Sep 082016

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the premier of the first episode of Star Trek. When I was a wee atheist, sometimes people would ask me “Without religion, how will you teach your children morals?” My answer was (and still is) Star Trek. This show (particularly TNG, I didn’t watch much TOS) demonstrates everything that is noble about humanity, and acts as an incredible guide to living as a good person. Far, FAR more than that book of atrocities. And it has much better narratives, characters, and poetry along the way. (I’m sorry Songs of Solomon, but comparing a women’s breasts to fortress towers just doesn’t do it for me).

There is nothing in those 2000+ year old myths that isn’t fantastically outclassed by our modern myths. I don’t blame those people for the time they lived in, we’ve come far. But I would never use it as a guide for morality when we have such better sources nowadays. May the Trek ethos live long and prosper.


  2 Responses to “Star Trek – A Better Bible”

  1. Captain Picard would abolish capitalism. How does one do that? On a serious note I don’t really understand how someone could use TNG as a Bible. Tbh I felt greatly let down when I actually watched TNG after all the hype. That could possibly just be the side effect of watching all of the seasons within a 6 month stretch though idk. The evil admirals. The psycho bridge officers (Yarr and Warf if thats how you spell their names). The under-utilization of safety measures for away teams. The lack of ships safety features. The bringing of family on a dangerous voyage …. TNG sometimes seems to be an advertisement of how our species may make massive strides and yet remain intellectually as stunted as we are now.
    I think teaching people morals is a waste of time (from my own perspective). Teach people to be smart and kind and then morals become obsolete.

    • I don’t see how anyone could use the Bible as a Bible. ;)

      TNG isn’t intended to be a rationalist exploration of an actual possible future. It’s just idealistic space exploration for a 90s audience. But in being that, it managed to capture and demonstrate our noblest impulses. (IMHO, of course)

      Teaching people to be smart and kind *is* the first foundations of morality. :) Teaching them who to extend that kindness to is step two. And then there’s conflicts, and greater goods, and all that jazz. As long as the statement “people SHOULD be kind” exists, so will morality.

      >Captain Picard would abolish capitalism. How does one do that?

      It’s a joke. :)

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