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Star Trek obsoleces christianity


Firstly,  They're both fictional works, composited from non-fictional historical events.

christianity is low bandwidth, particularly the bible. Its primary doctrine is text. Text leaves significantly more space for interpretation, and mis-interpretation, because text does not have the space to deliver as detailed a context as video. Text is also very low precision, where high precision text is impractical to both produce/consume, (legalese).

christianity is out of date. With regards to the text, its writing style is not easily digestible for modern readers. The stories/fables within it are also several-technological-Renaissances behind. It lacks communicative ability AND descriptive relevance for our modern reality.

Your Thoughts ?

Star Trek is a metaphor for what Jesus really taught, with the human race itself born again into a just society without strife (that is - "heaven”), hate, oppression, intolerance, or money.

And later, the Federation of Planets itself goes out into the universe to spread the message of compassion, inclusion, forgiveness, etc, with the Enterprise and Kirk/Picard/Archer as emissary (and Cisco, of course, actually carried that title).

“Christianity” as what exists around us today is an evil and obscene perversion of the teachings of Jesus.


On topic thoughts:

As usual I took many tangents from your original point, but overall, I don't think Star Trek replaces Christianity because, while it does have a cultural impact, it's not even close to the same magnitude. It's also not old enough to have fallen into enough doubt to become mystical (I forget the term, but things take a couple generations for enough information to be lost that they become religious lore). Text preservation is also much easier. The amount of information required for video/film necessitates a certain level of technological advancement that may not survive cataclysmic events (magnetic tape, disk drives, film and the associated playback devices), and any of the additional narrative fidelity afforded by motion picture would be degraded by oral tradition in such an event (assuming human could ever return to that form of information transmission and retention). There are also no cathedrals with art to support Star Trek, so there's not much connection with the real world (real places, artifacts, structures).

A few thoughts that don't exactly respond to yours:

* Even in medieval times, there were barriers to reading (books were rare before the printing press and the Vulgate was in Latin after the language was dead), so a lot of people learned the stories through art (stained glass windows and paintings).
* Regarding writing style, there are so many translations that I don't think that quite applies. The King James version is almost impossible to comprehend, but more modern versions aren't as bad. There's some ambiguity for which the translations have to pick a side since the original languages are ancient and are themselves open to interpretation (written Hebrew for example has implied vowels, which causes some potential double meanings, and some Hebrew and Greek words appear only once, so there's no way to know what they mean).
* In the ancient world, there were far fewer texts to read and analyze, so it was easier to spend the time on these. I can't remember or find the stat, but I read once that, before the Bible, copies of and commentaries on The Iliad and The Odyssey accounted for a significant portion of the Library of Alexandria. In short, people read and wrote about what was available.
* I agree that the stories are several technological generations behind which makes the descriptions of some things rather weird and non-sensical. However, some of the words we use today come from those stories or descriptions, even if they don't quite reflect the original meaning. I'm failing to think of any examples at the moment, but etymology of some words is really surprising sometimes.
The Bible is actually really interesting, but all the interesting stuff gets ignored by modern believers, so it ends up being just annoying unless talking to a scholar (a lot of the stuff I find interesting is probably heresy, like the hypothesis that the Pentateuch was stitched together from several different sources; hence the repetitions and different versions of the same event). It no doubt still has a big cultural significance in the western world: much like the etymology of words, many modern stories and idioms make reference to Biblical stories. The issue we still face today is that many folks believe the stories to be literally true down to the letter (despite the aforementioned translation issues), but that doesn't mean they should be thrown out wholesale. Much of the weird stuff is from the Old Testament, i.e. the Jewish Tradition, or New Testament Apocrypha. The focus on stuff from the OT is odd since Jesus basically said "forget that stuff".

I agree with Fohat's evaluation as well.

But overall, your point stands, since I've never been able to make it past the first few chapters of Exodus in an actual sit-down read-through.

Murder-Bears, Moonshine, and Mayhem by Luke T. Harrington is a fun read if you just want a "Cliff's Notes" of all the weird stuff.


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