Friday, August 31, 2007

Religion and Politics in a Star Trek MMORPG +

Originally Posted by psyonic:
Fictious religions is perfectly ok. its no problem. but trek has avoided to use real religions, and for most part, is humanity depicted as atheists, same with vulcans and klingons. The two later ones got some supernatural element, but they is not RELIGIOUS, in the words real sense. Spiritual? yes, not religious.
Originally Posted by Atlantians:
False dichotemy. Spiritualism is religious by nature.
This probably isn't the place to take this discussion much further, but I don't agree that it's a false dichotomy to distinguish between spirituality and religiousness. It's actually a fairly common and well-understood distinction: "spirituality" is used to describe an individual's personal faith expressed as a general belief in some form of spiritual world beyond the one we see, while "religion" (especially when stated as "organized religion") describes a social and doctrinally-structured observation of one's faith.

If you just mean that there's an element of spirituality in religion, sure. But for better or worse, the word "religion" today connotes more than just spiritual belief; any religion is considered to have rules (i.e., doctrine) guiding one's worship that simple spirituality doesn't have. So I don't believe the point that psyonic's making is as obviously bogus as you imply.

Originally Posted by Atlantians:
The Christian-esque comments made throughout TOS would indicate that religious beliefs certainly do exist, just more underground than anything.
Or perhaps not so underground. Uhura does not appear to be dismissive or offended or in any way embarrassed when in TOS: "Bread and Circuses" she points out to the puzzled senior officers that the slaves of Magna Roma aren't "sun"-worshippers: "But don't you understand? It's not the sun in the sky -- it's the Son of God."

It's actually quite a powerful moment. But possibly too powerful for an online game.