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Top Hat
Sat, May 30, 2020, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

I wish they would've somehow written in a clever trap that the Ferengi use to disable the Enterprise. It would've been nice for the Ferengi to actually demonstrate their sneaky side, and the Enterprise losing a firefight to them is simply pathetic. But there are also many other episodes where the Enterprise barely seems to be trying in these combat situations... too much yelling "Damage report" and not enough yelling "Fire all weapons!" or, for that matter, "Warp away!"
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Top Hat
Fri, May 29, 2020, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

It's later, in "By Inferno's Light," that Gowron reinstates the Khitomer Accords. "Apocalypse Rising" ends with a bit of milder detente, but the conflict is still on.
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Top Hat
Wed, May 27, 2020, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Little Green Men

And this is a small private craft rather than a heavily armed warship such as TNG initially feautred.
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Top Hat
Tue, May 26, 2020, 9:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

Or how about this? A different Cardassian vassal state has also fallen out of Cardassian control (maybe this could be placed a bit later, during the Klingon-Cardassian war). Their planet is ravaged to the point of being unliveable and so the native population spill out looking for a new homeland, and they come knocking at Bajor's door. Bajor has no strong historical ties to this people but the shared experience of Cardassian rule. The Bajorans are basically sympathetic to them but are also worried that they would become a burden. You can write out the prophecy angle and just treat it as a delicate political situation.
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Top Hat
Tue, May 26, 2020, 7:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

That, or write out the Gamma Quadrant and make them a returning mass of the diasporic Bajorans introduced in "Ensign Ro." Bajoran civilization is hundreds of thousands of years old, so there's plenty of time for some group to have left long, long ago, and perhaps they would be considered culturally undesirable precisely because they don't worship the Prophets. Perhaps they have a different faith, or are more atheistic/agnostic like the Federation generally seems to be.

Admittedly they do eventually try something vaguely similar with the pah wraith cult, but they're EEEEEEEEVIL so there's no real chance to explore issues around migration and refugeeism.
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Top Hat
Mon, May 25, 2020, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: A Fistful of Datas

I never understood why, because the Holodeck is malfunctioning, that means that communications stop working too. Of course, if they could simply ask to be beamed out of the Holodeck that would sort of nullify the plot.
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Top Hat
Mon, May 25, 2020, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

I see what you're saying, but the other thing is that they don't want to make a claim to Bajor per se... they don't believe themselves to be the rightful rulers of the place or something like that. They just want to settle some backwater and farm it, presumably deferring to the existing power structure in matters outside their immediate ken. Their manifest motivation is religious, not political.

I'd agree that the episode doesn't pan out as allegory, it's too muddled, which would perhaps be fine if the story were a compelling one on its own terms. And it isn't.
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Top Hat
Mon, May 25, 2020, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

I feel like people tend to misremember one aspect of the episode, which never has the Skrreea assert that they believe themselves to be displaced people returning to a homeland (Bajor). Rather they see it as their prophecized destination. As a loose analogy, Haneek is less like Moses than Joseph Smith.
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Top Hat
Sun, May 24, 2020, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Is it obvious that Brundle would want to be unfused? Unless he left some sort of prior indication to that effect, I'm not sure that can be taken for granted, any more than that Tuvok and Neelix would weight their lives above Tuvix's. Of course, there's a non-parallel insofar as Brundlefly is actively disintegrating over time and could probably be judged as insane at least by the third act of The Fly, neither of which is true of Tuvix.
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Top Hat
Sun, May 24, 2020, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

If Tuvix planned to rig the transporter to incorporate Kes into his being (Kestuvix?), that would change my thinking about him substantially.
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Top Hat
Sat, May 16, 2020, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

It's really a frankly bizarre equivalency, and really makes me wonder if it's being made with a clear head. There are bad episodes of Star Trek, sure. But nobody forces people to watch them, much less die over them. The same cannot be said of holy wars or other unpleasant things about religion that you're apparently just prepared to slough off as basically irrelevant.
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Top Hat
Sat, May 16, 2020, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I’m absolutely baffled trying to navigate this conflation of religion faith, liking Star Trek and believing in real aliens. But I can say with absolute certainty that the evils done in the name of organized religion do not come close to justifying any good done in its name.
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Top Hat
Sat, May 16, 2020, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Even if we were to accept that "belief in gods" and "belief in aliens" are fully equivalent concepts, let's observe that those people who believe in the Rigelians don't tend to engage in inquisitions against the people who believe in the Argellians, and people who believe in the Greys don't engage in holy wars against those who believe in the Reds.
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Top Hat
Sat, May 16, 2020, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Above, that should be "without faith of some sort."
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Top Hat
Sat, May 16, 2020, 11:22am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I'm guessing that the insinuation is that there's a psychic need for belief in SOMETHING. "Fairies" would serve the same basic purpose as "aliens" in this rhetorical maneuver. It's trying to discredit the idea that anyone can function with faith or some sort.
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Top Hat
Fri, May 15, 2020, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Whether Roddenberry was saint or scoundrel, the lack of human religion in the future is one aspect of Star Trek that the writers have almost perfectly consistently upheld.
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Top Hat
Wed, May 13, 2020, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

It resembles a cross... sort of. https://i.stack.imgur.com/wsL2f.jpg
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Top Hat
Wed, May 13, 2020, 1:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I would wager a lot of people today know that Hercules is a son of Zeus. Is that evidence that belief in and worship of the Greek gods is commonplace?
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Top Hat
Wed, May 13, 2020, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

"But if you think closely about that, that would be saying that certain types of opinions of life would be banished?" I suspect Roddenberry (and I shudder a bit as I type that, since placing words in his mouth is a longstanding tradition) would think of it more in terms of humanity shedding these opinions and ideas than their vanishing through banishment... of course that process is a necessarily vague ones. It appears that to be the case that Roddenberry didn't so much think that people COULDN'T be religion in the future he envisioned as that they wouldn't... he ascribed religion to a childhood that humanity would surpass as it enters the stars. Feel free to call that naive or unlikely or even totalitarian, but it does appear to be what he believed.
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Top Hat
Wed, May 13, 2020, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I find it interesting that people seem prepared to accept that religion -- either religion in general or a specific religion like Christianity -- would be transformed before Star Trek's time, but also not to entertain the prospect of them having been transformed into something so different that the term "religion" as we understand it doesn't apply. One can draw an analogy from Christianity itself. which subsumed its competitors to the degree that plenty of ancient pagan traditions may be said to survive, but in a form that's drastically distorted and repurposed. In TUC, Spock describes a Biblical scene as "ancient Earth mythology," which is notably not language even a non-Christian today would likely use today.

Booming asks: "Why the need to have Human religion in Star Trek, too. Can there not be one show without it? In the end it is a made up world. What's the difference if there is religion or not?" I think this question strikes at what makes Trek different from other Star Trek different from other SF franchises: that it's not only depicting a future for humankind, but a future based on developing human potential to its utmost... a BETTER future. And if that vision hinges on the absence of religion, at least in terms of organized religion, that's real challenge. So one approach to that challenge is to rationalize that it's not so against religion after all.
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Top Hat
Tue, May 12, 2020, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

There's another exchange that hasn't been raised yet, from "The Ship":

KILANA: Do you have any gods, Captain Sisko?
SISKO: There are things I believe in.
KILANA: Duty? Starfleet? The Federation?

There are a number of ways to take this, but one reading would support that idea that religious feeling or sensibility still exists, but it's been subsumed into commitment to institutions.
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Top Hat
Tue, May 12, 2020, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Proposing that "there are lots of religious people, we just don't see them because they're not well represented in Starfleet" sounds like wishful thinking, but let's follow that logic for a moment. Is the implication that religious people don't enlist in the service that might put them into contact with superbeings like Q, Trelane, Apollo, etc., who can perform many of the feats ascribed to their god(s) with casual ease? In other words, they keep their heads buried into the sand because they don't want to have to confront those things that might undermine the bases of their belief system? I have a hard time seeing this as an especially rosy view of religion.

Per Mal, "For Christianity in the Star Trek future, evidence is ample. If you care to see it." Again, there's every evidence that trappings of Christian culture survive... but who actually said otherwise? There's an odd conflation of "religion" and "Christianity" throughout this thread. I always wondered if Kirk's notorious "We find one perfectly adequate line" was meant to allude to the idea that the humans of the future are deists or something similar, and perhaps the idea is that there are no discrete religions because the role of religion has been syncretized with other cultural institutions over time. Obviously an angle that failed to be developed meaningfully.
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Top Hat
Sun, May 10, 2020, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I find it peculiar that the same person who earlier made a case for Ben Sisko's family being Christian is citing what seems to be evidence to the contrary -- the fact that he is not the one who raises the possibility of a religious service.

Perhaps somebody more knowledgeable about Japanese culture could tell me if having a Shinto wedding is necessarily evidence of religious faith, rather than simply being cultural? It's not like Keiko's faith in "In the Hands of the Prophets" seems to be anything but scientific materialism.
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Top Hat
Sun, May 10, 2020, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

One small point to add: per "Someone to Watch of Me," Species 8472 has five sexes. So referring to this individual as either "he" or "she" run as a considerable risk of misgendering it, and there's no way to ask it about its preferred pronoun. So what pronoun do you recommend? I guess "they" might sort of work?
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Top Hat
Sun, May 10, 2020, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Same here, and that's why I think we need this concept of "cultural Christianity" to thread this needle a bit. I wouldn't deny that much of my worldview is informed by saturation in a largely Christian culture, but that's different than practicing Christianity as a faith and believing in the transcendent truth of its claims.
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