like your take better: have Picard militantly argue against, and be skeptical of, his paternal links. I mean, this is the 24th century. Contraceptives are super futuristic and Picard's a meticulous and careful guy, presumably also with regards to his semen.

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Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

Tuvok: If we use the array we can be home in 1 hour, otherwise we won't make it home for 70 years.
Janeway: I won't violate Starfleet regulations. Destroy the array!!

... 2 years later ...

Tuvok: If we got through their territory, we can be beyond it in 2 days, otherwise it will take 15 months.
Janeway: Screw Starfleet regulations. We're going in!!!!
Tuvok: (to himself) Humans, oy!
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Baron Samedi
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

I want to note one overlooked quality that I think Season 7 did brilliantly. As the earlier seasons focused more and more on the Hologram Doctor (as well as 7 of 9) at the expense of other characters, we developed increasing sympathy for him and acceptance of him as a rights-holding member of the crew.

Season 7 built on that sentiment, even turning the tables on us at times, quite a bit in "Critical Care," "Author, Author," and "Flesh and Blood." The final moments of "Author, Author" showing at least dozens of Doctors in a mine conjure up another reference to TNG's "Measure of a Man," as we see the slavery Picard and Guinan feared would result from the a denial of Data's rights. If we accept the EMH as deserving of some rights, then what we're seeing is abhorrent injustice, precisely the result we happily saw defeated for androids in "Measure of a Man". "Flesh and Blood" also carries that idea of the EMH as deserving rights to a logical conclusion - if they have rights, then the EMH's betrayal of Voyager is valid and even moral, as the endless suffering of the hologram Hirogen hunting ground victims constitutes a perfectly valid reason for them to fight back and kill living beings in the process.

Of course, the solution to all of this may very well be to deny the EMH any rights whatsoever, but we've developed so much sympathy for him as a character over the past seven years that we don't want to. But it may be the right thing to do. I'm not sure I'd rule the same way as the presiding judge in "Measure of a Man," and I'm not sure I'd rule the way the arbitrator does in "Author, Author". Because, fundamentally, I don't think either Data or the EMG have consciousness, and I like how Voyager Season 7 cleverly suggests that we at least consider that we might have been wrong to care about the Doctor all along. Although, ultimately, I think it comes down on the side of giving some advanced holograms some limited rights, which opens a massive can of worms, but an understandable one that I don't think the show needs to explore any further than it did.
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Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 5:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Ha, I knew they were doing a Trumpian thing with the Terran Empire. “Make the Empire glorious again”—I chortled. The writers are flat-out trolling the alt-right (think about it: now what actual straight, white, male, human characters are there on the show, now that the only one I can think of turned out to be evil and was killed?

So I enjoyed that. But too much of the rest of it comes across like it is written and directed to appeal to nine-year-olds. For them, it’s probably fantastic, and I probably would have loved it at that age myself. But for this fortysomething living in an era of premium TV, that kind of cheeseball schlock just doesn’t cut it for me, and it seems a weird choice for Star Trek. (That they do seem to be trying to emulate Star Wars makes it make more sense.)
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 11:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

This is one episode that I never caught much in repeats, and I didn't remember just how good it is. Just an excellent show. Season 3 certainly has gravitas.

Tomalak is the Uncle Arthur of Star Trek. Uncle Arthur was only on a handful of "Bewitched" episodes, but he made such an impact that fans think he had many more appearances than he did.

Same for Tomalak. I certainly would have guessed more than four episodes.
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Roger W Norris
Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

A couple of thoughts I've had over the years. Doesn't Festival resemble Pon Farr? Pon Farr affects only a few, and is not as violent. It happens every 7 years, while I assume Festival is yearly. But there are similarities.
If the Landru computer is 4000 years old, why is it even working? I would have expected the priests or lawgivers to know the truth, and to be in charge of maintenance and reprogramming. It may be like that because it's suffering the computer of senility. Don't destroy it. Repair it.
And if you want to know why things are the way they are in New Orleans, "it is the will of (Mayor) Landrieu."
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Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

Toph said: "I actually enjoyed this episode, mostly for its transparently Hitchcockian nods."

I was just coming here to say this very thing. As a Hitchcock fan, this episode seemed to me an obvious attempt to emulate a Hitchcock psychodrama. But Hitch was expressionistic and a master of mood, framing and tension; "EYE OF THE BEHOLDER" is mostly flatly directed.

I did like, however, seeing inside the warp nacelles. New Enterprise sets really help convey the sheer size of the Enterprise D.

Like everyone else, I found Troi and Worf's romance to be utterly unbelievable. They've never been close or flirted or even been especially friendly toward one another, and yet Worf goes in for an impromptu kiss and Troi readily reciprocates without comment.

I've just realized, Chakotay and 7of9's last season random romance must have been inspired by Worf and Troi.
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Peter Swinkels
Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

I actually found myself agreeing and sympathizing with Lwaxana.
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J Ryan
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

Just watched this one again. Love it. Kirk's recital of the declaration preamble is classic Shatner. The haters of this episode crack me up. The parallel earth scenario seems to put a bunch of people off. Please. In a TV show that regularly employs technologies that will never come to pass, like matter transporters that basically disintegrates human and reassembles him without I'll effect, or warp engines the enable travel at several magnitudes of light speed, you refuse to accept a parallel earth? LMAO. Classic ep. Good Kirk/Spock moments. Good McCoy lines. It beats the heck out of most of season 3.
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Sean Hagins
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living


Well, the age one is old enough to date is found at 1 Cor 7:36: " But if anyone thinks he is behaving improperly by remaining unmarried,* and if he is past the bloom of youth, then this is what should take place: Let him do what he wants; he does not sin. Let them marry" So, Dating is only for those old enough for marriage. Such ones are “past the bloom of youth,” or have passed the peak surge of sexual desire.

1 Cor 7:39: "A wife is bound as long as her husband is alive. But if her husband should fall asleep in death, she is free to be married to whomever she wants, only in the Lord" So, we only marry fellow Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses view this command as referring not merely to a person who respects our beliefs but to one who shares and practices those beliefs as a baptized Witness. (2 Corinthians 6:14) God has always directed his worshippers to marry only those of the same faith. (Genesis 24:3; Malachi 2:11) This command is also practical, as modern researchers have found.

Many practices commonly associated with dating are actually serious sins. For example, the Bible commands us to avoid sexual immorality. This includes not only intercourse but also other unclean acts between unmarried people, such as fondling the genitals of another person or engaging in oral or anal sex. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Even premarital passion-arousing behavior that stops short of sexual immorality is “uncleanness” that displeases God. (Galatians 5:19-21) Immoral conversations consisting of “obscene talk” are also condemned in the Bible.—Colossians 3:8.

The heart, or inner person, is treacherous. (Jeremiah 17:9) It can lead a person to do things that he knows are wrong. To prevent their hearts from misleading them, couples who are dating can avoid being alone in tempting situations. They may choose to take such reasonable precautions as staying in the company of a wholesome group or a suitable chaperone. (Proverbs 28:26) Single Christians who are looking for a marriage mate recognize the risks of online dating sites, especially the risk of developing a relationship with a person whom one knows very little about.—Psalm 26:4.

I hope this clears things up, but please feel free to ask me any questions you wish
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