This article was original published in 2016.
Celebrating 50 Years of Star Trek and the humanist themes within the series.
Media today is full of violence, prejudice and depravity. Parents are often in a dilemma as to how to allow children to get exposed to the media while protecting themselves from the undesirable things shown in television. Even popular childhood superheroes like Batman and Superman have content that is destructive, murderous an otherwise violent. This is why the Star Trek series has gained so much popularity among audiences. The strong morals, humanity and other such noble values are highlighted and portrayed as heroic in this series. Star Trek is now completing 50 years of providing healthy entertainment to people.
Star Trek has been greatly praised for its positivity. It portrays a future where nobody is interested in material wealth anymore. Instead, the humanity of the future as envisioned in Star Trek is shown as highly intelligent and advanced, interested only in self-improvement and advancement and not money. The future society is shown as searching ways to develop moral codes and practice them more perfectly.
Plumbline Pictures created a 15 minute video highlighting some of the humanist values in the show.
— Chadwick Adams (@ChadwickAdams83) September 9, 2016
One of the most distinct features of Star Trek, which makes it so different from all other science fiction series that are produced all the time is that there are no invasions happening here. Alien movies bring with them a fear and often involve fighting, killing and other violence. However, the different extra-terrestrial beings in Star Trek seem only interested to study other species and never show a desire to invade and rule others. The belief shared by all beings is that every species should be left on their own, to develop by themselves without interference by other species.
Another interesting feature of the series is its portrayal of the concept of “God.” Throughout the series, numerous extra-terrestrial beings have come forward claiming they were God. However, as the story progresses, it would be known that the being was just a member of a more highly advanced species. The fanaticism and religious dogma of today’s world is reflected in the worship the lower species give to those beings who insisted on their godhood. All in all, the Star Trek series seems to take real world issues and transform them to show how with the right ethics and moral standards, we can all live together peacefully.
In a blog post this week, The Friendly Atheist stated “It’s hard to overestimate the influence the show had on many atheists I’ve met over the years.”