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Star Trek: A Bunch of Superstitious Calvinists

Yeah, you heard me right. Oh sure, Picard and his lot are all: "Some people believe in a higher power, but we here in the 24th century believe in the power of our human compassion, will, and nobility."

Bah! I say to you, Jean-Luc Picard. Bah! I say to you, Gene Roddenberry. Bah! I say to you, Rick Berman.

Two words: Prime Directive.

If that’s not belief in God, I don’t know what is. And it’s not just any God, but a Puritanical micromanaging control freak who’s already decided everything that will ever be decided.

Who came up with that Prime Directive shit anyway? Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t help you because it might affect some future event in a way such that it will not transpire in the natural (read: pre-destined) fashion. WTF? Is the future Federation a bunch of cowering Calvinists with their pre-destination crap?

I mean, really people, how did this escape unanswered for so long? Star Trek fans will go long and hard for the Prime Directive, that it’s somehow pure, clean, unencumbered by our messy superstitions, organized religion, God.

Look how advanced we are in the future, they say. That future is something for which to strive.

I suppose we look to that Prime Directive as some sort of ideal simply because we’ve seen how self-interested intervention in the affairs of other nations has ripped them apart and fomented so much suffering. The twentieth century, for example, is littered with meddling gone bad. Vietnam, possibly the crucible in which the Prime Directive was formed, is perhaps the best reason for its creation.

Then there’s the model of Switzerland, the model of, "Well, if you were meant to live, you will live. If you were meant to die, you will die. I cannot interfere." This Prime Directive of neutrality has somehow been held up as the ideal of behavior. We hold inaction as the highest morality. Do nothing, speak nothing, hear nothing, and all will cruise along at His will.

Don’t you see how loony it all is, you bunch of superstitious Calvinist freaks? We were not put here to play our parts in God’s little Broadway production, thank you very much. We were put here for, and only for, to live, to choose, to learn, and to love.

The noblest of all possible courses of action is not to withdraw, back away, and let it all transpire by some unseen hand. No, our best hope is to act in the best way that we know how with the information we have at moment. If a stranger needs a hand, we help him and damn the supposed later consequences. We don’t know much, and we can’t rely on God to push it all along like some divine universal machine.

Life is messy. We make choices. We make mistakes. We fail. We succeed.

What sort of world or universe would accept us into its cradle where we impacted nothing, did nothing, took no stock of our surroundings, and did not act as if we were the masters of our destiny.

No, Star Trek people, the Prime Directive is NOT good and noble. The Prime Directive is at best a "Hope for good but do not interfere" and at worst, a retreat from the universe of flesh and blood.

You may as well have not existed.


  1. Chris


  2. Jim

    Um, I’m thinking it’s the other way around. Open Source is undermining the developer foundations of Microsoft. Everything that’s going on these days in software development is Open Source. It’s where the fun is.

    Web 2.0 is Open Source. Web 2.0 is the future of software.

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